Certain characteristics currently embodied in the retirement savings framework, such as fund diversity (free choice of super fund) and the system’s sole purpose (savings for retirement) need to be maintained, according to a panel of senior executives.
Speaking during a panel session at the recent Fairer Retirement Summit in Sydney, SMSF Association chief executive, John Maroney, said it was important for a variety of superannuation funds to be available to manage the retirement needs of Australians.
“I think we would be in difficult areas if everyone said here is the best model [and] everyone has got to look like this,” Maroney said.
“And there is a risk over the next five years that could be the process [where] someone says this type of fund is the best fund and every other sort of fund really doesn’t match up, [so] let’s get rid of all the others and force everyone into one type of fund.
“I think that’s very dangerous so I’d keep that diversity area. Like in the environment diversity of species, potential for evolution, innovation, creativity and engagement are all by-products of having a good healthy ecosystem of different types of funds.”
Fellow panellist Cameron Ralph Khoury consultant Lynn Ralph expressed her wish for the system not to stray from the role it was designed to play.
“Over the [past] 30 years there have been various times where people have argued that people should be able to access their superannuation savings for various purposes. We’ve been talking about housing and how people should be able to access [super] for housing if they haven’t got a deposit yet,” Ralph said.
“But in a minute it’s going to be about healthcare, aged care and a whole bunch of other things.
“I’ve been one of those people that says as soon as you open the door, the door is open and we’ll be accessing it for everything.”
She pointed out there are already early-access provisions in the current system that are strictly monitored for people who need to use their retirement savings for a different purpose, suggesting a degree of flexibility currently exists.
“The system is there for your retirement. That’s its purpose. It’s not meant for 16 other things,” she noted.
Reported by Darin Tyson-Chan at Self-Managed Super Magazine online
SuperBenefit agrees – fund diversity (free choice of super fund) and the system’s sole purpose (savings for retirement) need to be maintained for the integrity and confidence of the system.
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