chapter  6
19 Pages

What can be done now

WithNicholas Morris

This chapter examines policy responses that are capable of making a significant difference, given that well-meaning attempts at reform so far seem to have had little effect on industry behaviour. Creation of a publicly administered agency that offered a centrally administered, passively managed, fund could provide a genuine alternative to the high-cost options. The regulator should also have a primary duty – perhaps in collaboration with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission – to promote effective competition in the superannuation industry. The chapter explores how trust law could be enhanced. Trust law in Australia, which ought to protect members' interests, provides insufficient guidance as to duties, is constrained by 'contractual eclipse' and has been weakened by the introduction of member choice. However, the Australian regulatory system lacks focus and effectiveness. In addition, misplaced belief in the efficacy of competitive processes to control rent-seeking has led to a 'light handed' approach by regulators.