Governance in the Australian Superannuation Industry

Benson, Karen L., Hutchinson, Marion and Sriram, Ashwin (2011) Governance in the Australian Superannuation Industry. Journal of Business Ethics, 99 2: 183-200. doi:10.1007/s10551-010-0648-1

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Author Benson, Karen L.
Hutchinson, Marion
Sriram, Ashwin
Title Governance in the Australian Superannuation Industry
Journal name Journal of Business Ethics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0167-4544
Publication date 2011-01-01
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-010-0648-1
Volume 99
Issue 2
Start page 183
End page 200
Total pages 18
Place of publication The Netherlands
Publisher Kluwer Academic
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract In the superannuation/pension industry, ordinary investors entrust their retirement savings to the trustees of the superannuation plan. Investors rely on the trustees to ensure that ethical business and risk management practices are implemented to protect their retirement savings. Governance practices ensure the monitoring of ethical risk management (Drennan, L. T.: 2004, Journal of Business Ethics52, 257-266). The Australian superannuation industry presents a unique scenario. Legislation requires employers to contribute a minimum of 9% of the employees wage to retirement savings. However, there are no legislated governance standards, although there are standards of recommended governance practices. In this article, we examine the level of voluntary adoption of governance practices by the trustees of Australian public sector and industry superannuation funds. We also assess whether superannuation governance practices are associated with performance and volatility/riskiness of returns. Survey results show that the majority of superannuation plans adopt recommended governance practices supporting the concept of ethical management of the member's retirement savings. The examination of governance principles that impact returns and risk shows that board size and regular review of conflicts are positively associated with return. Superannuation plans with higher volatility in returns meet more frequently. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Keyword Board of trustees
Fund performance
Pension plan governance
Superannuation governance
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 30 August 2010.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
UQ Business School Publications
 
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Created: Sat, 27 Nov 2010, 01:05:33 EST by Karen Morgan on behalf of UQ Business School