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MOU signed to determine RBF future

ON JULY 30 the Tasmanian Government, RBF Board and TasPlan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at creating a new superannuation entity in Tasmania that will become the default superannuation scheme for the Tasmanian public sector.

The MOU sets down the objectives of the process and details the responsibilities of each of the parties. If successful, the aim is to establish the new entity by the end of 2016.

There is some good news and some mixed news in the MOU for RBF employees. The good news is that a decision was made and there is an end point is sight. The MOU includes an objective of basing employment decisions on ‘the retention of existing skills, knowledge and experience’ – a fairly soft commitment to ongoing jobs for existing staff, but at least is says something. The mixed news is that the future of the Contributory Scheme (DB scheme) is still uncertain and therefore the jobs of those working in this space are also uncertain.

The CPSU met with Treasurer Gutwein last week and asked for detail on the future of the DB scheme. While he was very strong in saying entitlements would be preserved, it’s clear decisions on exactly how the DB scheme will run after the accumulation scheme goes to the new entity haven’t been taken. Logically there will need to be a body that employs staff to manage investments, collect contributions, manage the relationship with whomever is contracted to provide the administration platform and provide advice/support to DB fund members. There will also need to be the equivalent of the trustee board to oversee the operations. We understand there’s been some discussion about this role being undertaken by a ‘superannuation commissioner’.

The discussion with the Treasurer on these issues was very positive and open with him hearing some issues for the first time. There seemed to be an increased appetite from the Treasurer to include workers and their representatives in the decision making around the DB scheme.

The CPSU also reminded the Treasurer about the issue of RBF staff who are DB scheme members and the impact on them should their employment transfer to an employer who can’t contribute to that scheme. He was fully aware of the issue and noted it was referred to in the MOU at clause 4.3. This doesn’t mean this important issue has been resolved but it is certainly on the agenda.

Clearly RBF members will have plenty of other issues they would like to raise once they have seen and considered the MOU. A copy of the MOU can be downloaded here: RBF MOU

The CPSU will schedule a meeting for 2pm on Monday 17 August to discuss and collate issues from Members. Details of a venue will be forwarded soon.

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