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Allow funds to automate Age Pension applications says AustralianSuper

Mike Taylor13 February 2024
process improvement cogs

Australia’s largest industry superannuation fund, AustralianSuper, is advocating the Government implementing Australians having the same superannuation account for life and allowing super funds to automate Age Pension application.

The big super has advocated the changes as part of its submission responding to the Treasury discussion paper on released in early December seeking views on “how the superannuation system can best provide the security an income Australians need as they live longer and healthier lives in retirement”.

The AustralianSuper response not only canvasses the “account for life” approach and the integration of the Age Pension but also recommends:

  • Changes to the tax structure to allow people to draw an income over preservation age and recontribute to their superannuation savings if they choose to work.
  • Changes to enable super funds to provide more support, advice and guidance, leveraging data sharing with Government to smooth the complexity of retiring.
  • Making advice laws technology neutral to leverage the potential of AI and other technologies, with the appropriate protections.

Discussing the submission, AustralianSuper’s Chief Officer Retirement, Shawn Blackmore, said that a cultural shift was taking place around how people define ‘retirement’.

“Many AustralianSuper members are telling us that they want flexibility and simplicity in the retirement income system as they define what retirement looks like for them and have confidence as they enjoy the next stage of their lives,” he said.

Blackmore said members wanted to know they have enough to retire, and to be able to take a holistic view of their retirement income from different sources, including the Age Pension.

“Around 62% of Australians aged 65 and over currently receive full or partial government pension payments, demonstrating the extent of the challenge,” he said. “Research suggests less than half of people apply for the Age Pension immediately when eligible, with many members missing out on their full Age Pension entitlement by delaying their application.”

“Having a simple, seamless and most importantly, integrated, system in retirement, as they do in accumulation, will help retirees to navigate these changes with confidence.”

“Retirement is deeply personal. There is no one size fits all, as each retiree has their own wants, needs and expectations of this important phase of their life.

“It’s important we listen to superannuation members and seek to understand their changing needs, and in response develop holistic solutions which not only build the adequacy of their savings but also their confidence to spend these savings to improve their standard of living during retirement.’”

Blackmore said funds like AustralianSuper were ready to provide a more personalised, simplified and technology-driven approach to retirement.”

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Editor/Publisher, Financial Newswire

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Canberra Morons AGAIN
12 days ago

Govt & Industry Super morons.
Advisers have been telling Govt for at least 10 years to make retirement simpler and all they do is make it obscenely complex, TBC, TSB, etc.
Wow we are half way / a decade through the Baby Boomers retiring and these clowns in Canberra just worked out that retirement in Australia is OVERLY COMPLEX.

12 days ago

Australian Super are terrible to deal with in relation to their own products, we don’t need them stepping into Age Pension territory. Another self interested plus however that the government will go along with.

Far canal
12 days ago

Spawn (of the Dev) Blackmore heading a union fund wanting to get their chit from people’s Gov pension payments as well as their home asset value (remember he also wants a piece of the reverse mortgage pie across every baby boomer Australian’s house).

What could possibly go wrong, especially after the Royal Commissioner into Unions called them, ‘thugs, thieves, bullies and liars’ and yet the Federal Gov swept it all under the rug and left them alone, and in charge of the majority of Australia’s retirement savings.

Makes me feel great that an ex-union boss, Combet, will be in charge of the multi-billion dollar Liberal initiated Future Fund.

Out of AMP!!!
11 days ago

Hang on – weren’t the big banks and super funds NOT allowed to give ‘deeply personal’ advice to people? Isn’t that our role, and the reason we’ve been unfairly through the wringer these last few years?

11 days ago
Reply to  Out of AMP!!!

Same henhouse, different fox.

Evidently this advice model is ok now… you know… in the name of access.

Anything to help a real adviser though, yeah nah… got to protect the consumer.

11 days ago

Of course the union funds would want consumers drawing on the Age Pension ASAP, rather than withdrawing superannuation savings the unions regard as theirs. They want to override decisions consumers might make to fund their own retirement.