Superannuation funds can play a major role in the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by investing in infrastructure and raising capital for Australian companies but policy certainty is needed, according to Rest.
The industry super fund’s chief executive, Vicki Doyle, said in order to invest in infrastructure and raise capital, it was critical that super funds had stable policy settings as any uncertainty would constrain the ability to invest for the long-term.
“It’s important that a short-term approach to the current crisis does not create a longer-term crisis for Australia’s retirement savings. If members’ super is regularly called upon to provide short-term fiscal support to the economy, it changes the way we invest on behalf of our members. We would need to consider shorter-term investment horizons and different asset allocations,” Doyle said.
“With policy certainty, there is a greater opportunity for our members to benefit from investments that also support Australia’s economic development and recovery.”
Doyle noted that Rest had $8 billion invested in Australian infrastructure assets including airports, pipelines and renewable power generation, and was a long-term investor in the agricultural sector.
She also said that since the Government’s early access to super scheme for members in financial hardship due to the pandemic had begun, the fund had paid on average 8,500 applications, or $60 million per business day.