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Superannuation body CEO defends current system

Martin Fahy
Cameron Micallef
14 November 2019 — 1 minute read

The superannuation system is in the “grip of a contagious false narrative”, according to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia chief executive.

During the opening morning of the 2019 ASFA conference in Melbourne, Martin Fahy defended the current system while also calling on the government and Treasurer to release the Model of Australian Income and Assets, known as MARIA. 

MARIA is a model of Australian retirement income and assets that has been in development by Treasury since 2017 which simulates retirement outcomes based on various outcomes.


Mr Fahy said the release of MARIA into the public domain would provide a level of transparency that would inform debate and help protect the current superannuation system.

He also demanded its inclusion in the ongoing retirement income review.

“An open and transparent publication of the dynamic microsimulation model at the heart of the review would finally lay to rest the falsehoods that plague the superannuation debate in Australia,” Mr Fahy said.

He went on to say that Australia’s retirement system is well in advance of others around the world.

“Australia has, according to the most recent OECD [report], about the best investment returns and lowest costs charged to fund members in the world,” the chair said. 

The CEO considered the review into superannuation, due out later this month, to be an opportunity for the superannuation industry to move past the “rhetorical hyperbole and dysfunctional narrative economics of retirement funding”. 

“Thirty years on from its modest beginnings, our superannuation system has become the target of a misleading and dangerous narrative that seeks to present anecdote as data, internationally recognised success as a threat to the existing capital markets order, and compulsion as a dangerous ideological plot to undermine western liberal democracy,” Mr Fahy said.

Without the release of the MARIA modelling, Mr Fahy said the false narrative would continue to take hold and drag down the superannuation system.

Superannuation body CEO defends current system
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