ASFA concerned by significant drop in life insurance coverage

A new research report by ASFA has found a sharp decline in the number of Australians covered by group insurance through superannuation.

ASFA’s research has identified a 36 per cent decrease in the number of Australians insured for death benefits through superannuation and a similar reduction in the number of people insured against Total and Permanent Disability (TPD).

“We now face a situation where fewer Australians and their families are covered by group insurance through their superannuation.

“Legislative constraints introduced in 2019 have created a situation where many Australians, including young people, are now without insurance cover, with the near complete lack of default TPD cover for those aged under 25 a concerning issue that may have broader ramifications for the welfare system,” said ASFA CEO Mary Delahunty. 

Rest advances closer to its impact investment target

Rest has made an initial investment of AUD $150 million into an international listed equities mandate with global investment manager Ninety One.

Ninety One aims to achieve long-term total returns by investing in companies that are expected to contribute to the transition to a lower-carbon global economy. It does this by focusing on businesses in three key areas of decarbonisation: renewable energy, resource efficiency and electrification.

Kiran Singh, Rest’s Head of Listed Assets said that impact investments were expected to help drive the innovation and new technologies needed to enable the energy transition to net zero by 2050.

“Through these investments, we aim to help our members grow their retirement savings with strong, long-term investment returns and also generate measurable positive environmental impacts,” said Mr Singh.

Australia’s life insurers support ban on industry use of genetic test results

The Council of Australian Life Insurers (CALI) supports a ban on the use of genetic test results in insurance underwriting. 

CALI’s 19 members recognise that genetic testing can play an important role in giving people peace of mind and empowering them to reduce potential health risks.

“With genetic testing becoming more prevalent in the community, now is the time for Federal Government regulation to ensure that no Australian is deterred from taking a genetic test to proactively manage their health,” said CALI CEO Christine Cupitt.

Cupitt also said that “Australia’s life insurers have never, and would never, require someone to take a genetic test for the purposes of underwriting.

“Life insurers want to support Australians to be able to manage their health in a preventative way and recognise that genetic testing plays an important part in empowering them to do so.”

AMP Advice to support practice growth with new Estate Planning Service

AMP Advice has partnered with fintech Yodal to provide financial planning practices with access to a comprehensive Estate Planning Service.

Practices in AMP’s network can now elect to incorporate the service as part of their tailored package of professional services for their clients.

Matt Lawler, Group Executive, Advice, AMP said: “We are excited to introduce estate planning as a key component of our services offering for the Advice network, helping more of our advisers nurture and grow their business.”

GBST launches WealthConnect upgrades to enhance adviser efficiencies

GBST, provider of wealth management administration, adviser, and digital technology solutions, has unveiled upgrades to its Salesforce-based WealthConnect product which now has capability to model interactive superannuation, pension, and self-managed super fund (SMSF) strategies, equipping users with multi-entity scenario modelling.

Jeff Hall, GBST’s Head of APAC, said, “We are committed to advancing our advice solutions product portfolio. Our mission is to offer advice professionals increased process proficiency, deeper insights and enhanced financial projections, ultimately delivering an improved overall client experience.”