Banksia victim's super loss scuttles retirement plans

FOR Barbara Richards, the collapse of Banksia Securities last month  means she will be working longer before retirement.

Ms Richards, aged in her mid-50s, set up her self-managed superannuation fund with Banksia about eight years ago because it offered an opportunity to support the south-west economy.

“The interest rate was not my main concern,” she said. “I wanted to help local farmers and business, to help young ones get a house.”

Banksia’s collapse last week has not only forced her to rue her altruistic motives, it means she has to start again with retirement plans.

Ms Richards, of Warrnambool, has since set up another self-managed superannuation fund with a major bank and believes she will be working for more years than she intended before she can retire.

“I’m nearly too old to start again,” she said.

Ms Richards, who works in cleaning services, had invested “a substantial amount of money” in term deposits and first mortgages with Banksia and thought they were stable investments.

She is critical of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for not scrutinising the company more closely.

She had to pay ASIC an annual registration fee each year for the company she had to set up for her self-managed superannuation fund and believes ASIC was taking her money without doing its job.

She worked hard to have a self-managed fund to avoid being a burden on taxpayers in retirement and her superannuation should have been protected, Ms Richards said.

Banksia’s collapse not only hit Ms Richards’ superannuation fund, it has also frozen three trust funds she had set up with Banksia for her grandchildren.

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