Media Releases

13 March 2014

Eight-point plan for global pensions dialogue required to tackle challenges ahead: ASFA

ASFA CEO Pauline Vamos has called for an eight-point discussion regarding the way pensions are delivered globally, to ensure pension systems across the world are positioned to meet the challenges ahead.

Speaking at ASFA's 3rd Asia-Pacific Pension Forum in Beijing, China, Ms Vamos said governments across the world will be faced with challenges as the demographics of their populations change, and as we enter a new era of the global economy.

"Countries across the globe are designing, developing, diversifying and even deconstructing their pension systems. There are always areas for improvement as systems mature and adjustment is needed as economies and demographics change. We are all at a different stage and this is why it is important we take the time to share our experiences and build global perspectives.

"I ask you today to start thinking about the delivery of private pensions and governance as a 'global brand' and as a global conversation. Together, we need to foster, build and protect that brand. In my mind, it is the only way we will all be successful at delivering our mandates."

Ms Vamos outlined eight points that such a global conversation should address, including pension system design, the role of pension capital in both local and global economies, and the regulatory and supervisory frameworks under which pensions operate.

"We are still a long way from seeing some consistency of approach to regulation within countries that have state-based regulators and we are far from achieving global consistency. Pension providers are often global players and the cost of regulation needs to be on the agenda."

System implementation and connectivity, fiduciary governance standards, operational and investment delivery, and the link with other public policy outcomes should also be included in the discussion.

Ms Vamos stressed that ensuring we have informed, advised and engaged fund members was the final and most important point to raise in this global conversation.

"We serve our members but how often are they omitted from our conversations. In the end, it is their system and their retirement, and, increasingly, they will hold us accountable. So we need to ask ourselves: how do we increase satisfaction, confidence, engagement and literacy? How do we ensure that we are convenient to deal with and deliver the best possible returns with the least amount of cost and investment risk, while ensuring that where and how we invest provides a public good?

"None of us have all the answers. But together we can make progress," Ms Vamos concluded.

For a copy of Ms Vamos' full speech, click here.

For further information, please contact:
Lisa Chikarovski, Media Manager, 0451 949 300.

About ASFA
ASFA is the peak policy, research and advocacy body for Australia's superannuation industry. It is a not-for-profit, sector-neutral, and non-party political national organisation, which aims to advance effective retirement outcomes for members of funds through research, advocacy and the development of policy and industry best practice.