In 2019, the Productivity Commission released its report “Superannuation: Assessing Efficiency and Competitiveness”. Following this report, the Federal Government has now commissioned an independent “Retirement Income Review”.
This review aims to identify:
- how the retirement income system supports Australians in retirement;
- the role of each pillar (Age Pension, compulsory superannuation and voluntary savings) in supporting Australians through retirement;
- distributional impacts across the population over time; and
- the impact of current policy settings on public finances.
The review panel invited submissions from interested parties.
John Berrill, Principal at Berrill & Watson, has provided a submission to the 2020 Retirement Income Review. Our submission is limited to a specific aspect; whether the retirement income system, and in particular the compulsory superannuation pillar, delivers equitable outcomes for people who experience disability.
Below is the ‘Summary’ extract from our submission.
It is our submission that insurance in superannuation is indeed an important part of the retirement incomes landscape in Australia and operates as an important safety net for people who experience disability.
It is essentially a self-funded means by which people whose working lives are cut short due to disability (or death) can still have adequate retirement incomes and not be dependent on the public purse for income support.
Insurance in superannuation has undoubtedly experienced problems in recent years which have the potential to unnecessarily erode retirement incomes. These problems have received much attention and substantial changes have been implemented, whilst others are still in train eg the Treasury consultation.
We will see the effect and benefit of these changes in the next few years.
As was recommended by the Productivity Commission in their report in 2019, (Ref: Productivity Commission Inquiry Report No. 91, 21 December 2018, recommendation 18.) we submit that it would be appropriate to review insurance in superannuation in 2023 (i.e. four years from the date of the report). This would allow the reforms time to bed down and accommodate the usual three-year cycle for group insurance contracts.
It is important that we get this right to deliver equitable outcomes for people who experience disability and to make sure that they are not left behind in the retirement incomes system.