Recent History – The Cooper Review
In May 2009 the then minister for superannuation and corporate law, Nick Sherry, announced a review into the superannuation system.
Jeremy Cooper was appointed to act as the full-time chairman of the review, the main terms of reference being the governance, efficiency, structure and operations of Australia’s superannuation system.
The review got off to a somewhat shaky start due to an oversight in the composition of the review panel. Despite the SMSF sector being the largest in the superannuation industry there was no SMSF representative on the panel. This oversight was corrected with the appointment of an SMSF specialist.
Many of the recommendations of the Cooper review have either been accepted by the federal government for adoption and in some cases have already become legislation. The most notable of these was the recommendation for a new type of low cost super that would act as a default fund for Australians, called “My Super”.
Several recommendations were made relating to SMSF’s with four having become legislation. These include SMSF trustees being required to:
- consider whether the fund should take out insurance for its members,
- have an investment policy that is reviewed regularly,
- value the fund’s investments each year at market value, and
- keep the fund’s investments separate from that of its members and associates.