Productivity Commission wants to hear from SMSF members

The Productivity Commission says it wants to hear from super fund members, including members of SMSFs.

The Productivity Commission has released the issues paper as part of its Inquiry into the Competitiveness and Efficiency of the Superannuation System. This is the third and final stage of the inquiry into the superannuation system, which followed from recommendations of the Financial System Inquiry.

Related: Government starts third and final part of PC super system review

“The sheer size of the superannuation system, with more than $2 trillion of Australian assets, combined with its compulsory nature, highlights the importance of this Inquiry,” said the Productivity Commission.

“There could be very large gains to the community from increasing the system’s efficiency. And competition is often the impetus to promote efficiency and members’ best interests — an important means to a wellbeing end

“Undertaking such a wide-ranging review of the system represents a challenging and unique task. There is no precedent globally for such a comprehensive review of the competitiveness and efficiency of a superannuation or pension system.”

“The Commission is seeking to engage with all superannuation system participants through the issues paper. It would especially like to hear from fund members (including SMSFs), and an online comment facility has been created to make it easier for them to participate.”

The Commission asks a number of questions in the Issues Paper, including: “For SMSF members, what was your main motivation for establishing an SMSF? Do you still retain an account with an institutional fund as well, and if so, why?”

Other questions include:

  • “What are the material policy or regulatory impediments to the competitiveness and efficiency of the superannuation system?”
  • “Are you satisfied with how the system has performed for you and do you trust it to deliver you the best outcomes in retirement?”

Submissions in response to the issues paper are due by Monday 21 August 2017.

One apparent area of focus for the Government after the inquiry is complete is automatic insurance in superannuation. Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, said the Government had asked the Productivity Commission to specifically look into that issue.

“The issue around the impact of insurance premiums on retirement incomes, particularly for those people, young people, and whether in fact we ought to have opt in rather than opt out arrangements.”

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