AUSTRALIA - Prime minister Julia Gillard today rejected the idea of starting a sovereign wealth fund calling superannuation funds themselves "our trillion dollar sovereign wealth fund, but with market benefits".
Speaking at a financial services council breakfast, she said: "Some say in the current economic environment we should be considering establishing a sovereign wealth fund. I take a different approach. I believe that superannuation is already our trillion dollar sovereign wealth fund, but with market benefits. That's because it's privately managed by thousands of trustees instead of a sovereign wealth fund managed centrally by a Canberra-appointed manager."
She said the country's A$1.4trn ($1.5trn) savings pool helped to recapitalise ailing businesses during the financial crisis. Some A$40bn was raised in institutional share placements in 2008 and 2009, while 15% of capital raising globally in the same time period was in Australia.
"In rocky international seas, super is an anchor," said Gillard.
She also reiterated the government's plan to raise the superannuation contribution rate to 12% from 9% by 2020.
Standard Life has increased exposure to risk assets in three out of five funds in its Active Plus and Passive Plus workplace pension ranges.
Some 48% of employers are unaware of the services or help they offer to members of their defined contribution (DC) schemes, according to Aon.
Jupiter Asset Management's Abbie Llewellyn-Waters, manager of the Jupiter Global Sustainable Equity strategy, explains why firms need to integrate ESG into their business model