Review of super system will push more Australians into SMSF

Review of super system will push more Australians into SMSF
Review of super system will push more Australians into SMSF

GUEST OBSERVER 

The Productivity Commission’s draft report on our super system may make self-managed super funds (SMSF) more popular.

The draft report, designed to stimulate discussion about competition in the superannuation sector, examines whether the system is working in favour of fund members.

It questions whether larger institutional funds and service provider groups are passing on benefits to fund members in the form of lower fees, better services or improved investment returns.

The report refers to SMSFs as a core segment of the superannuation industry, and a benchmark to which APRA-regulated funds can be compared.

The Productivity Commission’s findings so far will come as no surprise to many Australians, especially those who already have their retirement savings in a self-managed fund.

Granted, technology is improving and fees are coming down, but the Productivity Commission believes there is still a long way to go. Ultimately criticism of the way APRA-regulated funds operate could motivate many more Australians to take control of their retirement future and set up their own self-managed fund.

The SMSF sector is competition operating in its purist form - its members are individuals who have exercised their choice as free consumers to establish their own funds but they are not without vulnerabilities.

The government’s view that SMSFs swim ‘outside the flags’ means they are on their own when victim to financial misconduct. The Trio Capital fraud saw 400 SMSFs, who lost a total of $60 million, refused any form of government compensation or support. It’s vital trustees have access to the independent advice and guidance they need to avoid the traps.

The Productivity Commission is not just reviewing competition and efficiency in the superannuation sector, but whether trustees of APRA-regulated funds are acting in the best interests of members. 

Any doubts about trustees acting in members’ best interests will ring alarm bells. People all over the world are already becoming more cynical of institutions, from the ‘Brexit Effect’ to the ‘Trump Effect’, but here we might just see the ‘Super Effect’

Christopher Page is managing director of market intelligence company Rainmaker and can be contacted here.

Tags: 
Smsfs Superannuation

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