BT points to failures in retirement income system

Despite the government announcements around comprehensive income products for retirement and changing the tax treatment of deferred annuities, the choice of post-retirement products remains limited, according to BT.

BT general manager of superannuation Melinda Howes said that with five million Baby Boomers in Australia moving into retirement at the rate of 289,000 a year, the superannuation system will need to overhaul its retirement offerings to better meet the country’s needs.

The limited choices of post-retirement products, she said, are leaving older Australians vulnerable in life after work.

"If we can improve our post-retirement offers we can strengthen the overall superannuation system and ensure more Australians are financially secure in retirement," said Ms Howes.

Ongoing market volatility, she said, is a risk that needs to be accounted for when thinking about what our future retirement landscape should look like.

"Recent government announcements including comprehensive income products for retirement and changing the tax treatment of deferred annuities were encouraging for product development, but no one has yet tackled how to invest in retirement to avoid sequencing risk," she said.

"Also there’s a need for offers where members can seamlessly transition from accumulation to post-retirement."

In the process of developing these new offers, product providers, she said, need to work closely with members to make sure they meet their needs.

"A customer-led approach will help us to support members secure their best financial future for life," said Ms Howes.

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