AUSTRALIA - Superannuation fund assets have helped to fuel rapid growth in Australia's fund management industry, which is now among the world's ten largest, according to Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor Ric Battellino.
"A large part of the growth over the past couple of decades has been due to superannuation," he said. "Superannuation fund assets have grown by an average of 14.5% per annum since 1990, and now comprise about half the funds under management in Australia.
"This rise in superannuation assets reflects a number of government initiatives, such as the introduction of compulsory superannuation contributions in the early 1990s and the concessional taxation of superannuation."
Battellino said an issue which had received attention was what level of superannuation contributions is necessary to ensure an adequate retirement income.
He said: "Determining the adequacy of contribution rates is difficult because the modelling relies on various assumptions about future investment returns, income growth, length of retirement etc. There is also a need to specify what is meant by 'adequate'.
"Most of the recent research, however, suggests that, to ensure an adequate replacement income in retirement, the current level of superannuation guarantee contributions will need to be supplemented by the old-age pension for lower-income households, or by voluntary contributions for those households not eligible for the pension."
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) is in the process of convening an industry-wide group to take forward the work of the Institutional Disclosure Working Group (IDWG).
The Transfers and Re-registration Industry Group (TRIG) has given its support to an initiative which aims to complete occupational pension transfers within three weeks.
Scottish Widows has completed a bulk annuity deal for the Hitachi UK Limited Pension Scheme.