Retirement income

Warning over property investment schemes

Authorities are warning potential property investors about spruikers claiming to be ‘wealth creators’ but who are really just in it for themselves.

Consumer watchdog the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said a national campaign is advising consumers not to attend these seminars.

Super reforms broadly fair but pension problem persists

Older Australians are broadly satisfied with the superannuation reform package in this year’s federal budget but are disappointed that the perverse outcomes of the 2015 pension changes remain unaddressed.

“The Turnbull Government has taken a measured but fairly comprehensive approach to superannuation reform,” said National Seniors chief executive Michael O’Neill.

“The mix, in terms of fairness and sustainability, appears pretty good.

Interest rate cut another low blow for seniors

The Reserve Bank’s decision to slash interest rates to 1.75 per cent is a further blow to older people on low, fixed incomes, National Seniors Australia said today.

The 0.25 percentage point drop is an all-time record low and the 11th consecutive cut.

“Many pensioners and self-funded retirees hold term deposits because of the security and peace of mind they represent,” National Seniors chief executive Michael O’Neill said.

Seniors baffled by delays in financial advice standards

Older Australians have labelled as ‘baffling’ the Federal Government’s proposal to delay raising the professional and ethical standards of financial advisers.

The new timetable, announced by Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer, shifts the education and exam requirements for new advisers from 1 July 2017 to 1 January 2019.

This means existing advisers now have until January 1, 2024 (5 years from 2019) to attain a degree or degree-equivalent qualification, and until January 1, 2021 (2 years from 2019) to pass an approved exam set by a yet-to-be-established standards body.

Seniors welcome chance to enshrine super objective

Older Australians have welcomed the first moves to enshrine into law the objective of superannuation.

Launching the public consultation process with a discussion paper yesterday, Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer said a legislated objective would guide policymakers, consumers and industry.

National Seniors chief executive, Michael O’Neill, agreed that the exercise, through greater clarity, would engender confidence in the system.

“Young Australians must have faith that what they sign up for now is what they’ll get thirty years down the track,” he said.

Feedback to the Fraser Review

National Seniors highlights the need for improved governance arrangements across the superannuation industry to build fund resilience and member confidence.

Life Insurance Reform Legislation

National Seniors is seeking stronger legislative provisions to prevent the current practice of advisers switching clients into new, less suitable life insurance products.

Call for delay in changes to Defined Benefit Schemes

Seniors say changes to Defined Benefit Schemes should be delayed for six months, instead of coming into force from 1 January 2016.

National Seniors chief executive Michael O’Neill has written to Social Services Minister Christian Porter, outlining the issues of concern and suggesting the changes start from 1 July next year.

A defined benefit superannuation scheme is one where the amount paid is defined in advance by a set formula rather than the value of investments.

Seniors welcome response to Financial Systems Inquiry

Australia's consumer lobby for the over 50s, National Seniors Australia, has welcomed the Government’s response to the Financial Systems Inquiry.

Chief executive Michael O'Neill said that governments played an essential role in ensuring confidence in the financial system at all levels - from global markets to the nation’s boardrooms to the kitchen tables of everyday Australians.

“The endorsement of almost all of what the David Murray-led Inquiry recommended provides a foundation for that confidence,” O’Neill said.

Groups find consensus refreshing at Reform Summit

The common ground found amongst usually disparate groups in Wednesday’s National Reform Summit was refreshing, says Australia’s over-50s lobby.

The Summit - which was driven by eight core business, union and community interest groups, including National Seniors, and brought together around 80 representatives from pre-eminent think tanks - reached consensus on the urgency of reform.

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