Media Release: Superannuation - 30 Nov 2015

Simple revolution for Australian super needed – Community Council for Australia says innovative French program should be adopted to create billions of dollars for projects that have a social impact – and CCA says it is easy to do.

Community Council for Australia (which represents over 600,000 not-for-profits and 60,000 registered charities) calls for the Government to adopt an extraordinary and highly successful French initiative … which has created billions of dollars for not-for-profits carrying out projects that create social impact.

Tim Costello – Chair of CCA – says the revolutionary French superannuation program allows all employees to choose to have a very small percentage of their super contributions put into projects that have a positive social impact (and a solid financial return).

The French program – which started slowly – has grown by a huge 800% in just 5 years.  In 2008 it was putting $700 million into projects that have a positive impact on people’s lives … now the money being generated is an enormous $5.5 billion (2013) and growing.

CEO of Community Council for Australia – David Crosbie – says no government money is needed to change the Australian system.  He highlights if just 2% of Australian “MySuper” investments were going into social projects with a positive social impact, a massive $8.5 billion will be generated.  He says whether the money is put into jobs, social housing, health or many projects that impact on people’s lives, it’s obvious this inspirational French idea is a great move.

David Crosbie highlights Australians now have $430 billion invested in “MySuper” products (up $75 billion in just the past 12 months).  There is over $2 trillion invested in the total superannuation pool – the third highest level of super investments in the world.  If 2% of total superannuation was invested in social benefit it would amount to $40 billion.

STORY IN FULL:  Australia needs to adopt a revolutionary and groundbreaking superannuation program that has now been operating in France for over a decade and has created extraordinary results … and billions of dollars for projects that have a positive social impact (and a worthwhile financial return).

David Crosbie – who heads up Community Council for Australia (CCA) and the Reverend Tim Costello – who Chairs CCA – say the French 90/10 super program is producing amazing results and is very easy to apply to Australia.

The program was established in 2001 … giving all French people with super the opportunity to have up to 10% of their super invested into organisations having a strong social impact and a solid financial return.

David Crosbie highlights whilst the program started slowly, it suddenly gathered incredible momentum in 2008 once all superannuation products had to provide the option of a solidarity investment, and now the so called ‘Solidarity Fund’ has grown a massive 800% in just 5 years.  He points out the super investment in France has not damaged returns and is ultimately a small amount of the overall investment.

Put another way, back in 2008 $700 million of super was being put into projects that help people in some way … now it’s an incredible $5.5 billion (2013) and growing.

David Crosbie said, “This is so easy to apply to Australia.  A few small changes would allow Australians to put a small percentage of their super into projects that are making a difference and showing a clear financial return.  The fact is we are talking about very small commitments that add up to huge money. ”

Community Council for Australia highlights if just 2% of Australia’s “MySuper” products was invested in projects having a positive social impact (and positive return), then a massive $8.5 billion would be instantly created.  David Crosbie says this would be money to make a huge difference to many people’s lives – and none of the funds would be coming from government.

David Crosbie said, “Imagine $8.5 billion going into public housing in Australia?  That’s not a pipe dream.  By adopting this incredible concept, it could happen.  At least 50,000 new places in affordable housing could be created in one year.”

David Crosbie highlights $2 trillion is currently invested in super in Australia and $428 billion is being put into “MySuper” products (the 116 approved super products that exist in Australia).  Contributions to all super funds with over 4 members went up in Australia by over $100 billion in just the past 12 months alone.

Community Council for Australia represents charities and not-for-profits across the nation.  The sector now employs close to 1 million Australians a year … with a turnover of $100 billion annually.  It employs 9% of the entire Australian workforce.  Australia has 600,000 not-for-profits and 60,000 registered charities.

Tim Costello – Chair of Community Council for Australia – said, “What an incredible idea.  It’s revolutionary and easy to adapt.  This would have an enormous impact for not-for-profits and communities across the nation.  It would create billions of dollars of new investment into the sector.  It’s very simple too, and it is really simply about providing an option that currently does not exist.”

“Our not-for-profit sector would then have increased capacity.  More money to invest in innovation.  More money to enable economically marginalised people to build equity in property and their communities.  More jobs, more money going into education and more money for healthcare.”

David Crosbie added, “Imagine the vision of charities and not-for-profits being able to serve communities in a bigger way and strengthen those communities.  The Prime Minister and Treasurer have clearly said nothing is off the table.  Let’s move now because this is a clear template for a revolution that Australia desperately needs.”

David Crosbie said, “We can unquestionably learn a huge amount from the French when it comes to super.  In France individuals and organisations are hooked up around common principles of democratic governance and community involvement.”

“No-one in France foresaw – back in 2001 – that this ‘Solidarity Fund’ concept would grow so huge.  In anyone’s language, an 800% increase in just 5 years tells the clear story.  It’s a cost effective idea, getting money into projects that need it that show a clear return.  Vive la France.”

“The key – as shown in France – is to give employees an option to put some of their super funds into social benefit.  Given this option, many employees are happy to invest a small percentage of their super into achieving real benefits for the community.  It needs to be an option in every ‘My Super’ fund for this to work.”

Media enquiries to:  Ross Woodward on 03 9769 6488

David Crosbie and Tim Costello are available for interviews at different times – on request.


  • The French 90/10 rule is a groundbreaking approach to superannuation investment.
  • The so called ‘Solidarity Fund’ grew slowly when initially launched in 2001.
  • Employees can choose (it is a choice) to have up to 10% of their super put into projects that have a positive social impact (and are obviously showing a financial return).
  • The French super program is revolutionary … and has grown at an extraordinary pace in recent years.
  • In 2008, $700 million was being generated for projects with a social impact … now it’s an amazing $5.5 billion (AUD).
  • It has grown 800% in five years … and is still growing.
  • “MySuper” funds are the default funds employers can pay into on behalf of their employees – they are not the total superannuation pool, but represent 116 approved retail superannuation products commonly used by employers for payment of the compulsory super deductions on behalf of employees.
  • If 2% of the total superannuation pool was invested in social benefit it would amount to $40 billion
  • Community Council for Australia represents 600,000 not-for-profits and 60,000 registered charities – turning over $100 billion in Australia and employing 9% of our workforce.
  • CCA CEO David Crosbie says if just 2% of Australia’s My Super investment went into projects that have a social impact (and a solid return) this generates over $8 billion.
  • None of this money would come from government.
  • He uses the example of housing pointing out $8 billion would buy 25,000 new affordable homes for 50,000 people who can’t afford accommodation … a great investment of the money (and just 2% of all super).
  • $428 billion is now invested in ‘My Super’ products in Australia (the 116 approved super products for most employers and employees.
  • The amount of money going into “MySuper”products has grown by $78 billion in the last 12 months according to David Crosbie.

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