Choosing a superannuation fund is one of the most important financial decisions a person will make.
However, the superannuation system is failing countless Australians. People across Australia continue to be defaulted into under-performing funds, leaving them with hundreds of thousands of dollars less in retirement savings. Millions of duplicate accounts in the system and poorly targeted insurance products are also unnecessarily eroding people’s hard-earned savings.
It is clear from the Banking Royal Commission and the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into superannuation that the existing superannuation system has not effectively protected the interests of superannuation fund members. Too often the system works in the interests of the superannuation industry, not its members.
Giving consumers a voice in policy and regulatory decision making is a powerful way of ensuring the system works in the interests of members. Consumer advocacy organisations play an important role in holding industry and regulators accountable and ultimately making sure markets function properly and deliver good outcomes.
In our joint submission with Consumer Credit Legal Service WA (CCLSWA), CHOICE, Consumers’ Federation of Australia (CFA), Financial Rights Legal Centre (Financial Rights), Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) and Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network (ICAN) to The Treasury’s Consumer Advocacy Body for Superannuation expression of interest, we welcome the proposal to establish a permanent consumer advocacy body for superannuation.
Given the size, complexity and compulsory nature of the superannuation market, it is fitting that an adequately funded and independent advocate exists to give a voice to consumers. We recommend that Super Consumers Australia be this independent voice for consumers in the superannuation system.