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Tax aware investment management by public offer superannuation funds in Australia: Attitudes, practices and expectations


The Superannuation Industry Supervision Act 1993 (Cth) (the SIS Act) has been amended from 1 July 2013 to require the trustees of Australian superannuation funds to have regard and consider the taxation consequences of their investment strategy. In spite of the literature strongly supporting the benefits of taking tax into account when investing (Tax Aware Investment Management, TAIM) by funds, the extent to which negative perceptions existed about TAIM were unclear. This study was directed at exploring the attitudes, practices and expectations of Chief Investment Officers (CIOs) of public offer superannuation funds in respect of TAIM and in the context of the recent reform. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 CIOs. It was found that they rejected all negative reasons for not utilising TAIM. More importantly, the CIOs were supportive of TAIM and felt that any views to the contrary were not theirs. The CIOs did already practice limited TAIM methods with respect to Capital Gains Tax and imputation credits, and they expected little change in the way that they manage their funds from 1 July 2013.

Author profiles

Gordon Mackenzie CTA
Gordon Mackenzie BSc LLB, LLM, Grad Dip Securities Analysis, CTA, F Fin, CA. Gordon is the convenor of the Master of Tax (Tax and Financial Planning) in the Tax School at UNSW, as well as teaching three superannuation regulation and tax subjects into the Master of Financial Planning run by the Banking and Finance School. He is also Director of the UNSW SMSF Specialisation for CA ANZ and CPA Australia, which has completed 600 candidates in 4 years. Before becoming an academic he was Global Tax Director at AMP Ltd and before that was their Technical Services Director with a staff of 30 professionals Australia wide servicing 3000+ advisers. As a lawyer for AMP Ltd he was responsible for the licensing of some of their licensed subsidiaries such as Hillross ltd - Current at 23 February 2017
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Prof Margaret McKerchar
Margaret is a Professor Australian School of Business, School of Taxation and Business Law, The University of New South Wales. - Current at 01 May 2014
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