Super funds should shape-up

Older Australians have lost faith in their super funds and believe the super system needs to be reformed.

This was the message delivered to the Conference of Major Super Funds in Brisbane this week by National Seniors Australia's chief executive Michael O'Neill.

O'Neill said members were unhappy at how funds performed during the global financial crisis.

“It is not just the drop in the value of their savings. It is the failure of funds to communicate the impact of the crisis to members; fees and charges went up while performance went down. It is the delay in acting on members’ instructions, which in some cases led to the loss of tens of thousands of dollars of members' money,’’ he said.

“Above all seniors are asking how the second best super system in the world became one of the worst performers during the global financial crisis. We believe it is because of a lack of effective competition, regulatory oversight and governance.”

National Seniors believes funds should adopt a life-course approach to retirement savings, best practice in communicating with members, including transparency on fees, and help improve the financial literacy of their members.

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