Wednesday, 20 0ctober 2021
Aware Super has welcomed the Government’s draft legislation on the proposed Retirement Income Covenant, saying it will better position the superannuation industry to meet the needs of all retirees.
The proposed changes would ensure all funds prioritised retirement income strategies, Aware Super said.
However, the Fund said, the industry still needed the right policy settings to allow funds to provide appropriate, personalised help, guidance and support to members as they planned and moved through retirement.
In its submission to Treasury on the draft legislation, Aware Super said it was critical funds were able to tailor their approach to the individual needs of members in order to deliver the best retirement outcomes.
Aware Super Chief Executive Officer, Deanne Stewart, said the Fund agreed with the objectives of the Retirement Income Covenant, which would help superannuation funds deliver the services and products most suited to all their members.
”The proposed legislation is a positive development for the super industry and we look forward to Parliament passing the final legislation as soon as possible,” Ms Stewart said.
”In everybody’s superannuation journey, the retirement phase is absolutely critical. After all, ensuring that members have dignity in retirement is the whole point of the super system. And yet, for too long, the retirement phase has been the poor cousin of the accumulation phase.
”It’s pleasing that the importance of the retirement phase will now be recognised in legislation as all super funds have a responsibility to help their members get the best possible outcomes, not only as they plan for retirement, but as they live it too.”
Aware Super has $150 billion in funds under management, including more than $30 billion in retirement phase.
In its submission, the Fund said there was an opportunity to accelerate consideration around the scope to provide members with personalised help, advice and guidance.
It acknowledged those issues would be considered as part of the upcoming Quality of Advice Review, and suggested this review consider how intrafund advice could be better used to deliver high-quality, affordable advice to members.
Aware Super also encouraged the Government to give priority consideration to regulations that made it easier for funds to offer meaningful, consistent information to every member, through tools such as enhanced calculators and income projections.
”Members who receive tailored advice that takes into account their individual circumstances can plan for their retirement with much more confidence, and get the most out of it,” Ms Stewart said.
”When it comes to retirement, you can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. The proposed Retirement Income Covenant acknowledges that, but we’d also like to have the framework in place to provide more support to all members as they approach and enter retirement.
”Most members won’t need full, comprehensive advice to achieve a better retirement. But the right help at the right time really can make all the difference.
”We strongly believe that all super members should have access to quality, affordable, tailored help to support them to feel confident to spend their savings in retirement.
”To deliver on this, it is critical there is greater clarity around the scope to provide intrafund advice and other less complex support services.”
For a copy of the Aware Super submission please email email@example.com.