Update 19 April 2010: after weeks for waiting after filling out the forms from my new super provider, UniSuper, to rollover my other two accounts into the new one, I received two letters. One was from PSSaP/aria (a fund for federal government employees) and the other from AMP.

PSSaP announced that my super had been removed from them to my new account and that my business with them was complete. Thankyou. Conversely, AMP sent me a letter refusing to rollover my account to my new account as the form I had used ‘did not meet statutory requirements’. So is Unisuper using out of date forms or is AMP retarded?

Given that PSSaP accepted the forms, I think Unisuper is fine and AMP are simply being retarded corporate pigs, doing everything they can to delay and obstruct losing my money. They’ve just guaranteed that I never do business with them again…

I hate superannuation. I understand the principle of saving for my future but the way the Australian system operates is a con. It’s set up by finance industry scum to benefit themselves. You pay fees for no obvious service and get ripped off every time you have to rollover your super because you change jobs. Thanks to the greedy gambling fuckwits responsible for the global financial crisis, my super lost thousands of dollars, which could have been safe in an interest earning term deposit with no fees at a bank. It is outrageous that the government forces workers to sponsor the unconscionable gambling addiction of the finance industry.

I recently got a new job and wanted to rollover my last two accounts into the account for my new job. It should be easy – a matter of logging into online accounts and entering account numbers etc. But no. Unlike transferring money from account 1 at bank a to account 2 at bank b, which can be done in moments, I have to download forms, print them out, complete them and post them back. WTF? Why can’t I do this online, or get my super company to do it for me? What am I paying these useless greedy losers for? They all know all my details. Why can’t they talk to each other to provide me, the consumer, with a service?

superannuation is a retarded con

20 thoughts on “superannuation is a retarded con

  • 21 March 2010 at 5:41 pm
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    Mostly agree with your sentiments Brian, but through Super, you can elect to do something worthwhile with your dough – banks will just put it where they think they can turn a dollar.

    Until the revolution and in the mean-time, you could do a lot worse that putting your super into an industry fund. For example, mine is with Australian Super’s Sustainable Fund and the balance is back past where it was before the GFC. The rate is reasonable (not the biggest) and the fees are the lowest around. Don’t be put off by employers (like my current and erstwhile) who reckon you must choose their nominated fund – there are regulations that allow you some freedom of choice.

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    • 21 March 2010 at 5:43 pm
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      It was in an industry fund that lost over $10,000.

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  • 21 March 2010 at 5:46 pm
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    You can choose what super fund to join, and the majority allow you to determine how your money is invested. so if you had of predicted the ol’ GFC coming along (unlike the “greedy gambling fuckwits”) you could’ve changed your investment strategy to 100% cash invested (as opposed to being heavily invested in shares or property or something) and would now be greatly ahead.

    Also. if you think you can do so much better than these “fuckwits” why not open a self managed super fund. Then, by all means, criticise the “greedy losers” who are merely working within government legislation to attempt to bring the best possible outcome for your retirement.

    Cheers, Rosie

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    • 21 March 2010 at 5:48 pm
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      Yes I could choose 100% cash investment but I would still be be paying hundreds of dollars in fees for nothing. And managing your own super fund is too difficult for the average person. I dispute your assertion that they work for me when they charge hundreds of dollars in fees for doing almost nothing. The government regulations are as they are because they were written in consultation with the finance industry.

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  • 21 March 2010 at 9:53 pm
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    Don’t you have access to a work or union based not for profit superannuation scheme?

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  • 21 March 2010 at 10:16 pm
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    Two words… industry funds…

    I don’t disagree with everything you say, but there are options to work around many of the problems. And super is a long term investment. Unless you think that the GFC really is the final crisis of capitalism (in which case you’ll find several socialist papers on sale around Fitzroy) then your money will come back over time.

    But the real magic only happens when you start pre-tax-salary-sacrificing into your fund. It’s setting me up for a happy retirement of gastronautic adventure that will make Keith Floyd look like a wowser.

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    • 21 March 2010 at 11:40 pm
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      From my point of view,, thousands of dollars I earned that was supposed to be an investment for my future was basically stolen due to the greed of others. I have no trust in the government or the finance industry to understand or act in my best interests.

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  • 22 March 2010 at 12:36 am
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    So, managing your own super is too difficult… yet “superfunds charge hundreds of dollars in fees for doing almost nothing.” You can’t have your cake and eat it too!

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    • 22 March 2010 at 12:39 am
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      The regulatory requirements are easy for an institution to achieve for thousands of clients yet are difficult to achieve by an individual for themselves.

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  • 22 March 2010 at 1:21 pm
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    I have never been so much in agreement with you Brian!! I moved to Aus after living and working in a number of countries and superannuation policies just defy all logic.

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  • 22 March 2010 at 8:20 pm
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    You do realise you can elect to choose your own superannuation fund so that you don’t have to rollover your old funds each time?? It is illegal if the employer is not giving you that option..

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    • 23 March 2010 at 12:47 am
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      Yes, yes, you’re missing the point.

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  • 23 March 2010 at 8:52 pm
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    In one of my workplaces the EA forces me to invest with one of the industry funds. But if you don’t have this annoying restriction, Brian, you can set up your own self managed Super fund (this may cost a little), and open a bank account in that name, earning the going rate of interest. Your employer will pay into that bank account – I am doing this at the moment in one of my part time jobs. It’s not complicated or time consuming.

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  • 15 April 2010 at 5:25 pm
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    Hi Brian, you are very true on a number of your comments, the super industry systems are so old, (both industry and retail funds) i use to work for a bank where until 2 months ago their superannuation platform was still managed on a old MS DOS system so nothing was easy.

    There are however a number of methods around this ranging from SMSF where you can have a term deposit if you want and still get the tax benefits of the super system, to more advanced platforms and wrap accounts.

    In terms of the investment performance a lot of funds got spanked, and especially those connected to commercial property and private equity, a lot also have not yet returned to pre-GFC levels, but this depends on what you did with your money (or what the fund did with it) most of my clients are either over or almost over pre-GFC level purly based on strategies used. If however the fund your in is not active management then you have no hope and it will be years before that lost money is recovered.

    All i can say is dont give up and ride your super manager (like your in the Melbourne Cup) thats what they get paid for. Also keep the “super system” seperate from the “super manager” the two are not the same

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  • 2 May 2010 at 8:48 pm
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    I agree with Brian. The government has no right to tell private citizens what to do with their money.

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  • 14 May 2010 at 3:08 pm
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    i agree that super sucks badly.There is no way it should be compulsory.if you are like me and spent most of your life unemployed,it just dont work.any money that goes into one of these rip off funds just gets eroded by fees.Its money the funds get not you.I also believe that if you have been out of work for some time you should be able to get whats left of your money without problems .

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    • 14 May 2010 at 3:49 pm
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      I think it should be compulsory but as we are forced to have accounts we should not be forced to pay huge fees for no obvious reason. I’d rather my money went into a simple compound interest savings account. It would be safer, I would not have to pay extortionate fees and I would not have to rely on greedy scum gambling with my money.

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  • 31 July 2010 at 10:46 pm
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    Hi,
    industry funds are a con job from the unions. They pretend that they are not for profit. But they make sure all their mates make a buck out of you .. here’s how:

    1. Most industry funds are just an ‘admin office’. They give out most of the work to other companies including: accountants, fund managers, auditors, insurers, and others. All these companies make a profit! So basically the ‘admin’ function makes no profit, and all their mates make a buck. If you don’t believe this – just go to you local industry fund ‘office’ and ask all 6 of the people who work there.

    Then there’s con number 2. The Unions make agreements with employers to take away your right to a choice of fund. This forces you to use the union fund even if you have another one already. Now – thanks to the union you have several super funds.

    Unions do this with a Workplace agreement, enterprise agreement, or other agreement registered with fair work australia. The agreement between the union and the employer usually specifies you MUST use their union mates fund. In return the union doesn’t give the employer any more hassle.

    Customer service from an industry fund is usually poor too. They’re a bit like optus and primus telecom. All smiles when you’re opening the account. When you hit a snag, and actually need something – watch out.

    Then there’s con number 3. Most industry funds have a board of directors. They make sure they’re well paid. The one thing that stops these tiny funds from merging and becoming more efficient is…yes you’ve guessed it … the snouts in the trough. If they merge, then the number one conversation point which exec do they keep, and which gets dumped? The industry fund is built to breed inefficiency.

    Then there’s con number 4. The industry funds have bought illiquid assets and are no doubt worried about how they will pay out for the baby boomers. Just look at the government funds who are desperately trying to figure out how to get new members to make the payouts to the existing members on defined benefit schemes.

    Then there’s con number 5. An industry fund will make you pay insurance premiums, and not pay out on the insurance. If you’re with the fund called rest, this is a particular problem. They are one of the worst for the fine print get-out clauses.

    Then there’s the smokescreen. Because they are not listed companies, they can keep all their dodgy accounting, and executive pay out of the public eye.

    How do I know? I’ve had the unfortunate privilege of working with the weasels.

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  • 5 September 2010 at 8:37 pm
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    Joel’s 5 points about industry funds are 100% spot on. All those expensive industry fund adverts with Bernie Fraser ex treasury official demonstrates his political favour rather than concern for the worker.
    My wife works at one of the Public hospitals that has an Enterprise Bargining Agreement that precludes her from contributing to our SMSF. “They call it choice you can join Union Fund A or Union Fund B… also known as a Claytons choice.

    Bryan’s comment about it being too hard to set up an SMSF says to me you complain about the rip off artists but then line up with another con artist to be taken again. We set up our SMSF with the help of our family lawyer in 1994 and because we manage it ourselves we saw what was happening with sub prime mortgages in the U.S. in 2007 so we were ready for the GFC when it arrived. Our fund has outperformed every retail and industry fund in Australia. In fact as a group SMSF’s have left the industry and retail funds so far behind that SMSF’s are now the largest group with $400 billion (updated) in 420,000 funds and each year their net worth continues to out distance the con artists. The Cooper Review published statistic to back this up in June. If you google; A statistical summary of self managed superannuation funds you can confirm what I have outlined.

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