A changing retirement landscape in Australia

How regulatory changes impact retirement technology

By

Dan McLaughlin

5/8/2022

Earlier this year, I attended the ASFA conference on the Gold Coast. It was brilliant to be in such a stunning location and to see so many friends and familiar faces after a long time.

At a pivotal time for the superannuation industry, with a fair degree of change making its way through the system, it was great to hear and learn from the excellent discussions and speakers on the day. These included the Hon Stephen Jones MP, now Minister for Financial Services, who set out his direction of travel. We have already seen the Your Future, Your Super expansion paused as it is reviewed for any unintended consequences. Two things remain true about super: it is one of the best retirement systems in the world, and there is always change.

A changing retirement landscape

One of the main areas of change and reform is the now ‘in force’ Retirement Income Covenant (RIC), which requires trustees to begin offering mass personalised services to those near or in retirement. The three core objectives of the RIC – maximising income, managing risk and flexible access – really hit the nail on the head. You could also argue that these should be the objectives for DC retirement systems around the world. As Retirement Income Strategies are published, in varying degrees of detail, the emphasis moves on to the ‘how’. 

Implementing the RIC 

We see a strong trend globally where member outcomes are front and centre, and this is particularly the case in Australia. Here at Smart, we have been conducting a great deal of user research across the world, including in Australia, to understand people’s needs in retirement. What we learn from this is particularly useful and important to us because it directly influences the technology we build and the user experience it offers.

Underlying investment and retirement products are a critical part of the retirement income equation, but so too is the experience and member engagement that you provide to people. It needs to be easy for people to use technology to make better and more confident decisions in retirement, whether they are doing so on their own or with help from others, including advisers. 

A global technology solution

By learning from our global partners and user-centred research, we created Smart Retire – our retirement income platform module, which is very well aligned with the objectives of the RIC. Smart Retire is already live with our master trust in the UK, but it can provide a market-leading retirement experience for their members wherever they are in the world. 

We also recently announced that Melbourne is our new home in Australia. It wasn’t easy choosing where to locate our HQ, as there were many wonderful options, but we thought the combination of Melbourne being a centre of excellence for Super Funds and having an ever-growing fintech community tipped the balance for us.

If you have any questions for the Australia team please drop them an email at [email protected]

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FOOTNOTES
CONTRIBUTORS

A changing retirement landscape in Australia

How regulatory changes impact retirement technology

Earlier this year, I attended the ASFA conference on the Gold Coast. It was brilliant to be in such a stunning location and to see so many friends and familiar faces after a long time.

At a pivotal time for the superannuation industry, with a fair degree of change making its way through the system, it was great to hear and learn from the excellent discussions and speakers on the day. These included the Hon Stephen Jones MP, now Minister for Financial Services, who set out his direction of travel. We have already seen the Your Future, Your Super expansion paused as it is reviewed for any unintended consequences. Two things remain true about super: it is one of the best retirement systems in the world, and there is always change.

A changing retirement landscape

One of the main areas of change and reform is the now ‘in force’ Retirement Income Covenant (RIC), which requires trustees to begin offering mass personalised services to those near or in retirement. The three core objectives of the RIC – maximising income, managing risk and flexible access – really hit the nail on the head. You could also argue that these should be the objectives for DC retirement systems around the world. As Retirement Income Strategies are published, in varying degrees of detail, the emphasis moves on to the ‘how’. 

Implementing the RIC 

We see a strong trend globally where member outcomes are front and centre, and this is particularly the case in Australia. Here at Smart, we have been conducting a great deal of user research across the world, including in Australia, to understand people’s needs in retirement. What we learn from this is particularly useful and important to us because it directly influences the technology we build and the user experience it offers.

Underlying investment and retirement products are a critical part of the retirement income equation, but so too is the experience and member engagement that you provide to people. It needs to be easy for people to use technology to make better and more confident decisions in retirement, whether they are doing so on their own or with help from others, including advisers. 

A global technology solution

By learning from our global partners and user-centred research, we created Smart Retire – our retirement income platform module, which is very well aligned with the objectives of the RIC. Smart Retire is already live with our master trust in the UK, but it can provide a market-leading retirement experience for their members wherever they are in the world. 

We also recently announced that Melbourne is our new home in Australia. It wasn’t easy choosing where to locate our HQ, as there were many wonderful options, but we thought the combination of Melbourne being a centre of excellence for Super Funds and having an ever-growing fintech community tipped the balance for us.

If you have any questions for the Australia team please drop them an email at [email protected]

About Smart

Smart is a global savings and investments technology platform provider. Its mission is to transform retirement, savings and financial well-being around the world.

Smart partners with governments and financial institutions (including insurers, asset managers, banks, financial advisers) to deliver retirement savings and income solutions that are digital, bespoke and cost efficient. In addition to the UK, Smart is operating in the USA, Europe, Australia and the Middle East with more than a million savers entrusting over £4 billion in assets on the platform. 

Smart supports its clients with a 750 strong global team.

Legal & General, Fidelity International Strategic Ventures, J.P. Morgan, the Link Group, Barclays, Natixis Investment Managers, DWS Group and Chrysalis Investments are all investors in Smart.

We tweet as @SmartPensionUK.

For media enquiries

Email: [email protected]