Retirement, Superannuation

Retirement key to super objective

retirement objective superannuation

Industry stakeholders believe the proposed legislated objective of super needs to include retirement and must be drafted in a simple manner.

A panel of senior superannuation executives has suggested the proposed legislated objective of superannuation must include the notion of retirement and should be as simple as possible.

Speaking at the recent AFR Super and Wealth Summit 2022 in Sydney, AustralianSuper chief executive Paul Schroder told delegates he was in total support of these two elements.

“The most important thing about the objective is that it’s about retirement. So that’s the single most important thing. And then the next most important thing is to have as few words as possible so we don’t end up in this circular argument about detail,” Schroder said.

“So it’s got to be about retirement – so for me that’s got to have preservation in it, must have preservation in it, should be about an income and should have as few words as humanly possible.”

Specifically, he went further and indicated what he thought the legislated objective of superannuation should be.

“I haven’t drafted on the run too often before, but I think the purpose of superannuation is to deliver retirement incomes to Australians in conjunction with the age pension,” he said.

Fellow panellist Aware Super chief executive Deanne Stewart concurred with the retirement income theme and wanted it to have an element of inclusion as well.

“I think it needs to have retirement income in it and it needs to have [a reference to] every working Australian and the shorter the better,” Stewart said.

Mercer Pacific region president and Australia chief executive David Bryant favoured the most simplistic definition.

“[The objective or purpose of superannuation should be to provide a] dignified retirement,” Bryant noted.

Colonial First State chief executive Kelly Power said she was in agreement with all of the above suggestions.

Schroder also effectively dismissed any need to include the notion of adequacy in the stated objective of superannuation.

Earlier at the event, Assistant Treasurer and Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones confirmed the government is committed to enshrining the objective and purpose of superannuation in law before having any discussions about amending the existing framework.

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