Cultural and structural issues are hampering Indigenous people’s ability to engage with superannuation funds, especially when it comes to meeting identification requirements.
A report by the Indigenous Super Summit 2019 said meeting basic identification requirements of super funds – such as a driver’s license of passport – was a key obstacle for Indigenous members needing to access information about their fund and/or process claims.
It also noted that other challenges included:
- Structural hurdles among funds that do not allow Indigenous people to nominate people who are outside their immediate family but within their kinship structure;
- Lost superannuation;
- Access to financial services in rural and remote areas; and
- Lack of internet access.
Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) chief executive, Eva Scheerlinck, said the industry and regulators were working towards standardised identification requirements and binding death nomination forms, but more needed to be done to improve outcomes and achieve consistency across the industry.
“While super fund representatives are working with regulators on an industry approach to some of the bureaucratic issues, there is also a need for greater collaboration between funds and services providers, such as financial counsellors,” she said.