BENDIGO’S library is the latest to be hit with “unfair” superannuation costs.
The Goldfields Library Corporation, which manages libraries in Bendigo, Castlemaine, Gisborne, Kyneton, Pyramid Hill, Romsey and Woodend, will have to find $700,000 to cover its share of a shortfall in the Local Authorities defined benefits scheme.
The superannuation scheme provides those who joined councils between 1947 and 1993 with a fixed super return on retirement, no matter how bad the investment returns are.
Any shortfall between what is owed and what the investments returned is paid by the council or oganisation they were employed with.
The City of Greater Bendigo must find $10.3 million by the end of the financial year for its own staff.
Instead of finding the money, Bendigo has vowed to fight the rules of the fund which requires it to be fully funded.
Being fully funded means there must be enough money available in case every employee retires at the same time, an unlikely event.
City of Greater Bendigo mayor Alec Sandner said enough is enough.
“It is absurd that councils and libraries are forced to regularly top up this fund when other levels of government are happily operating under different rules,” he said.
Council wrote to relevant state and federal members in July asking them to change the rules so, like state and federal schemes, it doesn’t have to be fully funded.“We have received polite responses acknowledging receipt of our letters and that is nice, but what is really needed here is some decisive action,” Cr Sandner said.
“Councils help fund our libraries in the hope the money is spent on books, computers and other library services.
”We fully understand there are staff costs associated with this, but this particular superannuation impost is unfair and means there is less money to spend on improving library services.”
More on this story in Friday's Bendigo Weekly.