Annual ReportMessage from the Chair

Message from the Chair

If you look around the world, one of the most reliable and innovative ways of governing superannuation funds has been to harness the skills and involvement of people who care a great deal about their members.

Media Super is an industry fund specialising in a cluster of sectors including printing, publishing, performing and journalism – areas we know well.

We’re often called a ‘not-for-profit’ or ‘all-profits-to-members’ fund. This means that all of the benefits over and above the cost of actually running the fund, like administration and investment costs, are credited to each and every member of the fund. There are no shareholders, corporate players or offshore owners taking their cut.

Importantly, Media Super’s governing Trustee Board is made up of highly skilled and dedicated directors drawn from those very industries – from employer organisations and unions in equal numbers. Media Super’s formal governing structure is known as ‘equal representation’.

Five members of the board are nominated by employer organisations or individual businesses across those industry sectors. Five are nominated by the two unions that have widespread membership in publishing, printing, acting, live performance and the film industry. In addition, the fund’s Board has recently appointed a non-aligned Trustee Director to expand its skills base. On our Board are lawyers, accountants, economists and Directors running businesses, as well as Trustees with business degrees and Masters of Business Administration (MBA) or who run major national unions. I’m a former editor of the Australian Financial Review (and a historian).

Australia’s industry funds – almost all with ‘equal representation’ Boards of Trustees – have set a cracking pace in global terms in offering smart and innovative investment strategies leading to strong performance* over many years at low cost.

It’s a proud record and it’s done for just one purpose: to maximise the retirement incomes of the millions of members who belong to the 70 ‘equal representation’ industry funds. Media Super has more than 90,000 members.

In recent times, there’s been a concerted attempt by government to try to demolish this method of governance and remove equal representation on the Trustee Boards.

It’s hard to fathom why, given the superior long term performance* – and low costs – of the equal representation industry funds, other than political motivations or large commercial interests like the banking oligopoly in Australia seeking to remove us as tough competitors.

Rest assured that your board will be stout in resisting such moves. As the old advertising slogan has it: ‘When you’re on a good thing, stick to it.’ Wise advice.

Gerard Noonan
Media Super

See for comparisons modelled by SuperRatings, commissioned by Industry Super Australia Pty Ltd, showing 10 year average difference in net benefit of the main balanced options of 15 Industry Super Funds and the 85 retail funds tracked by SuperRatings, outcomes may vary between individual funds. Modelling as at 30 June 2015.