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ASFA in Focus April 2023

Research and submissions | International Policy Update | Media | Events and Learning

Government and regulator interaction

ASFA has been advocating for changes to be made to address Member Identification concerns and Fraud Risk in Superannuation as a result of the growing risk of detrimental impacts to individual members and increased compensation costs borne across the membership because of identity theft and fraud.

ASFA has also been advocating for the Government to prioritise implementing those recommendations in the Quality of Advice (QoA) Final Report that will support a reduction in regulatory red tape.

The ASFA Secretariat met with Treasury to discuss the Government’s objective of superannuation consultation, during which ASFA outlined the key elements of its submission and received an update from Treasury on the consultation process.


Research and submissions

ASFA provided a submission to APRA in response to the consultation on Superannuation transfer planning: Proposed enhancements. ASFA’s submission was broadly supportive of the general intent of the Discussion Paper, of trustees being prepared for transfers. The submission did however call out the need to balance the costs of complying with any obligations against any benefit obtained, to ensure that the requirements are in the best financial interests of the members of the fund.

ASFA also provided a submission on the Discussion Paper: Financial resources for risk events in superannuation . The submission was supportive of the general intent of the Discussion Paper to promote more ongoing use of the Operational Risk Component (ORC) of the Operational Risk Financial Requirement (ORFR), including expanding the allowable uses to include investigations, remediations and mitigation-related activities to address operational risk within a fund/product

ASFA provided a submission to Treasury on legislating the objective of superannuation. ASFA is strongly committed to the formalisation of an objective for superannuation in legislation that reflects the core purpose of the system in providing an adequate income to ensure all Australians achieve a comfortable or dignified standard of living in retirement. ASFA is pleased the proposed objective is closely aligned to the direction of ASFA’s advocacy position on this issue in recent years.


International policy update

President Macron’s Government has pushed its unpopular pension reforms through the French Parliament. To improve the sustainability of France’s public pension system, which is one of the most costly in Europe, the reforms raise the retirement age gradually from age 62 to 64 by 2030. Without having an absolute majority in the lower house, the only clear path for Macron was to circumvent a full lower-house vote – and so trigger a no-confidence motion against his government. While Macron’s Government has narrowly survived two subsequent no-confidence votes, mass public protests in opposition to the reforms have continued.

The Spanish Government is also seeking to improve the sustainability of its public pension system. Like France, Spain’s pension expenditure is relatively high – at around 12% of GDP. While previous pension reforms (in 2011) raised the retirement age to 65, other changes are required. In contrast to France, the new Spanish reforms focus on increasing contributions paid into the pension system – and target contributions from companies and workers on high incomes. The reform package has now passed the lower house of Parliament.


Media

ASFA’s Retirement Standard was featured in an article in Yahoo Finance, the Daily Mail, SMS Magazine, Financial Standard, Super Review and The Mercury.

ASFA’s submission in response to the consultation on Superannuation Transfer Planning was featured in an article in Financial Newswire.

ASFA was featured in an article in Adelaide Now calling out the impact that increases to compulsory superannuation has on people’s retirement savings.


Events and Learning

The ASFA team will be delivering the following learning workshops and events in April and May:


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