Joint super accounts mooted

The Federal Government should consider allowing married couples to have joint superannuation accounts, according to actuarial consultancy, Rice Warner.

The consultancy has used its pre-Budget submission to argue the case for joint super accounts, including that it would deliver higher levels of engagement while, at the same time, reducing the number of superannuation accounts.

"We could reduce the number of superannuation accounts by several million," the submission argued. "If half of all couples exercised the option, there would be a reduction of 3.5 million accounts or 12 per cent of all accounts."

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As well, it said that retirement benefit projects provided by superannuation funds would likely be more accurate and members would get a better picture of how they were tracking to retirement.

Rice Warner also argued that should a move would also help to reduce the female retirement savings shortfall as couples would plan their retirement finances together.

"The simplified structure for couples, combined with Member Direct investments now offered by several funds, would provide many of the benefits of a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF)," the submission said. "This might appeal to those members who want the flexibility but not the responsibility of running an SMSF."

"An SMSF would have a simpler process too. Where both partners of a couple are the only members, the accounts would be much simplified as they wouldn't need separate annual statements."

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