The federal government has indicated it would like to see increased competition across all segments of the superannuation industry in order to improve the retirement savings outcomes for all Australians.
Speaking at The Tax Institute National Superannuation Conference in Melbourne today, Assistant Treasurer and Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones told delegates: “I think competition in the system is important because it creates competitive tension that drives innovation and gives consumers options if they’re not happy with the state of affairs that they’re experiencing in one fund.
“When I talk about competition I mean [across the industry], whether it’s the retail sector, whether it’s the profit-to-member sector, whether it’s the SMSF sector, [and] we need high performance across the lot.
“[This will mean] members have options which meet their needs and that they’re all performing well, and that they are appropriately and well regulated to deliver for their members and that there is continual innovation going on between them.
“[Some people may say] obviously he’s got a bias towards the industry superannuation, not-for-profit sector, [but] I think each of the sectors have a fair bit they can learn from each other, particularly around that member service piece.”
Fund high performance was another element Jones identified could benefit from increased competition within the system.
“Nailing the high performance [aspect] and keeping pressure on the high performance is important. Benchmarking has a role to play in that [and] other competitive pressures do as well,” he said.
He also took the time to reiterate the need for improvement among superannuation funds in one specific area of member services.
“Where we’re not anywhere where we need to be is in retirement income [services], retirement income products, retirement income options, and advice and information on that piece,” he said.
“So I want to see a significant shift in that area.”