AUSTRALIA - Financial services minister Joe Hockey has released an issues paper designed to improve the regulation of the compulsory pension system.
Launching the paper entitled ‘Options for Improving the Safety of Superannuation’, Hockey said that superannuation is a key element of the government’s policies to address the long term consequences of an ageing population.
“Because of the compulsory and long term nature of superannuation savings, it is imperative that the community has full confidence that the regulatory framework is strong and robust,” he added.
Hockey explained that there is heightened interest in the safety of pensions following the highly publicised negative returns of some superannuation funds.
He added that although superannuation funds are safe, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) should be reviewed in light of changing economic and market circumstances.
The issues paper canvasses options for reform in two key areas: updating the prudential and legislative framework; fund governance including enhancing trustee accountability to fund members.
Hockey also established a superannuation working group consisting of representatives from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (APRA) and the government treasury to conduct public consultation on the issues paper, and to develop legislative options to be put to government.
Don Mercer, former chief executive of Australia & New Zealand Banking group, will chair the group.
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