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Advice reform step a giant leap for Australians' retirement outcomes

07 December 2023
 

Government reforms to improve the accessibility of financial advice will help more Australians achieve their best possible retirement, Aware Super says.

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High-quality support and advice is crucial if more Australians are to prepare for retirement with confidence.

Aware Super has congratulated the Albanese Government on committing to pragmatic action to increase the accessibility of financial advice, providing vital support to millions of Australians planning their retirement.

Aware Super Chief Executive Officer Deanne Stewart said allowing superannuation funds to provide more advice to their members would add a much-needed additional source of financial advice for hundreds of thousands of super members who do not want or need comprehensive advice.

“The reforms announced by Minister Jones this morning are a crucial extension to the advice services super funds can offer their members today,” Ms Stewart said.

“These important reforms enable us to significantly increase the scale at which we can provide safe, accessible and high-quality financial advice to the five million Australians in or nearing retirement.

“We’re especially pleased to see the important role of nudges – proactively pointing members towards steps they can take to improve their retirement outcomes – recognised in the reforms announced today.

“Nudges will be a cornerstone of digital advice solutions as Aware Super, and the wider superannuation industry, increasingly harnesses the power of data and generative AI to deliver smarter and increasingly sophisticated digital advice solutions to members.”

With Aware Super having one of the largest cohorts of retired members, Ms Stewart said the reforms maintained meaningful consumer protections, including the best financial interests duty, whilst also recognising the need to streamline advice services to make them more accessible to the members who want them.

“We have undertaken extensive research with our members to understand the best way we can support them in planning for and transitioning to retirement.”

“They’ve told us, consistently, that they want to feel like they’re in control of that journey. But they need high-quality information and advice they can depend on to help them make those decisions with confidence – and importantly, they need and expect their super fund to provide that support.

“We are particularly pleased to see the creation of a new category of advice providers, which will allow super funds to expand the advice we provide to our members today.

“There are many simple questions that we should be able to answer for members without having to make them book an advice appointment, so we can help more Australians to better understand, and better manage, their superannuation.

“With 25,000 Aware Super members expected to retire each year, and many more planning for it, we clearly see the opportunity to do more to provide the personalised advice our members are looking for, supporting them through the emotional and financial transition into retirement.

“Making it easier to provide high-quality personalised help, at the time people need it, is crucial to increasing engagement with superannuation and helping all our members to achieve their best possible retirement.”

 

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