Govt wants to help you make money

One of the most disturbing findings of the banking royal commission was how financial institutions are taking advantage of Australians who have little or no idea about how the system works.

While the majority of YourLifeChoices members believe they’re fairly financially savvy, there are many who have no idea about their Age Pension entitlements, how superannuation works, how much and what types of fees they’re being charged by banks and super funds, or even how to apply for the Age Pension in the first place.

Around 70 per cent of the 5500-plus members questioned in the YourLifeChoices Insights Survey 2017 said that the Government doesn’t do enough to support retirees or to make the retirement income and Age Pension process simple to understand. That’s why YourLifeChoices has been delivering authoritative and essential retirement information for the past decade and longer.

Still, it seems the Government has finally seen the light, this week releasing its new financial literacy program.

Yesterday, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer launched the 2018 National Financial Capability Strategy at an event at Parliament House in Canberra. The new strategy replaces the 2014-2017 National Financial Literacy Strategy.

Ms O’Dwyer highlighted the Government’s commitment to helping Australians take control of their financial lives.

“We want all Australians to be in control of their financial lives. The strategy guides action across the government, business, community, education and research sectors to support enhanced financial capabilities in individuals, families and communities,” she said.

The strategy aims to help Australians:

  • manage their money day to day
  • make informed decisions
  • plan for the future.

According to Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) modelling, more than one in three people find dealing with money stressful and overwhelming, and that if financial capability levels for all Australians were lifted even slightly, consumer wealth and consumption would increase by $212 billion over the next 30 years.

“The 2018 National Financial Capability Program drives programs and initiatives that make a difference in people’s lives. We want more Australians to access information and guidance they can trust to ensure everyone can make informed decisions,” said ASIC chair James Shipton.

“ASIC is committed to financial inclusion and better outcomes for all Australians. People are at the heart of the financial system and at the centre of this national strategy. The financial sector as a financial community should be engaging in practices that promote fair consumer outcomes.

“In particular, we need to continue to encourage women to be more confident with money, young people to find the information they need when they need it and support Indigenous Australians to access appropriate financial products and services. We want to see more Australians in control of their financial lives and I look forward to working collaboratively under the 2018 National Strategy to advance this important work,” Mr Shipton said.

The online “strategy” tool is quite broad and offers information on most aspects of finance, including tax, benefits and social services. However, it seems once again, retirement income has been scantly covered. Fortunately, YourLifeChoices members know we keep them up to date on all their retirement rights and entitlements.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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