Superannuation Consumer Advocate expression of interest process opens

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The Government has asked for expressions of interest on a consumer advocacy body for superannuation, as announced in the Federal Budget.

The Government has commenced an Expression of Interest (EOI) process for a ‘Consumer Advocacy Body for Superannuation’.

Announcing the process, Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, Jane Hume, said the Government was “continuing to put the interests of superannuation consumers first by today taking the first step towards establishing a consumer advocacy body for superannuation”.

“With 15 million members and over $2.9 trillion worth of superannuation savings, it is vital that the superannuation system works in the interests of all Australians. The body will fill a critical void in superannuation policy debates by becoming the voice of consumers.”

Treasury says: “The objective of the advocacy body will be to become the voice of consumers in policy discussions and to support access to information to educate and assist consumers, including vulnerable consumers, to navigate the superannuation system. The advocacy body will be required to leverage current financial literacy initiatives, such as MoneySmart.”

Treasury is asking about the functions and outcomes of the body, the ongoing and establishment costs, along with governance and accountability.

The Government announced in the 2019/20 Federal Budget that it would fund an “expression of interest process to identify options to support the establishment of a Superannuation Consumer Advocate”.

The Productivity Commission, in its report on the super system, recommended the Government fund an “independent superannuation members’ advocacy and assistance body”. Despite already moving on some of the recommendations, the Government has yet to respond to the report in full – including the core recommendations.

The EOI process is open until 13 January 2020.

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