The South Gippsland Shire Council was forced to pay an extra $4.6 million to cover a shortfall in the Defined Benefits Fund, one of two superannuation funds in place by the council, the other being the much bigger and much more modern Defined Contribution Fund.
This payment could have been avoided if the council had simply transferred from this out-dated and extremely risky fund to the much more preferable and risk free Defined Contribution Fund.
In my Letter to the Editor dated September 23, 2015, I outlined significant details and requested full disclosure by the SGSC and also requested the urgent termination of this out-dated and risky fund which has proved to be seriously detrimental to the interests of every ratepayer.
To date, this council has remained silent, refuses to publicly acknowledge this whole sordid affair and refuses to consolidate all superannuation in the one Defined Contribution Fund.
In the Annual Report 2014-15, The Notes to the Financial Statements, Note 10 (b) Superannuation is extremely minimalistic and explains virtually nothing.
This I find totally useless and very disappointing, in particular after the constant assurances of transparency.
This issue is far too important to continue to be ignored and I hereby again request full disclosure and in particular answers to the following questions:
1. Despite the fact that this Defined Benefits Fund presents a great disadvantage to the ratepayer, has already cost the amount of $4.6 million in the 2013 financial year and is at grave risk of extremely high costs in the near future, why is this fund still in operation?
2. Are all nine councillors and the 24 senior management employees members of the Defined Benefits Fund? If not all, how many of them are. In addition, how many in each category of staff are members of the Defined Benefits Fund?
3. If the remuneration in the final year of employment is doubled does that significantly enhanced the superannuation benefits of the Defined Benefits Fund upon retirement over and beyond the impact of the 9.5 per cent superannuation levy?
I think it is outrageous that ratepayers have been penalised to pay $4.6 million into this Defined Benefits Fund and as a ratepayer, I am entitled to a full explanation why and how my money is spent.
Continuation of this very high risk Defined Benefits Superannuation Fund is detrimental to the interest of every taxpayer, is unacceptable and must be rectified immediately.
I and many very interested ratepayers look forward to a comprehensive response and confirmation that this bad situation has been rectified. Waffle and spin are not welcome.
Gus Blaauw, Venus Bay.