Remembering Tom McDonald

Cbus has paid tribute to Tom McDonald, a significant figure in the creation of superannuation, who recently passed away.

Cbus Chair Wayne Swan said McDonald leaves a unique legacy of nation changing economic reform.

“Tom’s leadership was key to the creation of the universal superannuation system Australians enjoy today,” Swan said.

“Tom McDonald leaves a $3.4 trillion legacy, spread across the retirement accounts of millions of Australian workers. Australians enjoying secure retirements owe a big debt to Tom’s industrial leadership.”

McDonald was in the leadership of the Building Workers Industrial Union (BWIU) when Cbus was created 38 years ago. He joined the BWIU as an apprentice on the Sydney docks in 1944 and climbed to the top of the union movement. In 1984 when McDonald was the federal secretary of the BWIU he campaigned for the first national superannuation scheme, which led to the creation of an industry-based occupational superannuation scheme for building workers and enabled the creation of a legislated universal super system in 1992 by the Keating Government.

ASFA extends sympathies to his wife and family.

Vale Doug Fry

The superannuation industry is also saddened by the passing last week of one of Spirit Super’s founding directors, and longest-serving chair, Doug Fry.

Spirit Super Chair Naomi Edwards said Fry’s legacy was significant.

“Hundreds of thousands of Tasmanians have directly benefited from the fund Doug helped establish,” she said.

“His energy and commitment to Tasmanian workers has built a perpetual legacy, strong today thanks to his foresight, dedication, and hard work.

“Tasmanians right across the State have had, and can look forward to a better and more dignified retirement thanks to the superannuation fund Doug helped to establish and grow.”

Fry was a key player in the establishment of Tasplan. He was a founding director and served as chair of Tasplan for 11 years. During his tenure, the fund grew to more than $1.5 billion from $1.1 million and its membership to 104,000 from 12,000.

Edwards said Fry also ensured Tasplan looked beyond Tasmania and actively engaged in merger discussions and opportunities with like-minded organisations.

ASFA extends its condolences to his family.

HESTA part of consortium bidding for Ramsay Health Care

HESTA has confirmed that it is part of a consortium that has submitted a non-binding, indicative and conditional proposal to acquire all of the issued share capital of Ramsay Health Care Limited (“Ramsay”) by way of a scheme of arrangement.

HESTA CEO Debby Blakey said the transaction represents an exciting opportunity to invest in the future growth and success of Australia’s leading private hospital provider.

“We believe this investment has the potential to have a positive impact on patient health and wellbeing in Australia and abroad whilst helping to generate strong returns for our members.”

Rest simplifies super splitting

Rest has adopted a Super Split initiative designed to make the distribution of superannuation assets simpler for members becoming divorced, with a new simplified plain-English form and a streamlined process that removes the requirement for certified court orders.

“The previous requirements, commonly used across the super industry, meant that members had to follow several complex steps to complete a super split request via their fund,” said Rest CEO Vicki Doyle.

The Super Split initiative was developed and launched in March ahead of the universal divorce transparency laws included in the Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 6) Act 2021, which came into effect on 1 April 2022.