Book Review: Keating’s & Kelty Super Legacy

Enock Chiyangwa gives a synopsis of the recently launched book by, Mary Easson, a former politician and respected executive in the superannuation industry.

 About the Author

Mary Easson, active for over four decades in the Victoria, Queensland and NSW of the ALP, knew well all of the leading architects of the Australia’s modern superannuation system. Serving as an MP in Paul Keating’s government she saw the vital importance of the leadership translating into solid policy for the public good.

Post politics, Mary served on the board of Australia’s largest insurance company, chairing its Risk management and Audit committee. Through her business Probity International she has advised listed and unlisted international and Australian companies. She graduated with a Master of Philosophy from the school of business at the University of NSW. She was Chair of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Research into Retirement Policy and Management, the Sydney Business School.


Mary Easson vividly chronicles the conception and evolution of the Superannuation system in Australia. Highlighting the significance of two characters, Keating and Kelty, Mary unravels the behind the scenes shenanigans that laid the foundation to what is now a world renowned retirement income stream phenomenon.

Hon Peter Collins AM QC, Chair, Industry Super Australia aptly states the following about this book, ‘‘Universal superannuation for all working Australians has taken this nation from the middle order to be the envy of the world in just 25 years. Driven by then Treasurer Paul Keating and ACTU Secretary Bill Kelty, compulsory super now stands as one of the great innovations since Federation. Yet most Australians know little about the origins of what has become a distinguishing national emblem. This book does much to tell that proud story.”

Let’s take a look inside

Contents include Chapters on

  • Significance of the Accord for Superannuation
  • The Building Industry Breakthrough
  • Legislating for Permanency
  • Troubles Ahead 
  • Appendices covering Major Superannuation Funds, Industrial Relations, and Related Changes over 40 years
  • Significant Asset Consultants;
  • Major Superannuation Industry Associations; 
  • Superannuation Jargon Made Easy;
  • Biographies of Key Persons Plus References & an Index

Notable quotes

“Once I go in to bat for you, I don’t care what these people say,”-former Treasure & Prime Minister Paul Keating.

 “…we’ve got the chance in history. This is your great chance. This is the night you’ll remember. This is the night that we are going to create national superannuation for everybody.”-Bill Kelty, ACTU

Takeaway for the Actuary

If you want to know how the “Australian Super Journey” began then this book will surely quench your thirst for knowledge. After reading this timeless piece you can expect to be more enriched in your understanding of how the superannuation system that has become a national emblem was intricately crafted into existence.  

You can buy Mary’s book here.

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