Sustainability, Adequacy & Longevity

Sustainability, Adequacy & Longevity

AIST endorse a retirement savings system which is sustainable, adequate and which supports Australians through a long retirement. We recognise that retirement goals are varied for each person and we aim to ensure that there is a retirement savings system capable of delivering retirement income to all Australians, particularly low income earners. Read more

Select from our range of publications on this topic below:


3 Jun 2019 - Superannuation policy challenges for refreshed shadow ministry

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) welcomes the announcement of the Federal Opposition’s shadow cabinet ministry, amid a busy time for superannuation policy implementation. AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck said AIST and its member funds were committed to working productively with both sides of government on policies that will improve the retirement outcomes of all Australians.

26 May 2019 - New Coalition government encouraged to commit to 12% super

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) congratulates Jane Hume on her appointment as Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology under the Morrison Government.

21 May 2019 - New research highlights need for Govt agency to develop an online tool to compare super funds

A high level of confusion among members of poorly performing super funds points to the urgent need for a Government-sanctioned online tool to help Australians make more informed choices about their super savings, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees said today.

15 May 2019 - How the two major parties stack up on super and retirement: pre-election score card

The score card highlights that Labor’s policies will have more positive impact on superannuation and the retirement outcomes for most working Australians.

3 May 2019 - Super savings gap ranges from 16% and 39% depending on where you live

New research has identified Western Australia and Queensland as being the states where the superannuation savings gender gap is at its worst.

1 May 2019 - Backdown on banning conflicted financial advice will leave consumers exposed

Thousands of consumers of financial products, including superannuation, will remain exposed to conflicted financial advice if proposed regulations on grandfathered conflicted remuneration get the green light, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees has warned.

14 Apr 2019 - AIST research shows just how poor banking-owned super products are

The Fee and Performance Analysis 2019 by leading superannuation research house SuperRatings, commissioned by AIST, drills down into the differences between fees and returns across the many super products on offer and finds significant disparities between the fees charged by for-profit retail funds and profit-to-member funds.

10 Apr 2019 - Delay on consumer disclosure in super will hurt member retirement outcomes

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has today warned that delays to consumer disclosure requirements will negatively impact on the retirement outcomes of millions of unsuspecting Australians. The warning follows this week’s announcement that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is deferring key consumer disclosure requirements for non-default (Choice) super products for up to four years.

2 Apr 2019 - Modest changes to superannuation won’t help most Australians build their nest eggs

The changes to the rules for voluntary super contributions in the 2019 Federal Budget are good news for older members who can afford to make additional contributions to their superannuation savings, however they will have minimal impact on the retirement outcomes of most Australians, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) said tonight.

2 Apr 2019 - Time for a re-think on financial advice - AIST IFS Financial Advice In Super Symposium

Profit-to-member superannuation funds are well-placed to expand their role in providing quality, cost-effective financial advice, delegates attending a Financial Advice in Superannuation Symposium heard today. Speaking at the joint Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) and Industry Fund Services (IFS) symposium in Melbourne, IFS CEO Cath Bowtell noted it was a tumultuous time for financial advisers post-Royal Commission and that many retail advice providers were having to re-evaluate why they provided advice.

18 Mar 2019 - David Noonan named AIST’s Trustee of the Year

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has announced Cbus director David Noonan as the recipient of the AIST Trustee of the Year Award at the Conference of Major Superannuation Funds (CMSF) held on the Gold Coast.

18 Mar 2019 - AIST welcomes new Board directors

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has welcomed a new director to its Board following an election at its 2019 AGM held at AIST conference CMSF. Ros McLennan from Sunsuper was elected as a Trustee elected director and is the only new director to join the board, with David Smith, Naomi Edwards, Louise Du Pre-Alba and Suzette Thurman all received re-election.

14 Mar 2019 - AIST acknowledges Women in Super’s advocacy role on its 25th anniversary

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has today congratulated Women in Super (WIS) on reaching its 25th anniversary. The women’s networking and advocacy organisation – of which AIST is a founding member - began as a breakfast event at AIST’s Conference of Major Superannuation Funds (CMSF) in 1994 to provide networking opportunities for women working in Australia’s $2.7 trillion super sector.

13 Mar 2019 - AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck opening address at CMSF19

What we do as superannuation professionals, how we fulfil our fiduciary duties, service members, and protect and grow members’ retirement savings as stewards of their hard-earned capital has been in the spotlight this past year. In just the last two months, we’ve had to digest both the Hayne royal commission and the Productivity Commission final reports. Both reports carry recommendations that could have significant implications for our sector.

15 Feb 2019 - Amended legislation will keep more people in super system - AIST

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST), has today welcomed the passage of the Protecting Your Super package, noting that important amendments would protect members from unintended consequences of the new legislation.

4 Feb 2019 - Regulators must act on Royal Commission recommendations to protect members in for-profit super funds

Today’s release of the final report of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Banking Financial Services is an historic opportunity to restore the community’s trust in financial services and prioritise consumer best interests ahead of banking profits and executive bonuses, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees said.

21 Jan 2019 - Profit-to-member funds embrace Insurance in Super Code

Over 96% of the members of profit-to-member super funds are now covered by the Insurance in Super Code of Practice, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) said today.

10 Jan 2019 - Productivity Commission gets it right on profit-to-member outperformance but misses mark on dealing with underperforming funds

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has today welcomed the Productivity Commission finding hard evidence - for the third time in a year - that the best performing super funds are in the profit-to-member sector. Today’s report from the Productivity Commission, which includes an additional year of data, found that on average, for the 11 years to 2018, profit to member funds outperformed retail funds by around 2 per cent per year.

11 Dec 2018 - New law to improve compliance with superannuation obligations among small businessAIST welcomes longer transition period for fee and cost disclosure requirements

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has welcomed today’s announcement from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) that the transition periods for key fee and cost disclosure requirements have been extended.

6 Dec 2018 - New law to improve compliance with superannuation obligations among small business

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has today welcomed the passage of legislation to help ensure small businesses comply with their legal obligation to pay superannuation for their workers.

5 Dec 2018 - AIST Awards celebrate achievements of $1.3 trillion profit-to-member super sector

A focus on targeted, personalised communication about superannuation was a key theme among winning campaigns at last night’s Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) Awards for Excellence.

20 Nov 2018 - Domestic violence measures welcome but Government’s economic package falls short on improving retirement outcomes for women

The Government’s newly announced Women’s Economic Security Statement was a missed opportunity to improve retirement outcomes for women, said the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) today.

14 Nov 2018 - Welcome move to ensure super funds members who need insurance don’t lose it

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has welcomed today’s announcement from the Opposition that it will move to amend key measures in the insurance in superannuation package now before Parliament.

7 Nov 2018 - 12% super needed to deliver a dignified retirement for all working Australians

Moving to 12% superannuation is vital to ensure that all working Australians achieve a dignified standard of living in retirement, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) said today.

31 Oct 2018 - AIST member funds are AFCA-ready

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has today welcomed the launch of the new financial complaints body, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). Designed to be a one-stop shop for financial complaint resolution, AFCA represents the amalgamation of the Super Complaints Tribunal (SCT), the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO).

25 Oct 2018 - AIST welcomes end to decades of unfairness for WA de facto couples on super splitting

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has welcomed an announcement by the Federal Attorney-General today that separated de facto couples in Western Australia will soon be able to achieve a fair split of their superannuation assets in property settlements.

19 Sep 2018 - Labor’s super proposals an important step to improving retirement outcomes

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) welcomes Labor’s pre-election commitment that it will pay superannuation on government paid parental leave and scrap the minimum $450 monthly pay threshold for super payments.

17 Sep 2018 - Super’s next decade – where would you rather be?

Australian workers who invest their super in funds outside the high performing MySuper sector could be as much as $52.5 billion worse off in a decade’s time, according to new research from Rice Warner.

6 Sep 2018 - Scrapping pension age increase a win for older workers: AIST

The Australian institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has welcomed today’s announcement by Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, that the Government will not proceed with its policy to raise the access age for the Age Pension to 70 years.

5 Sep 2018 - AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck opening address at ASI 2018

Profit-to-member super has been in a defensive position for longer than we all care to remember. We have had to defend against attacks on the compulsory nature of superannuation by those who would rather see full wages freedom as opposed to a compulsory retirement savings system. We have had to defend our sector’s governance structure and the role of employer and employee representation on equal representation boards.

29 Aug 2018 - AFR opinion piece (Aug 2018): Retail trustees, with their independent directors, were unable to protect members from fee gouging and other misconduct. They should be barred from MySuper

The Government’s fixation with industry super funds and its desire to break up the role of union and employer groups on industry fund boards looks like it has been finally laid to rest. In pursing industry funds relentlessly, the Government took its eye off the banks and the inherent conflicts of interest at the heart of their operations.

20 Aug 2018 - Government’s rejection of key Senate recommendations a setback for the retirement outcomes of Australian working women

The Turnbull Government’s disregard for key Senate recommendations on reforming super was disappointing and a setback for the retirement outcomes of Australian women, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees said today.

6 Aug 2018 - AIST Statement on the Royal Commission

The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry begins its Round Five hearings today in Melbourne. The focus of Round Five is superannuation, with the hearings scheduled to run for two weeks. Some AIST member funds have been given notice to give evidence and answer questions in these hearings.

25 Jul 2018 - Industry funding for new dispute body must avoid cross subsidisation

Funding for the newly-established Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) must avoid cross subsidisation by stakeholders, including super funds, The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has warned. In its submission to AFCA on the authority’s proposed funding models, AIST says it is essential that AFCA is appropriately funded to ensure it can provide an effective and efficient dispute resolution service to consumers and scheme members.

24 Jul 2018 - AIST welcomes report on fee and cost disclosure in superannuation

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has today welcomed the release of a comprehensive report into the fee and cost disclosure regime for superannuation funds. AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck said the report – prepared by independent expert, Darren McShane at the request of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) – vindicated many of AIST’s concerns with the existing fee and cost disclosure regime for superannuation funds.

16 May 2018 - Consumer interests best served by existing industrial-based default super system: AIST responds to Productivity CommissionFSC and AIST team up to help fund managers tackle new operational due diligence

The Financial Services Council (FSC) and the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) have today released further guidance tools to help fund managers prepare their operational due diligence (ODD) reports for the superannuation industry. Both industry bodies are promoting a collective and cost-effective ODD framework to help super funds meet their regulatory obligations to closely monitor and assess the management of operational risk controls by investment fund managers.

8 May 2018 - Welcome measures to tackle lost super but super gender gap ignored AIST Budget response

The 2018/19 Federal Budget delivered welcome measures for the efficiency of the super system, but disappointedly did little to improve retirement outcomes for women, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) said today.

4 Apr 2018 - AIST calls on the government to confirm its support for lifting super to 12%

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has called on the Government to confirm its commitment to increasing the compulsory super rate to 12 per cent.

27 Mar 2018 - Reforming payslip reporting will help address super ‘theft’

AIST has reiterated its call to reform payslip reporting to help address the problem of unpaid super, which is estimated to cost workers more than $2.8 billion each year.

27 Mar 2018 - AIST welcomes focus on consumer outcomes for insurance in super

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) today welcomed the release of the Parliamentary Joint Committee report on life insurance which contains key recommendations to improve consumer outcomes for insurance in superannuation.

19 Mar 2018 - Research shows widespread concern about housing affordability and retirement

New research on attitudes to property investment and saving for retirement has revealed widespread concern over affordable housing and support from a majority of non-property investors for changes to negative gearing.

14 Mar 2018 - Opening address - AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck at the 2018 Conference of Major Super Funds, Brisbane

"We are set for another big year in our industry this year. Assets under management continue to grow, markets are volatile and unpredictable, and there is a spotlight on our industry’s conduct and expenditure, through the lens of a Royal Commission ..."

9 Feb 2018 - All Australians will benefit from 12% super

Lifting the compulsory superannuation rate to 12 per cent will benefit all Australians, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees said today. Responding to a recommendation from the Grattan Institute this week to halt the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) rate at 9.5 per cent, AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck said this would deny most of the Australian population an adequate income in retirement and also lead to higher Age Pension costs for taxpayers.

24 Jan 2018 - AIST welcomes Government measures to tackle non-payment of super

AIST has today welcomed the Government’s announcement of a package of measures to protect workers’ super entitlements and tackle the problem of unpaid super.

8 Dec 2017 - 10th annual AIST Awards for Excellence highlight power of data in tailoring member communications

AIST has announced the winners of the 10th annual Awards for Excellence at a ceremony held in Melbourne last night.

1 Dec 2017 - Industry Funds Forum to become part of AIST

AIST and Industry Funds Forum (IFF) are delighted to announce that IFF has become part of AIST following an agreement between the two industry associations.

28 Nov 2017 - AIST welcomes international perspective on controversial fee and cost disclosure requirements

AIST has welcomed the appointment by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) of Darren McShane as an external expert on fee and cost disclosure.

2 Nov 2017 - AIST appoints Ailsa Goodwin to the newly created role of head of advocacy

AIST is pleased to announce the appointment of Ailsa Goodwin to the newly created role of head of advocacy.

2 Nov 2017 - AIST welcomes ASIC review of super disclosure rules

AIST welcomes the announcement by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) that it will conduct a review of the Regulatory Guide 97 fee and cost disclosure requirements and adopt a facilitative approach to funds complying with the existing legislation.

9 Oct 2017 - Equal representation delivers best outcomes for super fund members: AIST

AIST has recommended that the Senate reject a push by the Government to mandate a governance model for super funds.

20 Sep 2017 - Super industry consults on draft Insurance Code of Practice to improve outcomes for members

The draft Code - outlining a set of industry standards and new measures for all classes of insurance in superannuation, including life, total and permanent disability (TPD) and income protection - has been jointly developed over the past 10 months by the ISWG with input from insurers, super funds and legal and consumer groups, as well as other stakeholders.

11 Sep 2017 - Removal of $450 monthly income threshold will simplify superannuation system: AIST

AIST has welcomed the introduction of legislation from the Nick Xenophon team that today – if passed – will see the removal of the $450 monthly income threshold for employer superannuation payments.

1 Sep 2017 - ISWG fifth discussion paper

The Insurance in Superannuation Working Group today released the fifth in a series of discussion papers as a further step towards developing an Insurance Code of Practice for superannuation trustees.

29 Aug 2017 - More frequent payslip reporting by employers needed to address $billions in unpaid super

AIST has today welcomed a package of Government reforms aimed at improving superannuation guarantee (SG) compliance by employers, whilst calling for more frequent employer payslip reporting.

17 Aug 2017 - Extending Single Touch Payroll could reduce non-payment of superannuation in black economy

AIST has called on the Government to extend the mandatory uptake of Single Touch Payroll for small businesses

16 Aug 2017 - AIST welcomes Government’s focus on modern slavery

AIST has welcomed the Government’s announcement on modern slavery, noting that a new reporting regime for large businesses was an important step towards addressing Australia’s $5 billion unpaid superannuation problem.

15 Aug 2017 - Government reforms must recognise that net returns drive optimal retirement outcomes: AIST

The Government’s proposed ‘outcomes’ test risks diluting the vital role of net investment returns in delivering optimal retirement outcomes for superannuation consumers.

26 Jul 2017 - Superannuation exemption disadvantaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

The Indigenous Superannuation Working Group is calling for the removal of the $450 monthly income threshold that discourages employers from paying superannuation guarantee entitlements to many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

25 Jul 2017 - Superannuation reform package requires careful analysis: AIST

The Government’s package of superannuation reforms announced today requires careful analysis to ensure there are no unintended consequences for members.

22 Jun 2017 - Big Super Day Out event to reunite Indigenous Australians with their lost superannuation

The Big Super Day Out, a free Indigenous superannuation event run by First Nations Foundation that is coming to Brisbane.

7 Jun 2017 - New poll shows Australians want super funds that serve members not shareholders

91% of Australians believe default superannuation funds should return all profits to members.

7 Jun 2017 - Increasing pension age to 70 will hurt many older workers

AIST has urged the Government to consider the high levels of involuntary retirement before raising the Age Pension eligibility age to 70 years old.

25 May 2017 - Choice members of ‘for-profit’ funds remain in the dark about poor performance

Millions of Australians are being kept in the dark about the poor performance of their retail super funds.

9 May 2017 - No place for long-term under-performers as default super funds: AIST

AIST has proposed that long-term under-performing default funds be replaced by better performing funds in its appearance before the Productivity Commission this week.

9 May 2017 - Cautious welcome to housing affordability super measures in the Budget

AIST has given a cautious welcome to Budget superannuation measures designed to help first home buyers and downsizers.

5 May 2017 - ISWG third discussion paper

The Insurance in Superannuation Working Group (ISWG) is calling for submissions on a third discussion paper that outlines options to improve member experience and understanding of insurance within superannuation.

3 May 2017 - Recommendations on unpaid super will improve retirement outcomes: AIST

AIST has welcomed Senate Committee recommendations on unpaid super to ensure all Australians are receiving their full superannuation entitlements.

21 Apr 2017 - Labor’s housing affordability proposals a welcome step: AIST

AIST has welcomed new measures proposed by the Federal Labor Party to tackle housing affordability.

10 Apr 2017 - Using super for housing will see young people worse off financially

Using super to help first-home buyers enter the housing market would drive prices higher and also lead to poorer retirement outcomes for young people, AIST warned today.

29 Mar 2017 - Productivity Commission fails to provide evidence that changing default fund system will benefit members

Proposed changes to the selection of default superannuation funds have the potential to put millions of working Australians at risk of poorer retirement outcomes, AIST said today.

24 Mar 2017 - New verification tool

A new service provider portal that allows super funds to verify the identity and contact details of financial counsellors has been launched at the AIST Conference of Major Superannuation Funds today.

23 Mar 2017 - Declining home ownership rates - the growing threat to retirement incomes: AIST research

Australia’s declining home ownership rate has emerged as a significant threat to the adequacy of Australia’s retirement income system, according to a new report commissioned by AIST.

7 Mar 2017 - Barriers preventing women from a dignified retirement outcome must be removed: International Women’s Day

AIST & WIS are calling for the removal of the $450 monthly income threshold which results in many women missing out on compulsory Superannuation Guarantee (SG) payments.

9 Feb 2017 - AIST calls on government to rule out increasing pension age to 70

AIST has backed calls for the Government to formally rule out its proposal to lift the Age Pension eligibility age to 70.

2 Dec 2016 - AIST welcomes Senate inquiry to investigate billions of dollars lost in unpaid super

AIST has welcomed the announcement of a Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into the impact of non-payment of the Superannuation Guarantee (SG).

23 Nov 2016 - New super changes will improve outcomes for low income earners, particularly women

AIST today welcomed the passage of the Government’s super tax reform package through both houses of Parliament.

10 Nov 2016 - Super changes that improve retirement outcomes for low income earners must be supported

AIST has urged all Federal Parliamentarians to support tax changes to superannuation that improve retirement outcomes for low income earners, including women.

20 Sep 2016 - Default fund selection process must be in members’ best interests

AIST today responded to the release of the Productivity Commission issues paper on alternative default models.

7 Jul 2016 - AIST welcomes move to improve access to superannuation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

New guidance issued by AUSTRAC will make it easier for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to access the superannuation system, AIST said today.

4 May 2016 - Flexible Budget measures on super contribution caps will help women catch up: AIST

Budget measures that provide flexibility around the new $25,000 super contribution cap limits announced last night will be particularly helpful for women who return to work after a career break, AIST said today.

3 May 2016 - Super measures will improve fairness and sustainability of super: AIST Budget commentary

Key superannuation measures announced in tonight’s Federal Budget are a necessary step toward a fairer and more sustainable super system, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees said today.

29 Apr 2016 - Time for real change not just tinkering around the edges to address gender retirement income gap

AIST and Women in Super has welcomed the recommendations of the Senate Inquiry into women’s economic security in retirement led by Senator Jenny McAllister.

17 Mar 2016 - 2016 AIST Mercer Super Tracker released: Government urged to revise Age Pension Asset Test

AIST and Mercer have called on the Government to urgently revise its new Age Pension Assets Test, with modelling showing the test will have a significant impact on the retirement outcomes of middle Australia.

16 Mar 2016 - New partnership to support Indigenous superannuation outcomes

AIST and First Nations Foundation have today announced a two-year partnership that will increase support for the Big Koori Super Day Out.

16 Mar 2016 - Consumer protection for late super payments retained in full

AIST has welcomed the retention of the full Superannuation Guarantee Charge – an important consumer protection measure for superannuation payments to employees – following debate in Parliament earlier today.

16 Mar 2016 - AIST CEO Tom Garcia – Opening Address to CMSF 2016 Adelaide March 16th

AIST CEO Tom Garcia – Opening Address to CMSF 2016 Adelaide March 16th

9 Mar 2016 - Objective will protect super from ad-hoc policy changes and provide greater certainty: AIST

AIST today welcomed the Government’s move to begin the process of enshrining the objective of the superannuation system in legislation.

23 Feb 2016 - Focus of super tax reform should be on fairness not plugging Budget holes

The focus of superannuation tax reform should be on improving fairness rather than introducing Capital Gains Tax changes that will reduce retirement income for all Australians, AIST said today.

21 Feb 2016 - Low income earners mustn't be denied a dignified retirement

Allowing low-income earners to opt out of superannuation could result in an estimated 2 million Australians currently in the workforce being significantly worse off in retirement, AIST said today.

18 Feb 2016 - Review of super a timely opportunity to put spotlight on high fees and underperformance

The Productivity Commission Review of superannuation is a timely opportunity to put the spotlight on the high fees and the underperformance of some funds, particularly in the Choice environment, AIST said today

10 Feb 2016 - Fee report highlights the high price of choice for some Australians

A new report on fees and returns across Australia’s $2 trillion super sector has found that bank and retail-owned super funds offering “Choice” products are charging members up to four times more for underperforming investment options.

5 Feb 2016 - 12% super is responsible policy – end of story

Moving to 12% superannuation is a vital measure towards ensuring the majority of Australians achieve a comfortable standard of living in retirement, AIST said today.

21 Jan 2016 - Super must be used for retirement - not to pay off student debt

AIST today rejected calls suggesting superannuation could be used to pay down Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debts.

20 Nov 2015 - Super reform won’t be enough to fix gender retirement savings gap

AIST is calling for all workforce, pay and super policies to be examined under a gender lens to improve the outcome for Australian women in retirement

5 Oct 2015 - New figures point to widening gender retirement savings gap

New figures suggesting a widening of the gender savings gap at retirement – particularly for women on low incomes – highlight the need for urgent policy action.

3 Oct 2015 - Update your super details: $480 million in ‘lost super’ to go to ATO

AIST is urging Australians to ensure that their superannuation account details are up to date following an increase to the ‘lost super’ threshold requiring small inactive accounts to be transferred to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

21 Sep 2015 - Reducing penalty for late super payments dilutes consumer protection

AIST is calling on Government to reconsider changes to the Superannuation Guarantee Charge reducing penalties for employers not meeting their obligations to pay superannuation to their employees

3 Sep 2015 - New research highlights the dangers in a one-size fits all approach to post-retirement

Super funds may need to offer their members more than one default retirement income stream, new modelling has suggested.

18 Aug 2015 - Senate inquiry a welcome opportunity to address gender retirement income gap

AIST welcomes the announcement of a Senate Inquiry into improving retirement outcomes for Australian women.

17 Aug 2015 - Government needs to cut red tape to improve Indigenous super outcomes

The Indigenous Superannuation Working Group has called on major political parties to elevate Indigenous superannuation outcomes onto the agenda of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

3 Aug 2015 - Let's get real about super - busting the $1 million retirement myth

AIST and Australia's biggest super fund, AustralianSuper are calling for a "super reality check" to ensure Australians have a better understanding about the level of income they can expect in retirement.

29 Jul 2015 - Tax Inquiry can help ensure super delivers for women

AIST and WIS today supported a Senate review of the retirement savings gap for women and urged the Government to prioritise the tax reform of superannuation as a significant step towards improving retirement outcomes for women.

7 Jul 2015 - Involuntary retirees should not be denied early access to their super

Raising the age at which people can access their super could see the level of involuntary retirees blow out to more than half the Australian workforce, AIST said today.

2 Jun 2015 - Fairness of superannuation tax concessions must be a priority of the Tax Review

The fairness and sustainability of superannuation tax concessions should be top priority of the Tax Review, AIST said today.

12 May 2015 - Pension measurements a good first step – long-term super strategy must be next

AIST response to 2015 Federal Budget

22 Apr 2015 - Emphasis on fairness and sustainability is a welcome contribution to superannuation tax debate

Labor’s announcement of a new super tax policy is an important contribution to the Tax Review and broader national debate on superannuation, AIST said today.

15 Apr 2015 - Employment discrimination inquiry puts timely focus on involuntary retirement

AIST has welcomed today’s announcement that the Australian Human Rights Commission will conduct an inquiry into employment discrimination against older Australians and Australians with a disability.

19 Mar 2015 - Gender gap, tax equity & lack of older workers, prove to be weak spots in super system

The AIST-Mercer Super Tracker – launched today at AIST’s Conference of Major Superannuation Funds on the Gold Coast – has been jointly developed by AIST and Mercer to provide an objective means of assessing super and road test new ideas and policies. The initial score for the Tracker is 64.9 out of a possible 100.

19 Mar 2015 - 2025 research infographic

An infographic of key findings from our joint research with BNP Paribas "2025: what will the superannuation industry look like in a decade?"

13 Mar 2015 - Super spotlight on intergenerational challenges, tax equity, investments, digital disruption and more at next week’s Conference of Major Super Funds (March 18-29)

AIST's flagship conference - the Conference of Major Superannuation Funds (CMSF) – is set to attract more than 1,000 key players from Australia’s $1.9 trillion super industry.

13 Mar 2015 - What will the superannuation industry be like in 2025?

A survey of the superannuation industry by AIST and BNP Paribas Securities Services has shown the world we are planning for today will be very different in 10 years' time.

5 Mar 2015 - IGR provides no evidence for Government to lift ‘retirement age’ to 70 years

AIST has called on the Government to review its proposal to lift the Age Pension eligibility age to 70 by 2035, following Intergenerational Report (IGR) projections that show future pension costs in our ageing population are manageable in existing policy settings.

22 Jan 2015 - Change to super payment threshold would penalise low income/casual workers

AIST has urged the Government to reject calls from the Board of Taxation to change the superannuation payment threshold for low income and casual workers to $1350 a quarter.

9 Jan 2015 - AIST- Mercer Super Tracker to provide basis for informed changes to the superannuation system

AIST and Mercer are collaborating to develop an industry first “super tracker” that will set the benchmark for evaluating the Australian superannuation system.

7 Dec 2014 - AIST welcomes FSI focus on removing politics from super and giving MySuper a fair go

AIST today welcomed the release of the Financial System Inquiry report, which recognises the need to ensure the super system is working effectively and efficiently and delivering positive retirement outcomes for members.

13 Nov 2014 - AIST welcomes recognition of Age Pension in retirement income forecasting

AIST welcomes today’s announcement from ASIC that will allow superannuation funds to include an estimate of a member’s age pension together with the member’s super forecast.

2 Oct 2014 - New MySuper data highlights need for independent default fund selection

New MySuper data released today highlights the need for an independent body to select default funds from the MySuper pool, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) said today.

1 Oct 2014 - Call to move default bank-owned super into low-fee MySuper

AIST is calling on the Government to accelerate the release of super savings from high-fee bank-owned default super funds into lower fee MySuper products.

1 Oct 2014 - Full MySuper disclosure will lead to better consumer outcomes

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has welcomed the announcement from the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) that it will be publishing comprehensive statistics on all MySuper products.

26 Aug 2014 - Renovate the house don’t pull it down – AIST responds to the Financial System Inquiry

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) said today Australia’s $1.85 trillion superannuation system is on track to deliver further cost savings and value to members with the recently launched MySuper having already led to significant fee reductions*.

1 Aug 2014 - Dipping into super to buy a home threatens retirement income security

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) today warned against the dangers of using superannuation to tackle the nation’s housing affordability challenges.

16 Jul 2014 - AIST to provide comprehensive response to the Financial Systems Inquiry interim report

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) said today it would begin preparing a comprehensive response on key superannuation issues raised in the Financial System Inquiry’s interim report. AIST CEO Tom Garcia said AIST welcomed the Inquiry’s support of a robust regulatory framework for superannuation, its recognition of superannuation’s important role in the economy, and the need to develop clearer objectives for the superannuation system.

7 Jul 2014 - Industry welcomes Palmer support for Low Income Super Scheme

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees and Women in Super have welcomed today’s news that senators from the Palmer United Party intend to vote for the retention of the Low Income Superannuation Contribution (LISC) scheme. AIST’s Deputy President and the Chair of Women in Super Cate Wood said by voting to support the LISC, the senators were supporting 3.6 million working Australians who currently benefit from the Scheme.

25 Jun 2014 - Open letter to Clive Palmer

More than 30 prominent signatories from the superannuation industry, business, academia, women’s organisations and policy and community groups have signed an open letter calling on Mr Clive Palmer to help save the Low Income Superannuation Contribution (LISC) scheme.

13 May 2014 - Federal budget measures set to widen retirement income gap

The peak body for the $600 billion not-for-profit super sector, The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) said last night's Budget measures could create further inequity in Australia’s retirement income system over the long term. AIST CEO Tom Garcia said AIST was disappointed and concerned that the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) rate would be frozen for four years and would only reach 12% in 2022/23 instead of the original plan to reach 12% by 2019/20. This is the second change proposed to the legislated schedule in 12 months and adds another year to the timeline.

7 May 2014 - Tax cuts should give everyone a fair go – Government urged not to abandon super tax refund for low income earners

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has urged the Federal Government not to abandon existing superannuation equity measures for low income earners in the upcoming Federal Budget. The Government has said it will repeal the Low Income Superannuation Contribution (LISC) scheme that has provided a super boost of up to $500 a year for earning less than $37,000 year. The scheme, introduced two years ago, benefits an estimated 3.6 million Australians, or nearly one third of the total workforce – many of them part-time workers.

2 May 2014 - Changes to retirement policy and the Age Pension must not be piecemeal

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has today cautioned the Government about making piecemeal changes to the nation’s retirement income policies following the release of the National Commission of Audit report. AIST CEO Mr Tom Garcia said while AIST recognised the need to improve the long-term sustainability and equity of the nation’s retirement income system, changes to the Age Pension and superannuation tax concessions should not be considered in isolation but rather as part of a wider review of our retirement incomes system.

2 May 2014 - Government announcement to raise Age Pension eligibility age is not the answer

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) is pleased that today’s Government announcement will not have an impact on people approaching retirement but is concerned this is an ad hoc decision on retirement incomes policy.

15 Apr 2014 - Working longer may not work for all: up to 40% of Australians don’t get to choose when they retire

The peak super body for the not-for-profit super sector – the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) - today warned that any rise in the retirement age must be accompanied by measures to protect older Australians who are unable to work longer.

25 Mar 2014 - Generation Y and super the story isn't all bad

Recent research commissioned by the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has revealed that Generation Y may not be as disinterested in their superannuation as previously thought.

24 Mar 2014 - The high cost of involuntary retirement

A more flexible approach to retirement may be needed to account for the significant minority of older Australians who are forced to leave the workforce early, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees said today.

17 Feb 2014 - Change has never been something that the not-for-profit superannuation sector has shied away from – quite the opposite.

Click here to read Tom's op ed piece published in The Age.

3 Feb 2014 - Summit to tackle gender inequality at retirement

Speaking at today’s Women’s Super Summit in Melbourne, the president of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) and chair of Women in Super (WIS) said Australia’s superannuation system - as currently structured - would continue to deliver significantly poorer outcomes for women than men without new initiatives to bridge the gender savings gap.

29 May 2019 - APRA member outcomes consultation

AIST submits that APRA’s proposed changes to Prudential Standard SPS 515 do not properly align it with the recent member outcomes assessment legislation. The promotion of the financial interests of members required by law must be reflected in the prudential standards, especially by giving primary consideration to the long-term net returns that deliver optimal retirement incomes to members. AIST proposes amendments and calls for the development industry benchmarks to support the assessment process.

24 May 2019 - Kinship structures and superannuation death benefits

AIST is supportive of broadening the definition of dependency to recognise cultural adoption and reflect First Australian kinship structures. We urge Treasury to consult directly with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to understand the issues they face in relation to superannuation and the best steps to address them.

29 Mar 2019 - Retirement Income Disclosure Consultation Paper

AIST does not support the requirement to mandate CIPRs as a default retirement income product to members. AIST supports effective disclosure and continuing efforts to simplify and improve disclosure for members, and supports the initiative of Government to ensure that this extends to retirement income products. AIST explains that the use of retirement income fact sheets must not form a replacement for choice product dashboards and takes this opportunity to call for a proper evaluation of the effectiveness of simplified standardised disclosure.

22 Mar 2019 - Ending grandfathered conflicted remuneration for advisers

AIST supports this exposure draft legislation which will see the end of grandfathered conflicted remuneration on financial products. We believe that the 2021 implementation date is too late, and this measure must be implemented as soon as possible. In the meantime, details of commissions must immediately be added to fee disclosure statements, and in the absence of compelling reasons for their continued exemption, risk insurance products must be included in this measure.

1 Feb 2019 - Pre-Budget Submission 2019

AIST welcomes the opportunity to present our Pre-Budget Submission for 2019-20. Our submission presents a longer-term view of problems facing superannuation into the future, with recommendations designed to address these.

18 Jan 2019 - Senate Economics: Social Security Amendment Bill

Schedule 1 to this Bill implements changes to Age Pension means testing to allow for new innovative income streams. AIST recommends that Schedule 1 be deferred due to the lack of a unified retirement income strategy at a policy level, the identification of major flaws in the Government’s retirement income framework as identified by the Productivity Commission, and the outstanding gaps in consumer superannuation disclosure which are yet to be resolved.

9 Jan 2019 - FSC Consultation Draft – Life Insurance Code of Practice

AIST is pleased to provide feedback on the Financial Services Council’s review of the Life Insurance Code of Practice Consultation Draft. AIST provided comments on the original iteration of the life code and supports efforts for its continual improvement.

27 Jul 2018 - AFCA Funding

AFCA must be appropriately funded to ensure they can provide an effective and efficient dispute resolution service to consumers and scheme members. The funding arrangements must be developed according to the principles of equity, transparency and accountability and the arrangements must completely avoid cross-subsidisation because it would be inequitable if members’ retirement savings were used to fund the resolution of disputes unrelated to superannuation.

20 Jul 2018 - Supplementary submission to Productivity Commission

This submission provides further information in response to a request from the Productivity Commission to provide further detail in relation to AIST’s proposal for an automatic rollover process that would address the problem of unnecessarily duplicated superannuation accounts. In this supplementary submission, we provide additional details and respond to additional matters requested by the Commission.

13 Jul 2018 - Response to Productivity Commission Draft Report

AIST welcomes the opportunity to respond to this draft report. AIST agrees that there is no place for long term underperforming funds in the default space. However, we believe enhancing the current Fair Work Commission default selection process and increased APRA scrutiny are the most efficient, appropriate, and importantly the least disruptive ways, to address this issue. The Productivity Commission should address the biggest problem of underperforming choice funds in the retail sector, which is a drag on the efficiency of the super sector. The ‘best in show’ default proposal does not address this. Multiple accounts, balance erosion by fees and underperforming funds are serious issues, which are already being addressed by the APRA Outcomes Assessment Test, new ATO services. This should be enhanced by legislation supporting direct fund-to-fund consolidation of lost super. The Insurance Code should be implemented and be the focus for lifting standards. Regulator benchmarking of fees and returns should be used to assess if funds are delivering fair value and address under-performing funds.

4 Jul 2018 - AFCA Rules

AIST believes it is important the proposed rules adequately replicate existing dispute resolution arrangements to ensure that consumers are not worse off overall because of the transition to AFCA. There are several issues that must be addressed to ensure that AFCA will be an efficient and effective dispute resolution body.

15 Jun 2018 - Victims of crime compensation

AIST conditionally supports the proposal to allow victims of crime to access a perpetrator’s superannuation where the perpetrator made contributions to intentionally shield their assets. We do not support the proposal for victims to be given ‘broader access’ to a perpetrators superannuation because of the complexity, cost, inefficiencies and difficulty associated with implementing and administering such a scheme.

15 Jun 2018 - Retirement Income Covenant for Trustees

AIST supports the proposal to include a retirement income covenant in the SIS Act. However, we do not support the proposal to mandate a CIPR as a default product for members’ retirements, as this is a decision that trustees should make having regard to the needs of their members. AIST believes that should a CIPR be mandated as a default product in retirement, trustees must be protected by a safe harbour.

29 May 2018 - Protecting Your Super Package

AIST generally supports the package, but changes are needed to better meet members’ best interests. The fee cap calculation needs review and sell spreads need to be included in the calculation of exit fees in order to prevent gaming. The Insurance in Superannuation Voluntary Code of Practice should be the focus for improving member outcomes rather than the proposed legislation. Inactive accounts should be directly transferred to active accounts. A greater lead time is needed, given both process change and ATO processes already in train. AIST would appreciate further consultations to help better meet the proposals’ objectives.

20 Apr 2018 - APRA New Data Collection Consultation

AIST submits that implementation should be integrated with a review of existing documentation and forms. It should also form part of a whole of government approach to financial services reporting; this approach should be articulated by government as a priority. We emphasise the importance of appropriate communication during transition and implementation.

12 Apr 2018 - Insurance in superannuation voluntary code of practice

This supplementary letter addresses the Productivity Commission’s consideration of insurance in the third stage of their inquiry into the competitiveness and efficiency of the superannuation system. AIST's response relates to the Productivity Commission's invitation to provide further information about the insurance in superannuation voluntary code of practice, an update on the implementation process and preliminary details on the approach to developing the next iteration of the Code.

6 Apr 2018 - APRA member outcomes consultation

AIST supports the proposals which have an ongoing focus on improving member outcomes. AIST notes that there are three key issues which are fundamental and need addressing, being the difficulty of meaningful benchmarking, the existence of various disclosure gaps and clarity needed in relation to the interaction with various pending legislative amendments. AIST believes that the outcomes criteria needs to give primacy of focus to long-term net returns backed with the provision of quality outcomes by RSE licensees, whilst accommodating tactical investment options such as cash.

16 Feb 2018 - Means testing of retirement income streams

In this submission, AIST offers a guarded support for the proposed means test treatment outlined in the Position Paper. Whilst we support the principles underpinning this paper, we do not believe that there has been an appropriate balancing of these principles, and suggest that fiscal sustainability should not drive means testing rules. AIST offers suggestions aimed at improving these measures, and supports the use of grandfathering to protect existing pensioners.

15 Dec 2017 - 2018 Pre-Budget Submission

AIST welcomes the opportunity to present our Pre-Budget submission for 2018-19. Our submission presents solutions aimed at reducing the gender gap, with a focus on improving unpaid superannuation, as well as providing an examination of areas of the economy where Australians aren’t captured as part of our superannuation system. AIST supports the policy platform of Women in Super, and have aligned with them as part of their Make Super Fair policy.

20 Oct 2017 - Insurance in superannuation code of practice

AIST supports the draft Code of Practice. AIST makes eleven recommendations as part of this submission, based upon key themes that have emerged from consultation with AIST members. AIST notes the low awareness of group insurance in superannuation and recommends that the importance of this be better communicated.

29 Sep 2017 - Improving accountability and member outcomes in superannuation measures No.2

AIST welcomes proposed changes which will remove the loopholes that employers can use to reduce the Superannuation Guarantee entitlements of employees that salary sacrifice. AIST also supports the principle of choice in superannuation but argues this has to be provided in a way that does not leave consumers worse off, and operates in an environment of meaningful disclosure and consumer protections.

29 Sep 2017 - Improving accountability and member outcomes in superannuation measures No.1

AIST recommends that the outcomes assessment outlined in the Bill be modified in order to reflect the importance of net returns above any other criteria in determining the appropriateness of MySuper product offerings and that the assessment should also apply to Choice products. AIST also notes that it is important for funds to have the flexibility to choose the best method to conduct Annual Members’ Meetings, and that APRA’s existing regulatory framework should be reviewed before expanding its powers.

11 Sep 2017 - Strengthening operational governance of RSE licensees

AIST supports the member outcomes test proposed for all superannuation products provided the role of net returns are not diluted. AIST also submits that the existing regulatory framework provides APRA with sufficient power to address governance weaknesses.

31 Aug 2017 - ISWG fifth discussion paper - Premium Adjustment Mechanisms

The fifth paper released by the Insurance in Superannuation Working Group (ISWG) outlines how practices sometimes described as ‘profit share arrangements’ apply across the industry and operate in practice.

21 Aug 2017 - Response to Productivity Commission Stage 3 Issues Paper

This submission reiterates AIST’s strong support for the legislated but not yet implemented system for selecting default superannuation funds. Even without the enhanced quality filter arising from the legislated system, the existing model has delivered out-performance for default members and provided many benefits to the greater economy. The review process has failed to deliver any hard evidence that any of the proposed alternate models will deliver superior retirement outcomes for members. Without such evidence – and noting the risk and costs that would result from dismantling the current system – the Commission should be reluctant to recommend to the Government any changes that cannot be proven to lead to better retirement outcomes for members.

11 Aug 2017 - Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation

This submission raises a number of concerns about the Government’s Accountability and Member Outcomes Bill. While AIST is generally supportive of measures to improve outcomes and accountability in superannuation, we are concerned that a proposal to modify the MySuper scale test to a broader outcomes assessment process will dilute the important role of net returns in optimising members’ retirement outcomes. We recommend that the proposed outcomes assessment be modified to a two-tier assessment that prioritizes net returns above other criteria. We also call for the new assessment process to be extended to the Choice sector, where there are many underperforming products. Similarly, we argue that the Government’s proposal to enhance APRA powers in regards to MySuper equally apply to the Choice sector.

11 Aug 2017 - Black Economy Taskforce

Submission to the Black Economy Taskforce on increasing superannuation compliance. AIST recommends the Taskforce support existing initiatives (eg, SuperStream and Single Touch Payroll, new superannuation reporting in preference to the Taskforce’s suggestions on the New Payment Platform.

4 Aug 2017 - Housing-related superannuation measures

In response to this exposure draft, AIST points out that the First Home Super Savers Scheme has serious administrative issues that require resolving before implementation could be considered. We also note significant problems associated with the policy intention of the measure. AIST also points out that the downsizing measure is not well targeted.

5 May 2017 - ISWG third discussion paper - Member communication and engagement

The third discussion paper released by the Insurance in Superannuation Working Group (ISWG) outlines options to improve member engagement and understanding of insurance arrangements within superannuation.

3 May 2017 - Response to Productivity Commission Draft Report: Superannuation: Alternate Default Models

AIST identifies key elements for a robust default fund selection process in its response to the Productivity Commission Draft Report: Superannuation: Alternative Default Models.

24 Apr 2017 - Super reform – minor and technical amendments

This exposure draft rectifies many of the issues identified during consultation on the new measures introduced as part of the 2016 Budget. AIST strongly supports these changes in principle, however reserves the right to make further comment in May.

12 Apr 2017 - Draft Regulations Innovative Superannuation Income Streams

AIST welcomes the certainty that these regulations will bring for providers of innovative income streams. These draft regulations would be improved through limitations on unreasonably long deferral periods, better disclosure of pricing methodologies and better strategy with regards to the declining capital access schedule. However the rules around distributing excess cash from group self-annuitisation arrangements works against members of profit-to-member funds.

7 Mar 2017 - Consumer protections in the financial services industry

The Senate Economics References Committee is undertaking this inquiry into consumer protections in the banking, insurance and financial services industry. AIST believes that the numerous exemptions from the regulatory framework for superannuation currently afforded choice (i.e. non-MySuper) products and investment options, platforms and legacy products should be removed to ensure that the retirement savings of all superannuation fund members are equally protected.

17 Feb 2017 - Senate Economics: SG non-payment

Employer superannuation non-compliance remains a serious problem and calls for an automated and systematic response, as well as requiring more resources for managing complaints. AIST argues for ATO and Government to prioritise initiatives to address these challenges and for the success of these initiatives to be monitored and evaluated. Unfinished ATO initiatives should be reactivated, and the new initiatives of Single Touch Payroll and more regular reporting of contributions should be designed to improve compliance. Other SuperStream measures should also be given specific compliance objectives.

2 Feb 2017 - Means testing of retirement income streams

AIST considers that the role of social security in prioritising Comprehensive Income Products for Retirement (CIPRs) as recommended by the Financial System Inquiry needs to be addressed in this discussion paper. We believe that the focus on neutrality is not properly reconciled with Government policy and our submission points out that people should be compensated for trading in flexibility.

19 Jan 2017 - Pre-Budget Submission 2017

AIST welcomes the opportunity to present our Pre-Budget submission for 2017-18. We do not endorse superannuation being used for deficit reduction to a greater extent than other industry segments or for untested superannuation policy announcements to be made on Budget night. The current package of superannuation reforms should be implemented and allowed to settle, and KPIs should be developed and used to assess system performance against the primary and subsidiary objectives by an independent, publicly-funded body. AIST recommends a range of changes to improve superannuation for consideration.

16 Nov 2016 - Senate Economics: Super reform package of bills

This package of bills contain tax measures proposed in the 2016 Federal Budget. AIST generally supports these measures, noting some practical difficulties to implementation. In this submission, AIST encourages prompt passing of the bills to ensure that sufficient time is given to enable implementation by 1 July 2017.

28 Oct 2016 - Alternative Default Models inquiry (issues paper)

This inquiry is to investigate alternative models to existing default fund allocation arrangements. AIST argues that members’ best interests must drive the default fund selection process, and that consumer protection must remain in place to protect the millions of Australians who choose not to choose their superannuation fund. We also argue that the existing default system must be the baseline for any comparisons.

21 Oct 2016 - Tranche 3 of superannuation reform draft bill

The third tranche of superannuation reform will implement a lower annual non-concessional contributions cap, an account balance cap on non-concessional contributions and streamlines release authorities for Division 293 taxation. AIST notes the dependence of these measures on timely and accurate data being held by the ATO, but supports these measures and their early consideration by Parliament.

21 Oct 2016 - Backpacker super to be taxed at 95%

This is AIST's submission to the Senate Economics inquiry into changes to taxation for people on working holiday visas. Included in the package of bills is a measure that will increase the effective taxation on Departing Australia Superannuation Payments to 95.75% for holders of 417/462 visas. AIST opposes this measure as we believe it to be inequitable.

10 Oct 2016 - Superannuation reform package tranche 2

The second tranche of superannuation reform will implement a transfer balance cap at retirement of $1.6 million, a reduction in the concessional contributions cap to $25,000 p.a., catch-up concessional contributions, removal of anti-detriment provisions, and changes to taxation of retirement income streams. AIST notes considerable complexity for transfer balance caps, but generally supports most measures. We continue to oppose measures to reduce the concessional cap, especially for over 50s.

16 Sep 2016 - Superannuation reform package – Budget superannuation tax measures

AIST supports the deductibility of personal contributions, increased eligibility of tax offsets for spouse contributions and the revised arrangements for the low income tax offset. AIST suggests the general exclusion of defined befit funds from the deductibility measure, and a transitional mechanism for the LISTO.

16 Sep 2016 - Superannuation reform package – Objective of superannuation

In conjunction with other industry associations, AIST seeks that the Government consult further prior to introduction of the Bill. We seek the amendment of the primary objective to include reference to providing an adequate income that delivers a comfortable retirement. AIST also seeks an additional subsidiary objective of increasing national savings; recognition of insurance as key part of the ‘sole purpose test’; Parliamentary committee review of statements of compatibility; and the development of tools to assess compatibility.

13 Sep 2016 - Submission on Productivity Commission draft report on superannuation efficiency and competitiveness

AIST welcomes the Productivity Commission's draft report and its focus on developing appropriate evidence-based measures to assess the efficiency and competitiveness of the system

2 Jun 2016 - Proposed Financial Institutions Supervisory Levies for 2016-17

While AIST welcomes consultation on proposed financial levies for 2016-2017, AIST is once again concerned that insufficient detail renders the proposal as non-compliant with the Government’s Cost Recovery Guidelines and Charging Framework. AIST calls for proposed levies papers to attach Cost Recovery Impact Statements and the outcomes of the Regulator Performance Framework from all regulators (even if in draft). While not raised in the proposal, AIST firmly believes implementation of an ASIC user-pays model should not occur without further consultation. We seek information as to how the additional approx. $120million funding to ASIC will be raised.

2 Jun 2016 - AUSTRAC Industry Contribution 2016-17

AIST welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Consultation Paper. AIST seeks clarification firstly as to the basis for excluding the AUSTRAC Industry Contribution from the requirements of the Government’s Cost Recovery Guidelines, and secondly why so many entities are excluded from the Industry Contribution (this being difficult to gauge without a Cost Recovery Impact Statement having been prepared).

22 Apr 2016 - Productivity Commission inquiry into superannuation efficiency and competitiveness

6 Apr 2016 - Objective of superannuation

AIST supports the primary objective for the superannuation being to provide retirement income for all Australians that, when combined with or in replacement of any public pension, ensures a reasonably comfortable living standard, in the spirit of fairness within and between generations.

10 Feb 2016 - 2016-17 Pre-Budget Submission

AIST does not support the Budget being used to implement changes to the superannuation tax environment without considering the outcomes of the tax inquiry process and retirement incomes review, as well as the setting of objectives for the superannuation system. We recommend that these are finalised prior to any hasty policy changes driven by fiscal short-termism. However, we continue to support Budget action on a number of specific measures to improve fairness and efficiency of the system.

27 Jan 2016 - Extending superannuation choice to enterprise agreements and workplace determinations

AIST supports the principle of choice in superannuation but argues this has to be provided in a way that does not leave consumers worse off, and operates in an environment of meaningful disclosure and consumer protections. In the event the Government decides to proceed with this legislation, AIST proposes that the existing exemption remain for enterprise agreements where superannuation benefits in excess of the community standard are negotiated between the employer and their employees. This submission suggests ways to clarify transition and the selection of default funds.

8 Jan 2016 - Willing to Work: National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination Against Older Australians and Australians with Disability

AIST’s vision is for a better retirement future for all Australians. A key component of a better retirement future for all Australians is to better enable older Australians to continue working if they are able to do so, and to contribute to their superannuation benefit. Superannuation policy is one driver of workforce participation. Superannuation policies should only be examined within the context of a framework that sets system objectives, Key Performance Indicators, and a governance mechanism to assess progress. The AIST-Mercer Super Tracker is a robust methodology for tracking the objectives of the Australian superannuation system.

24 Dec 2015 - Raising professional standards of financial advisers

AIST supports the proposed requirements for financial advisers to require a bachelor’s degree, a professional year and the passing of an exam. We also support the requirement of an industry-wide code of ethics administered by a body chosen by the Minister. AIST submit that the transitional provisions must ensure that practitioners have appropriate time to comply.

18 Dec 2015 - IGT review of employer obligations compliance activities

AIST supports the removal of red tape for employers, however we believe that this must not come at the expense of employees’ entitlements. AIST does not support the existing model where a breach must be reactively reported by employees to the ATO, and supports the use of Single Touch Payroll, SuperStream and other technological improvements to more proactively monitor employers for non-payment. AIST believes that enforcement of other types of superannuation contribution by employers must urgently be addressed.

30 Oct 2015 - Senate Economics review of economic security in retirement for women

The superannuation gender gap is a pressing issue. AIST welcomes this review by the Senate Economics References Committee, and believes that this review, combined with the Government’s response to the Financial System Inquiry, Retirement Incomes Review and Taxation review forms an excellent opportunity to ensure that superannuation policy has a holistic gender lens applied. Although we note that the cause of the gender gap is not confined to superannuation, we believe that transparent objectives and agreed KPIs for the superannuation system will ensure that policy changes are appropriately road-tested prior to implementation.

18 Sep 2015 - Changes to the SG charge

AIST supports existing measures to ensure members’ contributions are paid in a timely manner. The proposed changes reduce the bases of the SG charge shortfall amount and the nominal interest payable, reducing disincentives to employers. AIST does not support this measure and calls for this to be abandoned.

10 Sep 2015 - AIST’s final supplementary response to tax discussion paper

AIST is pleased to provide our final supplementary submission to the tax discussion paper. AIST supports a comprehensive review of superannuation and retirement incomes which takes into account the broader environment of the system, rather than considering tax changes on their own. Our submission is intended as an introduction to the AIST Mercer Super Tracker, through which we have modelled a number of proposed changes to superannuation. Our modelling, which has been undertaken by AIST in conjunction with Mercer, is attached as a separate paper.

24 Jul 2015 - Tax discussion paper retirement incomes review

Expanding on our initial submission to the Tax Inquiry, AIST details a process for a robust and evidence-based review of retirement arrangements, involving a summit on the objectives of retirement incomes system, and followed by a detailed and methodical technical review and legislative support. Tools such as the AIST Mercer Super Tracker will be needed to provide measures of success in relation to sustainability, adequacy and fairness – especially to improve the lot of disadvantaged Australians.

1 Jul 2015 - Joint submission: Cooperative, mutual and member-owned firms

Senate Economics is conducting an inquiry into the role, importance, and overall performance of cooperative, mutual and member-owned firms in the Australian economy. AIST has joined with Industry Super Australia and ME Bank to argue that, free from conflicts of interest, the quasi-mutual structure has delivered superior returns to members. Further, we recommend that the Government consider whether reform is necessary to address the conflicts of interest that emerge when for-profit banks operate for-profit wealth management subsidiaries.

19 Jun 2015 - Changes to assets test

AIST welcomes the inquiry on this Bill. Our comments are limited to Schedule 3 which contains the proposed changes to the assets test. AIST points out that the proposed changes will have a negative impact on fairness in the superannuation system and recommend that changes be considered in the broader contexts of taxation and superannuation.

1 Jun 2015 - Response to tax white paper

The Government’s tax discussion paper, “Re:think” provides 66 questions on how to reform Australia’s taxation system. AIST’s submission explores the need for principles and objectives for the superannuation and tax systems aimed at providing fairness, sustainability and certainty to the superannuation system, and asks whether taxation should be considered on its own, or as part of a package which includes age pension means testing.

15 Apr 2015 - Simplifying when a standard choice form is to be provided

AIST supports measures to simplify superannuation administration for employers. Removing the obligation to provide a superannuation choice form to temporary residents is not opposed, but the objective will be more efficiently achieved through the Government’s Single Touch Payroll initiative. Access of temporary residents to superannuation must be maintained, along with measures to avoid the unnecessary duplication of accounts.

31 Mar 2015 - AIST releases submission to final FSI report

AIST’s response to the Government on the Final Report of the Financial System Inquiry (FSI). The FSI Final Report makes a number of recommendations about superannuation and canvasses a range of policy options.

9 Feb 2015 - 2015-16 Pre-Budget submission

AIST’s pre-budget submission discusses a range of measures that we believe are in the public interest. Issues raised in our submission include improving the fairness of superannuation, reviewing the rules associated with the age of superannuation fund members and the fairness of existing arrangements for employees, as well as the transition to 12% SG. We also raised the question of inconsistencies associated with the financial supervisory levies and recommended an increase in funding to Indigenous identification schemes.

24 Oct 2014 - Reform of excess non-concessional contributions tax

This consultation contains the exposure draft of legislation which contains reforms to the excess non-concessional contributions tax regime, allowing affected members to withdraw excess amounts.

19 Sep 2014 - Promoting SG compliance – ANAO audit in progress

This is an audit in progress that is presently being undertaken by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO). The objective of the audit is to assess the effectiveness of the ATO to support employers to comply with their SG obligations and identify and deal with those who do not.

17 Sep 2014 - Treasury Legislative Amendment – Deregulation

As part of the Government’s deregulation agenda, a variety of measures have been proposed in this exposure draft, relating to taxation, superannuation and shareholdings in certain financial sector companies.

5 Sep 2014 - Review of retirement incomes

AIST is pleased to respond to the government’s review of retirement incomes. Our response to this review recommends that a broader review of retirement incomes be undertaken involving consideration of tax, tax environments and social security. AIST’s submission points to the issues that there is no perfect retirement income product for all retirees, and recommends that trustees build a strategy that addresses the retirement needs of their members.

26 Aug 2014 - Response to Financial System Inquiry Interim Report

The Financial System Inquiry, chaired by David Murray, has released its interim findings in to the financial system of Australia. This is AIST's response to these findings.

31 Mar 2014 - Initial submission to the Financial System Inquiry

The Financial System Inquiry, chaired by David Murray AO, is charged with examining how the financial system could be positioned to best meet Australia's evolving needs and support Australia's economic growth. AIST’s initial submission examines regulation, the issues of adequacy, sustainability and longevity, diversity and governance, systemic risk, ensuring the system delivers and consideration of post-retirement solutions.

31 Jan 2014 - Pre-budget submission 2014-15

The Treasurer, the Hon. Joe Hockey MP, has called for submissions ahead of the federal Budget in May. AIST’s submission focuses on measures to reduce red tape, measures to reduce inequity and measures to improve sustainability and adequacy.

21 May 2019 - Essential Research – Understanding retail fund members

AIST commission Essential Media to conduct research into the decision-making process of Australians who are in retail for-profit funds. With a growing body of evidence pointing to the persistent underperformance of many retail funds, particularly those in the non-default ‘choice’ sector, AIST was keen to explore how people end up in these funds and whether these members are aware of their fund’s performance. The research findings – from both qualitative focus group sessions and a quantitative online survey – suggest a large cohort of Australians are misinformed about how their super fund is performing and what type of fund they are in. AIST is calling on the Government and industry regulators to develop an easy-to-use online super comparator tool to help consumers make more informed decisions about their super.

10 Apr 2019 - Fee and Performance Analysis

AIST has commissioned SuperRatings to examine the differences in fees and returns of profit-to-member funds compared with for-profit funds run mainly by banks. The report shows that the median profit-to-member MySuper has delivered 6.47% pa to members over 3 years – well in excess of the 4.94% per annum by bank and retail-owned super funds – and at substantially lower fees. In the Choice sector, bank and retail-owned funds charge much higher fees than profit-to member funds and generally underperform over both the short and long term.

16 Mar 2018 - Home truths: negative gearing and retirement

Negative gearing allows taxpayers to borrow money to buy an asset and deduct any losses made against their taxable income. While negative gearing can be used to buy assets other than real estate – such as equities – property investments account for the vast majority of tax write-offs.

8 Mar 2018 - Women and retirement savings

The gender gap in superannuation savings results from the inequalities which women face over their lifetime. Karen Volpato is AIST’s senior policy advisor and says the gender superannuation savings gap is not only about superannuation.

30 Aug 2017 - Risky business pays off

This research assesses the risk-return trade-off in the long term for Australian Superannuation funds and addresses the following key issues: • Is the performance of a multisector aggressive better than a multisector moderate over the longer term? • If multisector aggressive outperform in the long term: how long is long term? • What is the impact of a financial crisis on the return behaviour?

23 Mar 2017 - No place like home: the impact of declining home ownership in retirement

Research completed for Saul Eslake for AIST.

2 Feb 2017 - Global operations of pension systems

This research examines the objectives of various pension systems around the world, the metrics used to measure their success, and whether there are processes in place for pension reform.

19 Dec 2016 - AIST/WIS 2016 Women’s Super Summit report

AIST and Women in Super (WIS) held the second Women’s Super Summit in Melbourne on Friday 18th November, 2016 to look at ways to close the super gender gap. This report is a summary of the presentations and group discussions from the day.

16 Nov 2016 - Lifecycle MySuper Product Fees

This research investigates the relationship between MySuper asset allocations, investment fees and member outcomes. It concludes that the majority of funds use a fixed asset allocation that does not vary by age. Lifecycle options (i.e. investment options which do vary by age) are typically used by retail funds, rather than by not-for-profit funds. Where they are used by not-for-profit funds, de-risking (more conservative investments) usually starts at older ages than in retail funds. Building more conservative investment portfolios at earlier ages will see a reduction in member retirement outcomes.

16 Aug 2016 - Expenditure patterns in retirement

This research, which examines spending patterns of Australians, finds that the expenditure of most retirees is modest, regardless of their level of income. The research – commissioned by AIST and conducted by the Monash Business School’s Australian Centre of Financial Studies (ACFS) – finds that 80 percent of retirement households reported expenditure levels considered to be the most basic standard of living for retirees. The research is based on data from the 2014 Household, Income and Labour Dynamics (HILDA) survey, and compares the data over a twelve year period.

15 Sep 2015 - Modelling of superannuation tax proposals

AIST and Mercer have developed the Super Tracker to assess the progress of Australia’s retirement income system based on the available evidence and to make important contributions to the discussion about the system’s ongoing development including the fairness of taxation arrangements. This paper focuses on how the Australian super system stacks up on fairness, adequacy, and sustainability.

31 Aug 2015 - Superannuation in the post-retirement phase

The Financial System Inquiry (FSI) recommended that trustees develop a pre-selected option for members to receive their superannuation in retirement. But how might trustees go about developing these? Funds do not necessarily have homogeneous memberships, so there is no ‘one-size fits all’ solution. This paper, developed by the Australian Centre for Financial Studies (ACFS) for AIST examines a series of hypothetical members to ascertain what needs trustees will need to consider.

3 Aug 2015 - Super Reality Check - Busting the $1 million retirement myth

One of the great things about Australia’s compulsory superannuation is that it is founded on the belief that all Australians deserve a dignified retirement. Yet when it comes to debating the big issues around superannuation – the objectives of the system, the tax rules or indeed, what makes for a dignified retirement - all too often the debate centres on the expectations of high income earners as opposed to what is relevant for the majority of working Australians.

15 Mar 2015 - 2025: What will the superannuation industry look like in a decade

AIST in conjunction with BNP Paribas Securities Services, undertook research to identify key longer-term issues the superannuation industry may face. By asking where you think the industry will be in 2025 we sought to consider how to best shape our industry, overcome challenges and maximise opportunities for asset owners, managers and investors.

15 Mar 2015 - AIST Mercer Super Tracker: How the super system stacks up on fairness, adequacy, and sustainability

AIST and Mercer have developed the Super Tracker to assess the progress of Australia’s retirement income system based on the available evidence and to make important contributions to the discussion about the system’s ongoing development including the fairness of taxation arrangements. This paper focuses on how the Australian super system stacks up on fairness, adequacy, and sustainability.

15 Dec 2014 - Superannuation projections: A discussion paper

AIST commissioned research to consider the design and regulatory treatment of superannuation projections. The aim of the research was to explore how the value of static superannuation projections to members can be improved. The research also examines interactive superannuation calculators by way of comparison with static superannuation projections.

28 Mar 2014 - Involuntary Retirement, Characteristics and Implications

AIST commissioned The Australian Centre for Financial Studies to identify cohorts who retire involuntarily. Such cohorts would be adversely affected by any changes to preservation age and age pension age and would need policy recognition. Since AIST commissioned the report, there has been considerable political and media discussion regarding lifting of the preservation age and the age pension age.