A Study on Industry Superannuation in Australia: Risk Disclosure and pre-Global Financial Crisis
The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which the statutory accounts of industry superannuation funds reported risk in 2007, required by the new Australian accounting standard AASB 7-Financial Instruments: Disclosures. This study tests our selected methodologies to measure risk disclosure. The sample was randomly selected on the list of industry superannuation funds published by APRA. In 2007, there were 74 industry superannuation funds. However, the detailed data published showed only the largest 58 industry super funds. Our sample was 44 industry super funds and the response rate was 59 per cent. The findings indicated the trend of low levels of risk disclosure for 2007, the year before the onset of the Global Financial Crisis. The study is limited as the data was collected using email requests for published financial data. This paper should also be of interest to the professional community as it investigates primary financial data that is ‘tightly held’ by superannuation funds, that is, data that is not readily available on websites. This research will contribute toward determining if AASB 7 has improved the quality of financial data available to fund members and other interested external parties.
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