The reviews by the Productivity Commission into competition in the superannuation sector and the default fund process are unnecessary and “will create uncertainty,” says Olivia Long, CEO of SMSF administrators Xpress Super and SuperGuardian.
“In theory it seems like a good idea to get the Productivity Commission to undertake a study to develop criteria to assess the efficiency and competitiveness of the superannuation system, and have a public inquiry to develop alternative models for a formal competitive process to allocate default fund members to products.”
“The Productivity Commission is a respected organisation and I’m certain it will produce a worthwhile outcome for the industry.”
“However, with the timetable for the study set for nine months and the public inquiry for 18 months, what I fear is that it will create more uncertainty around superannuation, not less.”
“With the Productivity Commission there will be papers, submissions, and endless media speculation. At a time when we need stability around the fundamentals of superannuation, another inquiry will continue to sow doubt in the minds of consumers. This will be the worst possible result.”
Olivia Long noted that the Treasurer Scott Morrison, speaking at the SMSF Association Conference, said the Government could deliver stability and certainty for the superannuation sector.
“This hardly seems likely with a Productivity Commission study and public inquiry underway, and already we are seeing the various industry groups lobbying for their preferred position.”
“The Government has made its position on superannuation quite clear; it wants more competition as this delivers the best outcome for the consumer.”
“Having adopted this position, then surely it should frame the legislation accordingly, and should not require a Productivity Commission study and public inquiry.”
Though uncertainty in superannuation policy looks set to continue, with changes likely ahead of the Budget and the Trustee Governance bill before the Parliament, in addition to the ongoing Productivity Commission process.
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