Innovating Financial Products for Retirement

Ever since the introduction of Australian Life Tables by the Australian Government Actuary in the 1880s, the longevity of Australians has been consistently improving.

Fast forward a century to the 1980s and the introduction of compulsory superannuation and a different type of commentary around the aging of the Australian population began. Today the debate has expanded to focus on the key issues of how to manage the improvements in longevity and fund the extra years in retirement. I believe we are ready for a new type of debate – and one that focuses on the overall retirement income strategy for Australians. Something that may be a departure from the existing norm.

I think this is most clearly represented recently with the final report from the Financial System Inquiry. In a nutshell: “Superannuation assets are not efficiently converted into retirement incomes due to a lack of risk pooling and an over reliance on account based pensions. This contributes to a lower standard of living for Australians in retirement”. While account based pensions play an important part of the retirement income strategy for many Australians, they are only one part of the solution.

Although this vital part of the debate has only started recently, there is good news on the horizon. The Government has moved to change the legislation to allow more flexible retirement solutions and is actively encouraging superannuation funds and insurers to be innovative in the development of new products.

The Government has called these possible solutions Comprehensive Income Products for Retirement (CIPRs) or MyRetirement products.

Transformation is core to this journey and the development of new products builds new pathways to retirement. Based on my extensive understanding of Australia’s superannuation industry – and my insights as an Actuary – I have assembled a team of innovators to develop a ground-breaking lifetime income product: The Real Lifetime Pension.

A Real Lifetime Pension has been developed for superannuation funds to help members address longevity risk while providing higher performance than current lifetime annuities on the market and an income that broadly keeps pace with inflation.

Funds can integrate the Real Lifetime Pension into their member offerings to enable a range of high performance retirement income streams including products that will have the ability to provide CIPR-compliant solutions.

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