Gerard Noonan: Not ready to sit on the fence

The outgoing Media Super chair, Labor stalwart, staunch industry fund advocate and one-time Australian Financial Review editor says we should put the current pace of industry change into perspective. Despite a raft of ongoing debate, crises and reform, the upheaval needed to get super off the ground was a much bigger struggle.

Good engagement creates better policy

The key to addressing complexity and subjectivity in my experience is through good engagement. For engagement to work there needs to be a level of trust. Trusting can be difficult when significant agency issues exist.

Local super industry outranked by higher contributing countries

Each of the three countries ranked above Australia in the Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension index – The Netherlands, Denmark and Israel – have contribution rates into their funded pension arrangements of 12 per cent or higher.
Policy and Regulation

Shifting policy influence resulted in poor performance test

The shift of policy influence in recent years from Treasury to the ministers’ offices has likely contributed to the design of government's new performance measurement which has been panned by experts.
Solving the Retirement Puzzle at Scale

Data insights key to building confidence in super

The superannuation industry's ability to build member trust and engagement will rest upon its ability to harness data and use it to enhance the retirement outcomes of members, a panel has heard.
Real Estate

Funds look to affordable housing as commercial property faces headwinds

Funds allocating to this area are finding that some forms of social housing investment helps stabilise portfolios as retail and commercial property face uncertainty.

Funds widely forced to reassess insurance philosophies due to Covid-19

The pandemic's economic and social impact are likely to surge in the coming months in spite of the number of claims directly related to infection with Covid-19 being minimal, MLC Insurance's Sean Williamson points out.

Treasury didn’t consult on new benchmark

Industry has been left out of the conception of the latest performance test, described by APRA's deputy chair Helen Rowell on Monday as one of the major changes foreshadowed in the Federal Budget which is aligned with the prudential regulator's agenda.
Investment Strategy

Grattan CEO: What the budget got right and wrong

Government should focus on building consumer confidence rather than focus on backing a private sector-led recovery, Grattan Institute CEO Danielle Wood has said.

Budget performance measure could lead to passive push

The Strategic Asset Allocation benchmark the government has employed to judge outperformance in its new annual performance test is expected to result in funds adapting their investment strategies to beat listed market indices.

Stapled super to pile pressure on small to medium sized industry funds

While super stapling is a natural industry progression and a plus for consumers, the changes will curb some of the benefits smaller industry funds rely on to survive, which could further accelerate merger activity.

‘Psychological safety’ needed between boards and C-suites

The boards nailing their governance objectives during the pandemic are the ones that have a dynamic, open relationship with their C-suite according to Vanessa Pigrum, head of The Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership.
Absolute Returns Conference Digital 2020

Aware Super backing tail-risk hedging for retirement cohort

The $125 billion industry fund says that while it doesn’t make sense for younger members, retirement age members can benefit from tailored tail-risk hedging strategies as proxy guards against sequencing risk.
Investment Strategy
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Investment Strategy

Investors backing PE credit push in desperate yield hunt: Mehmet

Private equity is taking over the lending ranks from the banks, says Lonsec analyst Ron Mehmet. As volatility tapers off again, demand for alternative fixed income yield in Australia is making alternative avenues more and more attractive.
Investment Strategy

China consumption story trumps US trade concerns

This year’s single-best trade was Chinese mid-cap semiconductor and tech stocks, according to UBS O’Connor's Kevin Russell. This illustrates how China’s domestic consumption economy allows it to combat any trade wars with the US.
Investment Strategy

Discussions to augment alternatives strategies happening right now

APRA's heatmap will be a catalyst for changes to partnerships and structures super funds use to execute alternatives and hedge funds strategies if discussions happening at the moment are anything to go by, Cambridge Associates's Travis Schoenleber has said.
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Costs absorption being considered for smaller super fund mergers

Industry is consulting with APRA to address the cost of merging, particularly among smaller funds where the cost to merge is preclusive to tie-ups progressing, experts have raised during an ASI digital conference panel discussion.

Stretched investment committees ‘doing too much’

Pressure on investment committees has increased exponentially during the pandemic as the ‘realms of the investable have completely shifted’. Willis Towers Watson consultant Rebecca Bannon believes proper instruction, delegation, and efficiency are required to keep them ticking.

Intra-fund is no substitute for holistic advice

The emerging advice gap has reinvigorated industry discussions about the future of advice and the part super fund advisers will play. While intra-fund advice plays an important role in the financial system, the data shows it is no substitute for full service financial advice.
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APRA needs its own regulatory sandbox

APRA could consider encouraging and facilitating more innovation from the funds directly and from service providers in the ecosystem, Tahn Sharpe writes.

IOOF positions itself in ‘mega fund’ pack with MLC deal

IOOF's deal to acquire MLC from National Australia Bank will catapult the diversified financial services group into the second-largest superannuation fund spot in the country by member assets and the largest based on platform funds under advice.

Superannuation law: A matter of interpretation

It is no longer solely the domain of lawyers and judges to interpret the regulatory obligations placed on superannuation funds. It is an increasingly important skill for senior executives, risk, compliance, and even project and IT professionals.

Sponsored Content

Market Narratives

What makes a company resilient in a crisis?

Aviva Investors looks at what resilience means in the current context, as COVID-19 hits global economies
Market Narratives

The asset manager COO: future change agent?

Change has come thick and fast to the asset management industry in recent years, driven by developments in investment strategies, technology and regulation. But now, Covid-19 and the ensuing market volatility has propelled the industry’s change agenda, with Chief Operating Officers (COOs) at the centre of this trajectory.
Lifeskills - Brought to you by AIA Australia

A new ‘normal’ in a post-COVID-19 world

Every Australian has by now been affected by COVID-19 in some way, some dramatically.
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AustralianSuper ‘re-risking’, Mark Delaney sees positive economic outlook

The world’s ability to manage Covid-19 will progressively improve over time, says Mark Delaney, the CIO of Australia’s largest superannuation fund, and the economic recovery has so far been faster than with other major recessions.

The Biden effect: Dalio on market reaction to US election outcome

A Biden fiscal and economic stimulus reform would involve raising company and capital gains taxes, but it would also involve raising deficits to spend more, a-la Franklin Roosevelt in 1933, an approach that could turn out to be more positive for financial markets, Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio points out.

Jeremy Cooper on reviews and the retirement system’s unfinished business

While the chair of the decade old Super System Review couldn't shed light on the current Retirement Income Review, he said If the superannuation system is being used for tax-advantaged inter-generational wealth transfers then those tax subsidies should be reviewed.
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Income protection clients need coaching more than therapy for chronic pain

A world-first “pain coach” trial between insurer AIA Australia and pain scientists including Professor Lorimer Mosley from the University of South Australia has produced some standout results.

Confidence in the system needed to make good insurance decisions

Confidence needs to be restored quickly so people think about their insurance before they withdraw super or keep insurance going if they need it - CEO's of two of the country's largest insurance providers have said.

Pain coaching a “game changer” for life insurance industry: AIA Australia

Understanding an individual's "pain journey" can help when customers will get stuck in claims when they are dealing with chronic pain, Professor Lorimer Moseley, a pain scientist from University of South Australia explains.
Post Retirement
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Moral outrage at super system ‘justified’: Daley

The former Grattan Institute CEO isn’t pulling any punches in his assessment of the “sharp knife” that is our super system. The “20 to 30” billion dollars it costs to run our retirement savings each year may be terrific for people working in the industry, he says, but not for the rest of the country.

Pension Loan Scheme provides a comfortable retirement

Most Australians believe they are ineligible but changes to a Government loan scheme may augment retirement income for many, says Rice Warner chief Andrew Boal.

Early release and its impact on super preservation

There are many consequences of early access to super that go beyond the individual, says David Knox.

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