29 May 2019

The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) has commended the Government’s announcement to review the retirement income system.

“We were very pleased to hear that the Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP announce that he will commission the review which will include the interfaces of superannuation, government pensions and taxation,” said IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway.

“The review is long overdue. The importance of trying to define what a retirement living standard the system should aim for is not well defined.

“There is also the budgetary considerations of funding the age pension and superannuation tax concessions and ensuring that the system is sustainable going forward.

“The need to encourage greater investment in superannuation to facilitate self-funded retirement is critical as Australia will not be able to fund government pensions in the future, especially considering our ageing population.

“Different mechanisms need to be considered given the longevity risk when superannuation members retire. This includes the development of annuity type products.

“However, there is significant complexity in the system with many competing interests, which must all be given due weight if we are to develop an equitable retirement income system.

“For instance, we cannot ignore the findings of the Productivity Commission report which suggested reforms to benefit members through lower fees and higher investment returns could generate an extra $533,000 for a new job entrant today when they eventually retire.

“An essential element of this review will be to provide access to affordable financial advice, which is what public accountants, as trusted advisers, can deliver,” said Mr Conway.