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April 2012: Pensions and Super - The More it Changes the More it Stays the Same

CrossBorder on Retirement systems: Start with the Right Question if you want the Right Answers.

The Australian superannuation system might well be the envy of many countries struggling with their own retirement responsibilities but that doesn’t make it perfect, nor does it mean the end to getting it right.

Paul Bayfield attended the recent Conference of Major Superannuation Funds (CMSF) in Brisbane to gather the material for April CrossBorder and look at the topic of pension and super funds through a number of selected elements and came to the conclusion that while everything changes a lot of it stays the same.

This was the 22nd CMSF and a lot of the discussion covers a lot of the same ground. The same concerns and the same issues. Sure they have changed in substance, they have matured as issues and problems, but they still remain.

That’s the nature of the beast. To satisfy the need for adequacy the industry’s focus has been on saving and investment, the wealth creation p[arts of the cycle while the actual retirement phase, what to do with it and how to fund what needs to be done has been often placed in the too hard basket..

The Superannuation Guarantee system works very well as a compulsory savings system and there is every reason to believe it will work well as further maturity and universality leads too greater degrees of adequacy, but that will happen by due process, eroded only by circumstance and in some cases management. What’s lacking still is a plan. Something Sharan Burrow notes with disdain about Europe, but it is no less important in Australia.

Read full transcript or add your voice.

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