Deloitte partner Russell Mason urged professionals and trustees to seriously assess how their investments are distributed in their superannuation funds, given the spate of legislative changes that are set to hit the superannuation industry.
The cause for this revaluation is also partly due to a “low-investment environment”.
Mr Mason said 20 years ago, when we were living in an inflation environment, funds returned 10 to 20 per cent per annum. However, today we sit in a 1 per cent inflation environment with only a 2.9 per cent average return rate.
“So suddenly we are living longer in an environment which, for the medium to long term, could be quite low in investment returns,” he said.
“I think now is a time for people to look at how their super is invested and reassess whether it’s invested correctly. A lot of people take a very passive approach to that.
“One-two per cent additional interest over a lifetime compounds to a huge amount of money, and so it makes quite a difference.”
Mr Mason believes accountants and advisers need to examine their clients’ investments strategies with greater care, as their trusted advice will become increasingly valuable in the coming year.
Professionals have an obligation to their clients to maximise investment returns, he said, adding that practitioners should be reassessing client funds and investments, deciphering whether their current strategy is best suited to them.
“Accountants have a major role to play because ... they understand your total financial situation. They effectively know all super and non-super assets and understand where [clients] are generally trying to save. So I think accountants are very well-placed to give advice on superannuation, provided they are licensed to do so.”