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Performance of Australian Superannuation Funds: Efficiency, Governance and Reporting Practices. Yen Bui & Sarath Delpachitra. Superannuation Assets. Sources: APRA 2012, APRA 2011, APRA 2007 and Cooper et al. 2010. * is forecast. Superannuation Assets by Fund Type. Source: APRA data (2012).

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performance of australian superannuation funds efficiency governance and reporting practices

Performance of Australian Superannuation Funds:Efficiency, Governance and Reporting Practices

Yen Bui & Sarath Delpachitra

superannuation assets
Superannuation Assets

Sources: APRA 2012, APRA 2011, APRA 2007 and Cooper et al. 2010. * is forecast.

superannuation assets by fund type
Superannuation Assets by Fund Type

Source: APRA data (2012)

investment return
Investment Return

Source: OECD 2011

investment return by fund type
Investment Return by Fund Type

Return and Volatility of Superannuation Funds 2002-2012

Source: APRA 2012

fees costs
Fees & Costs

Expenses to Earnings before Tax: FY 2010-2011

Source: Computed from APRA data (2012)

outsourcing
Outsourcing
  • Outsourcing: risk and accountability
  • Diverse outsourcing activities: asset allocation, investment management, custody, legal, actuarial, auditing
  • Non-profit funds: greater outsourcing activities
  • For-profit funds: more frequent outsourcing to related party providers
governance
Governance
  • Agency relationship: Non-expert versus professional.
  • Members have little influence in fund strategy and activities.

Source: Developed from Sharma (1997) and Shapiro (2005).

governance1
Governance
  • To enhance fiduciary duties of trustees and to ensure trustees act for the best interests of members:
    • Legislation (trust law, SIS Act, ASIC, etc.)
    • Self-regulation (code of ethics/practice)
governance2
Governance
  • Multiple relationships  possible multiple conflicts of interest between members and other parties.

Source: Developed from Sy (2008).

governance3
Governance

more complex relationships &

more conflicts of interest

more costly system

less economic efficiency

(relation between cost input and return output)

reduction of members’ protection

effect on other stakeholders

reporting disclosures
Reporting & disclosures
  • Complex and relatively comprehensive legal framework.
  • More emphasis on prudential standards.
  • Less emphasis on accounting standards.
    • Similar situation with the IASB standards.
  • AAS 25 Financial Reporting for Superannuation Plans (2005)
  • ED 179 currently being finalised
    • Issue date is unknown?
  • Global: more disclosures and transparency in other asset management sectors (e.g. mutual funds) than in pension funds.
  • Global: “Australia’s overall reporting grade is C, with disclosure ranked D” (Hartge-Hazelman 2011).
reporting disclosures1
Reporting & disclosures

Highlights from preliminary observations on 30 funds annual reports and websites:

  • Reporting practices different between entities.
  • Full financial statements not provided in financial reports.
  • Full notes not provided.
  • Little comparable data.
  • Website information not updated.
  • Organisational structure/trustees/director trustees’ qualifications and experiences not disclosed.
  • Outsourcing activities, related party transactions with service providers not disclosed.
conceptual model
Conceptual Model

Developed from Mason 1939; Britton, Clark & Ball 1992; Clement, Dale and Drew 2007

research questions
Research Questions

1. To what extent do Australian superannuation funds operate efficiently?

2. How do governance practices affect the efficiency of Australian superannuation funds?

3. Is there a positive relationship between efficiency and reporting practices of Australian superannuation funds?

research design
Research Design
  • Large APRA-regulated funds (~ 90% of total super assets), panel data, 5-year period.
  • Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to estimate the relative efficiency of individual funds.
  • Governance and reporting practices to be quantified using scorecards.
  • Tobit/OLQ regression model to test the association between DEA efficiency scores and governance and reporting scores.
data envelopment analysis
Data Envelopment Analysis
  • Inputs: cost to income grouped into four categories:
    • Investment
    • Administration
    • Trustees & directors
    • Miscellaneous
  • Outputs:
    • Investment return
    • Volatility
    • Liquidity
current developments
Current Developments

Exposure Draft Superannuation Legislation Amendments (Bills 2011 and 2012)

  • Further MySuper and Transparency Measures
  • Trustee Obligations and Prudential Standards
  • MySuper Core Provisions

Draft Prudential Standards

  • Operational Risk Financial Requirement
  • Defined Benefit Matters
  • Insurance in Superannuation
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Investment Governance
governance practices
Governance Practices
  • Scorecards, 1 to 10 grading scale
  • Basis for the construction of the scorecards:
    • 2009 OECD Guidelines for pension fund governance
    • 2010 ASX Governance principles
    • 2011 & 2012 Bills for superannuation legislation amendments
    • Current literature
  • Criteria: fund mission/objectives, accountability, risk management and performance strategy/policies
governance practices scorecards
Governance Practices Scorecards
  • Governance structure/Board characteristics:
    • Trustees/director trustees qualifications and experience
    • Member representatives
    • Independence of directors
    • Division of oversight and operational responsibilities
    • Presence of specific committees.
  • Governance mechanism/Board and fund practices:
    • Fund mission and objectives
    • Trustee practice/ethics code (self-regulation)
    • Selection policies of trustees, directors, members
    • Policies for selection/monitoring: outsourcing, external service providers, related party transactions
    • Risk (return, volatility, liquidity and fraud)
    • Cost control/improvement
    • Investment strategy (life cycle)
    • Insurance
reporting practices
Reporting Practices
  • Scorecards, 1 to 10 grading scale
  • Basis for the construction of the scorecards:
    • 2010 IASB Framework for financial reporting
    • 2009 OECD Guidelines for pension fund governance
    • 2011 & 2012 Bills for superannuation legislation amendments
    • Current literature/observations
  • Criteria: relevance, comparability and transparency.
reporting practices scorecards
Reporting Practices Scorecards
  • Reporting practices:
    • Financial statements and notes
    • Comparable financial information for multiple periods
    • Communication with members (frequency and timeliness)
  • Disclosure practices:
    • Trustees, director trustees, executives
    • Criteria in selection of trustees
    • Rights and obligations of relevant parties (including service providers)
    • Risk management strategy (return, volatility, liquidity and fraud)
    • Investment strategy and investment schemes (timely update)
    • Cost control strategy and disclosure
    • Promotion and marketing costs (retail funds)
next steps
Next Steps
  • Completing data collection
  • Finalising scorecards
  • Preliminary results: Q3-Q4 2013