Treasury is in the process of assessing a new model for default superannuation funds, the assistant minister for superannuation has revealed.

Change to the default funds model on the back of Treasury’s work could be one of the next “micro reforms”, which in the last 12 months have included crisis relief early access to super and Protecting Your Superannuation legislation, Minister Jane Hume raised on Tuesday during an interview with the Conexus Institute’s David Bell.

“We are looking at changing the default system. What we are changing it to I cannot tell you yet, that that is in the prerogative of Treasury. But there are a number of different models out there that are in the mix,” Hume said to open the Conexus Institute’s new ‘Exploring big ideas’ webinar series on Tuesday.

Changing the default system was subject of the Productivity Commission review and has remained on the government’s agenda in parallel with the ‘best in show’ and APRA’s heat map concepts designed to put a spotlight on under performing funds.

“We won’t be stopping the tinkering if means better outcomes for members,” Hume said to Bell in response to a question about whether the super industry can expect further minor reforms this year.

“We are going to keep reforming the system… That’s not something we should be nervous about, it’s not a dismantling of the system. We are committed to super and compulsory super, but we are also committed to a very efficient system,” Hume said.

During the broad ranging hour-long conversation Hume addressed super fund mergers, the impact of early access to super as well as the state of the financial advice industry.

“Best in show got analysed to death,” she said, before alluding that Treasury had other options it was considering to bring solutions to the default fund market.

“There are lots of different ways to do this and we want to make sure we make the right decision here,” she said.

Smith is head of content and managing editor of Professional Planner and Investment Magazine.
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