Super withdrawals hit $32bn as rush slows

Original article by Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 15 : 8-Sep-20

Data from the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority shows that $32.6bn has now been withdrawn from superannuation funds via the federal government’s early access scheme. However, there is evidence to suggest that the rate of withdrawals is slowing, with just $380m paid out to fund members in the week to 30 August. This is the lowest weekly total since the scheme began. Meanwhile, Brendan Coates of the Grattan Institute says the scheme’s impact on retirement income has been overstated, although ACTU president Michele O’Neil disagrees with this view.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, GRATTAN INSTITUTE, ACTU

Big super warns of cash-in risk

Original article by Joanna Mather, Tony Boyd, Aleks Vickovich
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 8 : 3-Apr-20

Treasury has forecast that about $27bn in total will be withdrawn from superannuation funds after the federal government relaxed the rules governing early access for people who have been impacted by the pandemic. AustralianSuper CEO Ian Silk notes that industry estimates suggest that withdrawals could top $50bn. He adds that some super funds may struggle to cope with a big increase in withdrawals, but stresses that it will not be an issue for AustralianSuper. Silk also warns that a surge in withdrawals will affect the super industry’s capacity to invest in and recapitalise businesses when the crisis abates.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD

Lift super to 12pc to defuse age time bomb

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 21 : 22-Nov-19

AustralianSuper CEO Ian Silk appeared before federal parliament’s economics committee on 21 November, where he emphasised the need to increase the superannuation guarantee from 9.5 per cent to 12 per cent. He warned that the legislated increase is necessary to avert the ‘economic time bomb’ of the nation’s ageing population, arguing that the pension system alone is not sufficient to provide Australians with a comfortable retirement. Silk also expressed support for consolidation in the super sector, and the exit of funds that consistently underperform.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS, INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

There’s no point in homing in on pension asset test

Original article by Judith Sloan
The Australian – Page: 12 : 19-Nov-19

No government for the foreseeable future is going to contemplate including a family home in the age pension assets test. For one thing, only about seven per cent of the nation’s two million age pensioners would be affected if homes valued at more than $1.5m were to be subject to the assets test. This would mainly affected pensioners in Sydney and Melbourne. Meanwhile, home equity release products are worth considering in relation to retirement incomes policy, although existing products of this nature are undesirable, including the federal government’s own Pension Loan Scheme.

CORPORATES

Business splits on 12pc super

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 23-Oct-19

The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s chief economist Ross Lambie says any further increase in the superannuation guarantee should be dependent on an increase in productivity. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox supports the long-term goal of lifting the super guarantee to 12 per cent; however, he is open to further delaying the rise, citing factors such as the cost to businesses and the need for real wages to increase. AustralianSuper CEO Ian Silk argues that the increase in the super guarantee has been legislated, and it has already been delayed twice.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING UNIONS’ SUPERANNUATION FUND, AUSTRALIAN HOTELS ASSOCIATION, HOST-PLUS, AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED), GRATTAN INSTITUTE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION, MASTER ELECTRICIANS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Savers come out second best as banks quietly slash interest rates on deposits

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 11-Oct-19

Lenders have cut interest rates on term deposits by between one and and 35 basis points since the Reserve Bank cut the official cash rate by 25 basis points on 1 October, according to data from ­RateCity. National Seniors Australia’s chief advocate Ian Henschke notes that a third of its members have their money in term deposits, with interest rates on term deposits now at their lowest since the 1950s. He claims that the federal government is "profiteering off the backs of pensioners", by not reducing the deeming rate.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, RATECITY PTY LTD, NATIONAL SENIORS AUSTRALIA LIMITED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED – ASX BEN

Push to include family home in pension test

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 21-Aug-19

The Actuaries Institute has published a discussion paper which examines a range of options for overhauling Australia’s retirement income system. The authors argue amongst other things that the federal government should consider measures such as including the family home in the pension assets test, the abolition part-pensions and the introduction of death duties. The paper also warns that Australia’s ageing population will put the federal Budget under growing pressure unless action is taken. The report was written by David Knox, Anthony Asher and Michael Rice.

CORPORATES
ACTUARIES INSTITUTE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, GRATTAN INSTITUTE

Costello defies PM, urges super debate

Original article by Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 4 : 8-Aug-19

The legislated increase in the superannuation guarantee continues to attract scrutiny, with former treasurer Peter Costello calling for the issue to be "thoroughly debated" in the Coalition’s partyroom. He says increasing the guarantee from 9.5 per cent at present to 12 per cent by mid-2025 will have "very significant ramifications", although he has stopped short of declaring his own position on the issue. A number of Coalition backbenchers oppose increasing the super guarantee.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, GRATTAN INSTITUTE

Super is about unions rather than our retirement

Original article by Adam Creighton
The Australian – Page: 12 : 23-Jul-19

Australia’s superannuation system is now valued at $2.8 trillion, but parliament has yet to agree on what it is for. The current federal government tried a few years ago to enact a bill that would define the purpose of superannuation, but it was never passed. The main aim of superannuation should be to help people to provide for themselves in retirement, but cynics would suggest that the ‘real’ beneficiaries include fund managers, superannuation and financial planning associations, the union movement and the Labor party. It is little wonder that all these groups want the superannuation guarantee to be increased to 12 per cent, as has been legislated, although some government MPs are now against this idea.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Labor’s deeming rate reduction predicted to cost $1b

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 8-Jul-19

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the federal government will change the deeming rate for pensioners by the end of 2019, and that over 25 per cent of pension recipients will be better off as a result. Shadow social services minister Linda Burney says a change in the deeming rate is urgently needed, and that cutting it by 1.25 per cent would see pensioners $3,875 a year better off. The deeming rate has not been changed since 2015, while cutting it by 1.25 per cent would reduce the Budget bottom line of at least $1 billion.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY