Australia must reduce superannuation fees: State of the Nation 2014



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Reducing superannuation fees would benefit Australia’s economy, Treasury Executive Director Macreconomic Group, David Gruen has told CEDA’s State of the Nation conference.

"Significant reduction in fees would have widespread benefits to society as a whole," he said.

"A microeconomic reform that permanently reduced costs across the economy by a few tenths of one per cent of GDP would be considered a significant and worthwhile reform."

Mr Gruen also said the Financial System Inquiry needs to focus on the impact of superannuation fees and how to move costs down.

"There needs to be a policy consideration of further options to increase competition and drive down costs," he said.

"Given the stakes, this is an important area for the Financial System Inquiry to examine."

Also participating in the banking and the financial sector panel session, Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia CEO, Pauline Vamos said superannuation funds and managers need to be driven by the long, not short term.

"There is no doubt in my view, if funds are driven short term, it drives short term performance of fund managers and entities," she said.
Ms Vamos said for this to change, the performance measures and outcomes need to be examined.

"If we really are about long term income streams, then…we need to invest for the individual's goals for retirement, if you really do that properly then you need to take into account their whole wealth system," she said.


On the topic of the Financial System Inquiry, Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) CEO, Steven Münchenberg said while there are some things that need to change, it is important the Inquriy doesn't lose sight of the things that are working in Australia's financial system.

"Whatever the Financial System Inquiry comes up with, we don't want them to damage the things that are actually working…and not lose sight of the need to protect what already works," he said.

Mr Münchenberg also said one area which the ABA has identified as a challenge that should be addressed by the Inquiry is funding streams to the Australian economy.