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Superannuation was made compulsory for all working Australians by the Keating Government in 1992.


A special compensation mechanism was established in Australia after Robert Maxwell and his sons stole £454 million from the employees’ pension funds of the Mirror Newspaper Group in the United Kingdom in the early 1990s.

Details of the Robert Maxwell Pension Funds Scandal can be found here.

It is important to note that Robert Maxwell and his sons did not execute any fraudulent Deeds of Variation for the purpose defrauding the employees and their widows out of their lawful pension entitlements.

The sons, Ian and Kevin, maintained after the death of their father, that the intention was always to repay the “misappropriated‘ funds once the financial fortunes of the Maxwell companies improved. A jury believed this claim in the absence of any fraudulent Deeds of Variation and Ian and Kevin were acquitted of charges that they had been parties to a conspiracy to defraud the employees and their widows.

Although superannuation was and is not compulsory in the United Kingdom and the UK Government had not PROMISED compensation to victims of pension fund fraud, the Government of the day nevertheless felt morally obliged to make substantial compensation payments so as to ensure the employees and their widows received their lawful pension entitlements.

Compensation Mechanism

In Australia compensation is not paid from consolidated revenue but from a special funding mechanism pursuant to the Superannuation (Financial Assistance Funding) Levy Act 1993.

The Leader of the Opposition , the Hon Bill Shorten MP, when he was the Minister Responsible for Superannuation, used this mechanism to make compensation payments of $55 million to the victims of the Trio Capital Superannuation Fraud.

The Media Release made by Mr Shorten in 2011 can be found here.
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This tab updated on 18 March 2015