Watchdog's role unclear
The role of superannuation watchdog, the Government Actuary, is in a state of flux
Sunday, June 24th 2001, 10:43PM
The Government is considering whether to contract out some work done by the Government Actuary as part of a review of the superannuation watchdog.
The review follows a difference of opinion on how the office should operate between Government Actuary Geoff Rashbrooke and his boss, Ministry for Economic Development deputy secretary Neville Harris.
Its is being conducted by Treasury and the State Services Commission and it will look at the office’s role and where it should be housed within the public service.
A report is expected to be presented to Government as early as the end of this week.
Rashbrooke, who had resigned effective June 30, will stay in the job at least until the office’s future is clear.
The Government Actuary oversees registered superannuation schemes.
Among other things, the review will consider whether actuarial work done by the office should be contracted out to private sector actuaries. The Government Actuary would manage these contractors.
Rashbrooke opposes that option, arguing any private sector actuary with enough experience to do the job will have life office clients, so faces conflicts of interest.
He also has concerns about experience being lost from the office and that the role of the Government Actuary will be diminished.
Rashbrooke has previously expressed frustration that the structure of the Economic Development Ministry has hampered his ability to influence superannuation policy.
Options for rehousing the office include putting it back into Treasury, or moving it to another body such as the Reserve Bank, the Securities Commission or even the Office of the Retirement Commissioner.
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