Sensationalist headlines hurt retirement outcomes, warns ASFA

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has refuted criticism of the Australian superannuation system, saying it is working by producing superior returns and reducing fees.

ASFA said that “misleading analysis led to sensationalist newspaper headlines that only served to alarm Australians and detrimentally impact retirement outcomes,” without naming the newspapers.

ASFA rejected that the Australian super system lagged behind the rest of the world, saying it had instead delivered “superior” returns. The organisation pointed to statistics that, over the five years to 2017, Australian super funds had the highest average investment returns in the OECD. Read more...

ASFA rejects Future Fund as better place for super savings

ASFA refutes claims that Australians would be better off if their retirement savings were invested in the Future Fund.

Last month Peter Costello, Chair of the Future Fund and former Federal Treasurer, supported having a single national administrator for super savings, and suggested the Future Fund could do the job. However, according to the Future Fund, this was said in his personal capacity, and that the Fund has “no plans at all in that area”, The New Daily reports.

ASFA says the Future Fund is a “perfectly good sovereign wealth fund, indeed an excellent one, but this does not make it a natural candidate as the investment manager for default super or all super investments”. Read more...

Use tax refund to turbo charge super savings, says ASFA

Australians are being encouraged to boost their retirement savings with their tax refunds.

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) said people could turbo charge their tax refund by contributing to super.

“As tempting as it can be to splurge your tax refund on short-term indulgences, it really makes sense to set it aside for your future, via super,” said ASFA CEO Dr Martin Fahy.

“You’ll get a better return on your tax return.”

ASFA said that the median tax refund was around $1,400 and estimates that a person aged 35 putting a tax refund of this amount into super each year would have an extra $65,000 at age 67. Read more...

Australians need to act now to boost super savings – Super Booster Day

Australians are being encouraged to act now and start boosting their superannuation so they have enough for a comfortable retirement, as part of the 2017 Super Booster Day campaign.

Money magazine and the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) are encouraging Australians to “pay yourself forward” and pledge to contribute extra to super as part of the campaign.

According to ASFA fewer than 5% of Australians under the age of 45 currently contribute extra to their superannuation. There is also a shortfall between the full Age Pension amount and the amount required for a comfortable retirement of $25,000 a year for a couple and $20,000 for singles. Read more...

Cost of a pet in retirement requires planning, says ASFA

The cost of having a pet in retirement has been calculated by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), with a dog requiring $34,500 extra as a lump sum at retirement.

“If, in retirement, you want the comfort of a pet, whether it’s the devotion of a dog, the cool companionship of a cat or the financially less frittering friendship of a fish, you need to find the funds to invest in the ongoing relationship,” said ASFA.

“Even a bird can be a fiscal burden in retirement. Rabbits, reptiles and guinea pigs can also eat into your nest egg.” Read more...

Super funds see digital as a must, but not investing in it

Superannuation funds see digital readiness as a must, but aren’t yet devoting resources to the area.

A survey by the Association of Superannuation Funds (ASFA) Research Centre for Decimal Software found that 80% of the funds surveyed thought digital advice is an “absolute must” for engaging with members, but only 20% are investing in it. Though this is double the proportion of funds investing when ASFA conducted a similar survey four years ago.

Additionally the “bulk of funds” from the current survey are at relatively early stages in their digital capabilities. Read more...

ASFA calls for super policy stability, with modest changes, in 2017 Budget

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) is calling for today’s Federal Budget to deliver policy stability for the superannuation system, though with “modest changes”.

ASFA CEO Dr Martin Fahy said superannuation, was an unqualified human good and an outstanding public policy initiative, like universal health care and free education.

“Super is lifting Australian retirement outcomes and supporting fiscal sustainability, helping reduce unfunded pension liabilities,” he said. Read more...

Super objective Bill shouldn’t be delayed to serve “vested interests”: Grattan Institute

The superannuation objective Bill should not be delayed to “serve the vested interests” of the superannuation industry, Grattan Institute CEO John Daley has told a Senate committee.

Mr Daley told the committee, which is conducting an inquiry into the Superannuation (Objective) Bill 2016, that the Bill should be passed as drafted. The Grattan Insitute is supportive of the proposed objective, which links superannuation to the age pension. The superannuation industry have called for the objective to be changed to include concepts such as adequacy. Read more...

ASFA says there are no “alternative facts” on superannuation

Superannuation is the “main game in town” and any claims that other financial assets can do the “heavy lifting” in retirement need to be rejected, says Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia CEO Dr Martin Fahy.

“ASFA strongly refutes any alternative facts about the significance of super,” he said, seemingly the latest volley in a disagreement with the Grattan Institute.

Dr Fahy said that for more than 90% of households superannuation combined with owner-occupied housing were the dominant form of saving to support retirement. Read more...

No further need to tinker with superannuation system, says ASFA

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) says there is no further need to “tinker” with the super system and calls for no more adverse changes to be made without a holistic review.

ASFA CEO Dr Martin Fahy said the industry has been “inundated” with legislative change over the past decade, with major regulatory changes imposing “significant” implementation, and ongoing, costs.

“In addition, every federal budget in recent memory has included superannuation reform and this diverts the industry’s energy and resources into adapting to those changes,” he said. Read more...