The Government’s pension reforms could hit the super fund industry particularly hard.
The Government is also cutting the eligibility age for superannuation to 67, which means it will be tougher for those under 70 to access retirement savings.
That will mean more pressure on super fund assets and could also mean lower earnings from those funds, which are likely to see their revenue decline as pensioners age.
But what can pensioners expect?
There is a general feeling that there will be more work for pensioners to do to make up for the losses they have suffered.
It is an inevitable result of a pension system that was built on the promise that it would provide a comfortable retirement for millions of Australians and that will never deliver that.
It means that if we are to get back on track to being able to afford a dignified retirement, pensioners will need to take more responsibility and make better decisions about what they contribute to their super fund.
But will it work?
We have to start somewhere.
We can start by understanding what we have in common and how we are both affected by the pension system.
A lot of people feel very left out in a system where there is a lack of knowledge about what superannuations are and how to access them.
But the key to recovery is finding ways of sharing information.
We need to share what we know about the system, and how it works, and where it is most vulnerable, and make sure we are not being left behind.
We also need to change our way of thinking about the pension sector and how much we really value the contributions of the superannuants and the pensioners who fund them.
In order to make the transition to a more sustainable and dignified life, pension and superannuity investors need to understand that there is an urgent need for us to work together to ensure the pension is protected.
It would be great if the Government could take some of the heat off superannments, and get it back on the shoulders of the investment industry.
However, we need to remember that the Government has been very reluctant to take on superannuary obligations.
If they can’t get it done, they are unlikely to be able to make any changes to the super funds system.
So the next time you read that a big pension fund is putting money into a super fund, ask yourself what the Government is really thinking.
If the Government really is concerned about protecting the superfund industry, then they should change the way they have been dealing with the super system.
They could make sure that super funds are not using taxpayer money to pay people to invest their super funds, or use superannual fees to support super fund investments.
That would be a win-win for both super fund investors and taxpayers.