Advocating for members

AustralianSuper seeks to advocate sustainable and equitable public policy in superannuation and financial services. To this end we engage in advocacy liaison and write public submissions to Government and Regulators such as APRA, ASIC and the ATO.  We also work in industry associations such as Industry Super Australia, Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees, Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, and on occasion the Financial Services Council and the SMSF Association.

Louise du Pre-Alba is AustralianSuper’s Strategic Policy Advocate as part of Product Brand & Reputation. Louise is the Deputy President of the Board and member of the Policy Committee of AIST, the Policy Working Group of ISA, and the Consumer and Industry Outcomes Policy Council of ASFA and provides AustralianSuper’s views to those organisations through those avenues.

The purpose of super

In 2016 after 25 years of compulsory super the industry and government was looking to define the purpose of super - the intention being that if the purpose of super is agreed in law then it will form the basis for future decision making. 

AustralianSuper believes that the purpose of super is “to provide adequate retirement incomes for Australians to improve quality of life in retirement”.

Policy submissions

Our submissions strategically target four ‘system-level’ policy drivers which determine the adequacy, efficiency, integrity and sustainability of Australia’s superannuation scheme. We advocate to strengthen each driver to ensure that we continue to have a world-leading superannuation system that contributes towards the ability of members to achieve their best retirement outcome. 

Adequacy

Ensuring that the policy settings in superannuation are designed to make it most likely to achieve adequate funds for retirement.

Although the government age pension prevents extreme poverty, it is not necessarily enough to support a comfortable lifestyle – especially for those who are not home owners in retirement. Adequacy includes both the overall quantum of retirement savings, as well as longevity – the length of time superannuation funds last in retirement. Adequacy must be included in the objectives of the superannuation system so that our retirement system delivers a financially secure and dignified retirement.

Efficiency

Ensuring that the policy settings in superannuation enable the most efficient cost structures in provision of funds for retirement.

Costs are one of the most important determinants of the long run efficiency of the superannuation system. Policy settings that assist to reduce the cost of compliance and variable costs or support lower operational expense to net asset ratios are important to superannuation system sustainability.

Integrity

Ensuring that the policy settings in superannuation promote the best interests of consumers. 

The best outcome for superannuants can only be achieved through system integrity. This refers to the interplay between appropriate regulatory settings, an industry regulator, trustee fiduciary responsibility, oversight and accountability to members, as well as competitive pressure. System integrity also encompasses transparency, robust governance frameworks and consumer protection measures.

Sustainability

Ensuring that the policy settings in superannuation give rise to a system does not favour one generation over another. 

An ageing Australian population will increasingly place pressure on federal governments to fund the aged pension. The ability to support a larger proportion of the population over the age of 65 will test the sustainability of current superannuation policies. To ensure less future reliance on the government aged pension, it will be important to ensure that the superannuation system is based on a clearly stated objective, provides the right incentives to save, is equitable and flexible enough to ensure all working Australians are given the opportunity to enjoy a fulfilling retirement.






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