Push for ‘essential’ retirement income reforms continues

The Actuaries Institute is encouraging measures to increase pension contributions and the introduction of lifetime income guarantee products, following the release of its recent study on longevity risk.

In the international study, the Actuaries Institute made a range of reform recommendations which it said were essential to safeguard the retirement income system for current and future Australians.

“Accumulating adequate savings over the course of one’s working life is crucial and we support measures to increase pension contributions,” the study said.

“A flexible regulatory framework should also support innovation. It should foster the balance between social policy objectives and the cost of compliance that will ultimately fall upon the consumer.”

The study added that greater innovation among product providers will allow consumers to select the solutions that best reflect their needs, both anticipated and current.

“A critical issue is flexibility during retirement to allow people to adjust their arrangements to suit changing circumstances,” the study said.

Actuaries Institute president Estelle Pearson welcomed the government’s response to the Financial System Inquiry, particularly its commitment to enshrining the objective of the superannuation system in legislation and assessing the appeal of ‘intelligent default’ products for retirees.

“While these measures are not yet enacted or indeed spelt out in significant detail, there is now a framework in place to correct what needs to be fixed and to improve what needs to work better,” she said.

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