Certainty the missing ingredient in retirement incomes policy

Despite the nay-sayers, Australia has developed a superannuation system which is the envy of many other developed economies but, in many respects, it remains a work in progress especially with respect to post-retirement.

While the superannuation guarantee (SG) regime has served to build Australian superannuation assets to in excess of $3 trillion, it is the decumulation phase which remains a work in progress simply because successive Governments have failed to deliver tax/policy frameworks which are both consistent and conducive.

It is in this environment that over the past decade there has been much talk around the development of post-retirement products in the context of Comprehensive Income Products for Retirement (CIPRs) but, to date, precious few outcomes capable of inspiring companies or superannuation funds to deliver new products.

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And just to complicate the issue, and notwithstanding the discussion around the development of a retirement income covenant, the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has signalled a retirement income system review without, as yet, announcing the terms of reference.

In this Guide to Retirement Income, Money Management seeks to traverse the history of the retirement incomes debate in Australia while drawing upon the views of the major stakeholders on what might eventually evolve.

What is clear from this guide is that many companies operating in the Australian financial services industry are ready, willing and able to deliver new products and services to better equip Australians for their retirements but are reluctant to do so until they fully understand the unfolding regulatory landscape.

That is why whatever the Government has in mind to be achieved from its review should be revealed to the industry as soon as possible.

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