Observations from the Future of Wealth Management Superannuation Conference

Optimum Pensions attended the SuperReview Future of Wealth Management Superannuation Conference held in Melbourne last week. A feature of the event was the calibre of industry experts presenting with plenty of interesting discussion.

The opening keynote was by newly-elected Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg. His full speech from the conference is available on line (here), and it was pleasing he called out the need to encourage better use of accumulated savings to drive a better deal for members and the taxpayer. He echoed one of Optimum Pensions’ key drivers, namely that managing risks in retirement is a different proposition to accumulation and reiterated the Governments support for the retirement income framework that will, amongst other things, require trustees to have products which will provide retirees with income for life.

“[We need] products which will provide retirees with income for life addressing longevity risk.”

Senator Andrew Bragg

Both Andrew Boal, CEO RiceWarner, and Dr Don Russell, Former Chief of Staff to PM Paul Keating and independent director at AustralianSuper, gave strong arguments for better coordination between superannuation policy and Centrelink rules regarding the age pension.  Dr Russell reminded us that the objective of the SGC was to reduce the dependency on the age pension, but it was never envisaged that the proportion of Australians accessing the age pension would fall below 50%.

The issue of insurance came up in a number of sessions with many participants recognising the problems that both the Protect Your Super and Putting Members’ Interests First is trying to solve but both bills leading to unintended consequences. Adam Gee, Head of Strategy at Grow Super, said that “Blanket removal of under 25 insurance is not the best answer. The legislative changes are a bit blunt.”

Overall, it was a good opportunity to come together to hear industry leaders discuss important topics affecting us all. I will leave the final word to Russell Mason, Partner Deloitte: “I’d like to see better post-retirement products.”

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