Super funds chew up $21 billion in admin fees

THE Federal Government must step in to stop excessive fees chewing up at least $40,000 from the superannuation accounts of millions of Australians at retirement, a new study has found.

The Grattan Institute's Super Savings report found administration and investment management fees accounted for $21 billion in fees paid to superannuation funds each year.

The think tank's spokesman Jim Minifie said fees could be reduced by the government running a tender to select super funds to manage the accounts of more than nine million Australians who chose a default fund through their employer.

He said the tender process would save at least $1 billion a year in fees, or $40,000 for each account holder.

"There are too many accounts, too many funds, and too many of them incur high costs," Mr Minifie said.

"Australia has many high-performing but lean funds.

"If other funds charged what they charge, account holders could get the same performance, but pay $4 billion a year less in administration and $2 billion less in investment management.

"These are numbers big enough to make the difference between sausages and steak in retirement."

Industry Super Australia CEO David Whitely backed the proposed move to a merit-based selection process.

"The Grattan report further isolates bank-owned super funds in their opposition to a merit-based selection process," he said.

"They are lobbying the government to remove consumer protections for people who do not choose their own super fund, last year applying to the Federal Court to stop the safety net selection process being run by the Fair Work Commission." \

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