Focus on retirement phase needed

5 February 2020

The superannuation system has been too focused on the accumulation and the Retirement Income Review needs to address the retirement phase, according to the SMSF Association.

In a submission to the review, the association said a significant portion of self-managed super fund (SMSF) members were now navigating retirement and were responsible for almost half of the income benefit payments in the super system, and almost half of all the voluntary contributions in the super sector.

SMSF Association chief executive, John Maroney, said: “Their widespread use, effectiveness and uniqueness to the retirement income system should not be underestimated when assessing the retirement income system and the positive retirement outcomes that have resulted for SMSF members”.

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The association noted that the review needed to set facts on which policies could be built as retirement income debates were repeatedly conducted on the same issues without resolution. It said, for example, the level of the super guarantee debate had stifled informed policy making.

The submission also said the review needed to encourage governments to remove super policy from the annual budget policy cycle to promote stability, competition, and efficiency.

“Dealing with regulatory change and uncertainty is commonly cited as the number one area of concern for SMSF trustees and advisers. The association believes that a successful retirement income system requires superannuation to be simplified,” it said.

“It is essential that the objective not only has a focus on providing retirement income but also ensures that retirees are able to build adequate retirement savings through the superannuation system to manage the financial risks of ageing and retirement.”

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