Retirement as we know it will disappear, according to one of Australia’s leading strategic thinkers.

Dr Stefan Hajkowicz, a strategist and principal scientist at CSIRO, is to present his thoughts on this and other mega-trends at the FEAL annual conference on August 7.

“There’ll be a completely new, tapered retirement model emerge, of less work, less scale, responsibilities and intensity but longer productivity,” says Hajkowicz. “Super funds need to provide options and packages that encourage that, and a lot of work needs to be done on income streaming and protection for longer working lives.”

Other “mega trends” Hajkowicz sees changing the face of super will be big data analytics helping funds better understand members and drive tailored solutions.

“There’ll be a personal relationship with every super member, facilitated by IT to the point that funds get their needs and requirements exactly right and do that in a mass production way for everyone.”

While banks and fund managers have long established presences and licences offshore, Hajkowicz said in future super funds will make inroads into Asia, offering superannuation services to the emerging middle classes.

“Every year 1.02 billion are going from poor to middle income in Asia and our funds have an opportunity that’s driven by the fact we have a safe and secure national brand and the sheer size of that market.”

Hajkowicz believes investors should be positioning portfolios to be aware of growing concerns over food security and providing for the aged.

“Every year the world loses 12 million hectares of agricultural land to urbanisation and desertification that would’ve otherwise been able to produce 20 million tonnes of grain,” he says. “As much as it’s a problem, it also represents an opportunity for global pensions and super funds which have invested into food supply chains into Asia.”

He says the need for greater efficiency in the use of our resources will also create opportunities in transporting commodities and in logistics and technology.

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