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Global gamble costs super fund $5000 per member

Wednesday, December 4th 2002, 7:57PM

The Green Party has slammed the performance of the Government Superannuation Authority in managing to lose almost $400 million in overseas sharemarket speculation.

The financial review of the Authority revealed that in its first eleven months of operation it has lost $388 million on its foreign sharemarket investment, a loss of 29 per cent on the $1.323 billion invested. When spread across the 74,464 members of the fund that averages out at $5210 per member.

"I can’t believe that every other party in Parliament is satisfied with the performance of the Authority," said Green Co-leader Rod Donald, who has filed a hard-hitting minority report on the debacle.

"Instead of calling the Authority to account for gambling away the savings of the retired public servants the rest of the committee has accepted pathetic excuses for losing what in anyone’s terms is an enormous sum of money."

The Green Party was critical of the Labour Government’s decision to change the fund’s investment strategy last year, claiming it would be foolish to shift the $3.5 billion fund out of Government bonds and on to the sharemarket.

"Unfortunately our concerns have been vindicated," Donald says.

"What’s worse is that the Government remains determined to follow the same investment strategy for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, which we believe will lead to even more disastrous results.

"In our view it would be more sensible to meet the retirement needs of future superannuitants by investing right now in our young people and in environmentally sustainable infrastructure rather than taking a punt on the overseas share market.

Read the full Select Committee report HERE

This is a press release from Greens co-leader Rod Donald.

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