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Retirement

‘Perverse’ super system needs overhaul

By Cameron Micallef · August 22 2019
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Actuaries Insititute
‘Perverse’ super system needs overhaul

‘Perverse’ super system needs overhaul

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By Cameron Micallef · August 22 2019
Reading:
egg
Actuaries Insititute

Superannuation is complex, intrusive, contains anomalies, produces perverse incentives, and sometimes unfair, according to a number of Australia’s leading superannuation and retirement experts.

Actuaries Institute’s newly released “Green Paper” has seen authors Dr David Knox, Dr Anthony Asher and Michael Rice express concern that the nation’s current superannuation system has “obvious” shortcomings.

The paper highlighted that “as an increasing proportion of the population move from the accumulation to the pension phase, problems that beset the system will become more apparent”.

According to Actuaries Institute’s chief executive, Elayne Grace, overhaul is needed to ensure retirees can have access to a regular income stream, savings to cover unexpected expenses, and protection against longevity, inflation and market risks.

She flagged that “the best system would take an integrated view across all sources of income and expenses for retirees”. 

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For her, and reflecting reform suggestions included in the green paper, this includes integration and consideration of the age pension, superannuation, the family home, aged care and health costs.

The system must also be simple enough that retirees who don’t or can’t access financial advice are able to make smarter choices, Ms Grace also reflected. 

The green paper also acknowledged that costs of an ageing population must be shared equitably by the government and taxpayers. 

It also emphasised the need for encouragement to be given to those who can afford to defer consumption to plan for their retirement.

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