Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas today said recent claims by Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis that superannuation funds were not delivering returns more than 6% were naïve and laughable.
Last week in a testy exchange on ABC Radio Mr Koutsantonis was challenged to explain why he had directed the Motor Accident Commission to reduce its expected earnings from 6% to just over 4%:
Henschke: Would you call a 6% target high risk?
Koutsantonis: In this market, yes
Henschke: Would you?
Koutsantonis: Ask most of your listeners what they’re getting for their savings account in a bank today, they’re getting… 3%?
Henschke: Superannuation funds are delivering more than 6%, so I wonder what he was doing that was so
Koutsantonis: I’d like to see the evidence you can back that up, that in 14/15 and projected for 15/16 super funds are returning 6% on average. That’s a very big call for you to be making on the ABC.
(ABC 891, 23/11/15)
“Does Mr Koutsantonis not understand that his own Funds SA balanced fund actually earned 9.4% last year and his own budget documents show its long term assumed earnings rate is 7%?” said Mr Lucas.
“It is obviously very concerning when the Treasurer has such a limited understanding of such an important issue as the actual and expected earnings of superannuation funds especially the Government’s own fund.
“Business leaders and superannuation industry experts simply shook their heads in disbelief when advised of Mr Koutsantonis’ claims.
“Frankly we are lucky investors and financial markets don’t take much notice of Mr Koutsantonis’ views otherwise their impact on investors could have been quite dangerous.
“The worrying thing for South Australians is that Mr Koutsantonis is actually the Treasurer of the State responsible for the budget, but also for managing key decisions like the privatisation of the Motor Accident Commission and nominating a new Chair of Funds SA.”