Over the past few decades, the superannuation industry has seen a complete turnaround, with the make-up and environment of the industry and its players shifting dramatically. Greg Sword and the creation of the Labour Union Co-operative Retirement Fund (LUCRF) Super in 1978 as Australia's first industry fund played an important role in this process as the industry's priorities and policies radically changed.
These days, LUCRF Super provides consistently competitive returns and excellent service to more than 180,000 members. Greg Sword has served as CEO for the past eight years, and this year he announced his retirement from LUCRF, with Charles Donnelly, former general secretary of the National Union of Workers, taking over as CEO in June.
As Charles assumes responsibility for a company that has seen sustainable and steady success, Greg says that its been a hard road to get to where it is today. "Back then, I was studying engineering at Swinburne University and I was active in the Labor party, after joining in 1968. I became the national president of Young Labor and I was quite active in the Victorian branch. I was offered an opportunity to come and work for the Federated Storemen and Packers Union in 1974, so I accepted the offer and started working there."
My policy interests led me to think about superannuation. At that stage in the development of superannuation policy, people felt that the most appropriate way forward was for a national superannuation scheme run by the government. I had a more advanced view about the realities of the existing scheme, and that was really proven to me as I worked as a union organiser.