We’ve put the system now on track to give intra-fund advice as a major way to do this. And the area which we haven’t really tidied up is in that context of intra-fund advice and the retirement phase, there are going to be a lot of funds which will want to do this, and the advice they’ll give to their members is “The advice we give to you is that you should put your money back into the fund itself. So we have a very fine allocated pension, and that’s where you should put your money”. And I think we’ve got to think through, at that stage, is it appropriate for the answer to always be “It goes back into the fund where it’s come from”, or do we need to think of an arrangement where – in most cases it probably will go back into the fund where it came from – but should that be contestable in some form or other? Fiona Reynolds: The intrafund advice laws are changing to take into consideration Centrelink. With a lot of not-for-profit funds, most members are just going to retire with a small amount, and they’re going to be getting their aged pension, and that was a real gap, I think, that you couldn’t talk to people about the relationship between Centrelink and what you have in your super and how that was going to work. So I think that’s a significant step in the right direction for lots and lots of workers.
The conversation turned to what the Government might do to encourage more super fund mergers. Minister Bowen: I think it’s an issue that we have the fourth largest pool of funds under management in the world, and no fund in the top 100. I just don’t think that makes sense. Now, what to do about that is another question. Should the minister be given the power to force amalgamations? No. Should the trustees have a sharper focus in their fiduciary obligations? Arguably. It’s something we’ll look at in terms of Cooper. Are there other things we could do? I know there’s debate about capital gains tax relief, whether that should be extended. Part of me says no it shouldn’t be extended, because if it’s only available for a certain period of time, it’ll concentrate the minds of the trustees to do the consolidation in short order. If they know it’s going to be there forever, they can take their time about it. Simon Hoyle: Minister, would you mind taking a minute to sum up the government’s vision is for what financial planning should look like after these changes have come into effect ?