No privatisation of public sector super: WA Government

By Angela Dorizas

Western Australia's Treasurer Troy Buswell has announced that the State Government will not proceed with privatisation of the Government Employee Superannuation Board (GESB).

An independent review into public sector superannuation found that GESB’s 300,000 members would have been exposed to higher fees and greater tax liabilities.

The Government has accepted recommendations of the Whithear Review and will retain GESB as a statutory authority. Mr Buswell said the decision will save taxpayers around $500 million.

“This decision to reverse the mutualisation of GESB will protect in full the retirement savings of existing and retired public servants,” he said.

“Members who choose to remain with GESB will benefit from an efficient and focused low cost superannuation fund, without the financial risk that mutualisation would have presented.”

Mr Buswell said state public servants would still be able to choose their super fund by opting out of GESB once the relevant legislation has passed State Parliament. The changes are expected to be in effect within the next 12 to 18 months.

“Members will be free to make their own judgement as to whether another superannuation fund is more appropriate to their needs,” Mr Buswell said.

“Most workers in Australia can choose their fund and West Australian public servants should have the same choice.”

Mr Buswell said the Government would also respond to a number of recommendations of the review relating to the internal operations of GESB and its capacity to deliver low cost superannuation management services.

He said the Whithear Review had not been made available to the public because it contained commercial-in-confidence information.

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