While the compulsory super guarantee is likely to see super hit $5 trillion by 2025, the broader superannuation industry remains vulnerable to restricted growth, according to Tria Investment Partners.
Tria Investment Partners managing partner Andrew Baker said by 2025 the super industry will be “brutally competitive, creating lots of openings for entrants but increasingly difficult for today’s incumbents”.
Mr Baker said conditions in the super industry are already becoming more challenging, with net cash flows getting harder to come by, net member growth virtually nothing and traditional distribution models under threat.
The industry, he said, will increasingly have to rely on investment returns for growth.
“Slowing growth in any industry generally results in intensifying competition, falling margins and consolidation,” he said.
Lack of growth will also mean the super industry is vulnerable to regulatory shocks.
“Look at the impact on Challenger arising from unexpected change in social security treatment of one of its products, or on UK annuity providers which received no notice of the removal of compulsory annuitisation,” said Mr Baker.
“Consider the effects on super funds generally of measures such as restrictions on franking credits, removal of tax exemptions for pensions, or adverse social security changes – no longer unimaginable.”
Mr Baker said existing participants in the super industry will also face the threat of new entrants unconstrained by current thinking or legacy systems.
“A $5 trillion industry has a lot of room for new billion-dollar businesses – super may be compulsory but that doesn’t mean that today’s incumbents will continue to be winners,” he said.
Mr Baker also said there is little reason for anyone in the super industry to feel comfortable.
Participants in the industry need to be thinking about how they will deliver on their objectives in the super industry of 2025, he said.
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