Superannuation is an important issue for men and women right across Australia. But it’s women who need to get on top of personal finances and superannuation.
It may not have the sex appeal of a trading room floor, but superannuation is a hot button issue in Australia at the moment.
With more and more people staying in the workforce longer, as well as an increasing life expectancy, the total cost of retirement is raising a few eyebrows.
Governments in and outside of Australia are furrowing their brows as they speak with accountants – in this case treasury – about where the money will come from as the same conversation takes place around kitchen tables across the country.
And while policymakers and superannuation organisations try to resolve the matter, it can feel as if the smaller people are being left out of the debate.
In recent weeks there has been some confusion over the scale of government reforms to the trillion dollar super industry, as well as the way they will impact everyday Australians.
But the people behind the Super System Review – which is also known as the Copper Review – are hoping to change this and put the focus back on real people.
In September 2011, a number of recommendations were made to the federal government that the commonwealth is keen to implement in the next financial year.
These include the creation of MySuper that will be available to employees from 1 July 2013 and has a single set of fees to make it easier for workers to manage their account.
The Cooper Review also sought to improve super administration with the introduction of SuperStream – which aims to speed up transactions and make them cheaper for both employers and staff members.
“The MySuper product is conceptual, and as much a philosophy as anything – it is not so tangible or practical as SuperStream,” explained Jeremy Cooper, chair of Challenger and the Super System Review.
“SuperStream is a group of really practical measures that are going to save funds a lot of time and money. It’s just been great to see how the industry has embraced it – the paperwork and clunkiness that the system has now will be gone,” he said.
According to treasury estimates, the reforms will help to reduce member fees by up to 40 per cent.
There are also plans to increase regulation of superannuation or at least update the tools used to oversee this industry.
It will take time to realise the full impact of these changes and with the rollout in its early stages, consumers can expect a few more tweaks to take place further down the track.
Policy holders will also have to wait and see whether these updates will drive competition in the superannuation sector, as well as the impact other government decisions may have on their long-term savings.
However, another major concern that is harder to resolve is the gap between male and female super contributions.
This broader issue is harder to resolve due to biological differences such as the fact that women will need to take time off work and pay differences.
But in the spirit of International Women’s Day it might be time to put aside these concerns and look at the different ways women can overcome these problems, rather than feel as if there are no solutions.
The first step for many people is to locate lost or missing super – an outcome of changing jobs frequently. You can then roll them into the one fund.
Before this, however, it may be a good idea to seek out the advice of a financial advisor to make sure that you select the most competitive policy.
Once the groundwork is in place the next step is to put your managerial skills into action and make sure to stay on top of any industry or regulatory changes.
This information is brought to by ipac.com.au
ipac is one of Australia’s largest financial advisory firms and has offices based across the country. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the AMP Group, ipac specialises in research and financial advice that helps clients lead happier, more fulfilling lives.
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