Super board changes stymied as crossbenchers oppose bill

THE Senate crossbench has killed the Turnbull government's hopes of reforming the boards of the member-owned superannuation funds.

Senators Nick Xenophon, Jacqui Lambie, Glenn Lazarus and John Madigan confirmed on Wednesday they would join the Labor party in opposing the bill.

The proposed laws would have required an "independent" chairman or woman to head member-owned super funds and forced the funds to ensure at least three other members were also "independent". Both moves have been criticised as an effort to reduce the influence of unions on the boards of the funds.

The senators said they could not support the laws in the current form and called on the government to withdraw the bill as the industry was about to review its governance.

Former Reserve Bank governor Bernie Fraser will lead the review, which has been commissioned by Industry Super Australia and the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees.