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Retirement income report delay a letdown

Retirement income report

The government’s failure to share the report on the Retirement Income Review will prevent much-needed industry reform from taking place, the opposition says.

The federal opposition has called for the final report of the Retirement Income Review to be released, highlighting the government’s prolonged delay in sharing the review’s outcomes.

Pointing to the increased need among Australians to be able to access affordable, high-quality financial advice, opposition financial services spokesman Stephen Jones said the government’s failure to share the report’s findings would continue to prevent much-needed industry reform from taking place.

“[W]e call on the government once again to release the findings of the Retirement Income Review. It was announced with great fanfare, it’s been sitting with [the] government for close to two months now,” Jones said today at the Association of Financial Advisers national conference, Vision 2020.

“New policy initiatives in the arrangements and the policy settings of superannuation have been announced in the budget, but still we have not seen the report of the commission of inquiry which was set up to provide a factual basis upon which reforms were going to be made.

“Impartial and affordable retirement income advice should be available to all Australians, including lower-middle income earners with modest retirement savings.”

He also said the budget had fallen short of providing Australians with more clarity in terms of the government’s plan to help the economy recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“[T]he most substantial criticism that we have of the government in the budget they announced last week is not so much the individual decisions, but the fact that there was no clear overarching strategy, no clear overarching vision, for how the government sees Australia emerging from this crisis – of how we’re going to be a better place than what we were when we went into it,” he noted.

“The net consequence of all of this is that at the very time when Australians needed vision and when, I must say, Australians more than ever need quality professional advice, it’s never been harder to get.”

Last month, Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology Jane Hume said the government was likely to release the Retirement Income Review after it handed down the budget and the report would look past the “mythologies” surrounding super.

Earlier this year, Jones said Australians needed increased access to financial advice due to the fact individuals were retiring with more money than ever before as a result of the country’s superannuation system.

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