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Almost all private sector superannuation funds are regulated by the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth) ("SISA"). These are called regulated funds. Funds operated by Commonwealth, state and local government bodies, and by public sector bodies established by statute, are often not regulated. Funds with less than five members (exempt funds) are exempt from many of the regulatory requirements.

The SISA (and many statutes controlling public sector bodies) controls the way in which trustees exercise their power. For example, it ensures that each regulated fund trustee must covenant to act in a way that a person who felt morally obliged to provide for a beneficiary would act.

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