Default funds again a focus for Fed Gov’t

Making her first official address as Federal Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, Senator Jane Hume has reinforced that the Morrison Government intends to continue its focus on putting member outcomes front and centre.

Speaking at the Bloomberg BuySide Forum in Sydney today, Hume reinforced that “superannuation savings belong to members” and that “as a Government, our first obligation must be to deliver better member outcomes [and] more money in retirement”.

This meant more efficiency from funds and lower costs for members which, of course, were already a focus for regulators pre-Federal Election following last year’s Productivity Commission (PC) report and Banking Royal Commission hearings.

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The Minister noted “some significant crossover” between the PC report and existing Government policy and recently-passed legislation, which she admitted had “quite naff names”, saying that the Commission’s recommendations for improving outcomes for default members were currently being considered in Canberra.

For industry super funds, this could be a worrying sign that discussions of the PC’s controversial ’10 best in trade’ default fund list could be once again on the table.

Hume also reminded the Forum that the Government’s prior focus on both consumers and the regulator was still in force post-Election, saying that it would soon be consulting on the introduction of the Superannuation Consumer Advocate and that its productivity report into the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) was “nearly done”.

Finally, she signalled that the Government was “positively disposed” to a review into the retirement income system.

“Normal people, regular people, experience financial myopia,” she said, meaning they don’t look to their future financial needs. “It’s incumbent on the Government then, to make sure that the compulsory system is working in the best interests of members, first and foremost.”



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