ASFA welcomes new Treasury team

ASFA congratulates Josh Frydenberg on his re-appointment as Treasurer and looks forward to working with the newly appointed Michael Sukkar as Assistant Treasurer and Jane Hume as Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology.

We also recognise the contribution of former Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert and congratulate him on his elevation to the Cabinet as Minister for National Disability Insurance Scheme, Minister for Government Services.

Government to review the retirement income system

The newly re-appointed Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg MP, has indicated in a media interview that he will commission a review of the retirement income system, and will revisit a number of other reform proposals that the Government had not implemented prior to the recent election. These include governance, opt-in life insurance within superannuation, and ‘stapling’ of default accounts to new workplace entrants.

Protecting Your Super public education campaign

As a result of the Protecting Your Super (PYS) package that passed through Parliament in February this year, from 1 July 2019 funds can no longer provide insurance on accounts which have not had a contribution in the preceding 16 months, unless a fund member actively opts to retain their cover.

To drive Australians to check whether their insurance through superannuation will be impacted as a result of the PYS changes, ASFA and the FSC have been working together—along with some funds, insurers and reinsurers—to create an engaging and educational communications campaign. The campaign urges members to check their super and insurance and make a deliberate and educated choice based on their circumstances.

Look out for the campaign across social media, as well as some TV and radio.

AIA Australia launches digital health management program for cancer patients

AIA Australia has launched a digital health management program enabling cancer patients to receive care as soon as their claim is lodged.

The CancerAid Health Coach Program is provided to AIA Australia customers while they are receiving cancer treatment and is run in conjunction with CancerAid’s app. Additionally, customers have access to healthcare professionals who provide personalised health coaching over the telephone to support them through their cancer treatment.

Damien Mu, chief executive of AIA Australia and New Zealand, said: “The CancerAid Health Coaching program is now being rolled out to all of our customers with cancer. It enables those who have been affected by cancer to achieve better health outcomes.”

Over 80 per cent of Australians support the 12 per cent Superannuation Guarantee and ASFA’s ‘comfortable’ Retirement Standard

ASFA recently commissioned a survey via CoreData on public sentiment towards superannuation and retirement income levels.

The survey found that 90 per cent of people support the Superannuation Guarantee, and 80 per cent support raising compulsory superannuation contributions to 12 per cent.

It also revealed that 80 per cent of respondents support or strongly support the ‘comfortable’ Retirement Standard, which is currently around $43,300 for a single person and $61,000 combined for a couple.

“Australians aspire to a better retirement than their grandparents or their parents. They don’t want to be a burden to the state, or their children, and they take pride in their financial independence,” writes CEO Martin Fahy.

Could super funds in Australia control more than half the ASX?

According to Rainmaker Information, superannuation funds in Australia collectively hold $700 billion in ASX-listed Australian equities with predictions indicating that super funds could control more than half of the ASX within 15 years.

“Super funds becoming dominant shareholders means the impacted companies will have to get used to having larger, more interested investors” said Alex Dunnin, executive director of research at Rainmaker.

Super funds have $3 billion of new money to invest every week and about one third of that is likely to go towards investing in Australian companies.

“The next frontier is how do we get super funds to invest in smaller companies? That is, how do we create channels to enable super funds to invest into start-ups as well as small businesses and how do we create channels for them to invest into businesses that may not be listed on the ASX, such as those in the agriculture sector,” said Dunnin.