Experts on retirement review

YourLifeChoices has 230,000 very engaged members aged 50-plus. We have our finger on the pulse of retiree concerns. We know what is on your wishlist. We know what you find frustrating, confusing and just plain wrong. Your voice must be heard in the Government’s retirement income review.

In this very different edition of the Retirement Affordability Index, we have broken from tradition to present your views and those of the experts. We invited key spokespeople to tell us what they believe must be covered in the review in the areas of superannuation, the Age Pension, the home and decumulation.

What’s wrong with our retirement income system? Plenty, says Michael Rice, chief executive of actuarial firm Rice Warner, who pinpoints the changes that must be made. “While we have a great system for building people’s superannuation, we let them down in the retirement years,” he says, emphasising that integration of the key pillars – super, pension, the home and aged care – is paramount.

Turning up the heat on the superannuation front, Xavier O’Halloran, acting director of Super Consumers Australia, claims the flaws, gaps and inefficiencies in the system have been allowed to proliferate for too long and explains how to “tidy up the system” to benefit everyone.

Most older Australians will receive at least a part Age Pension, but too many find the system confronting and confusing. Economist Sean Corbett identifies the key areas of the pension that he believes should be changed – and how.

Matt Grudnoff, senior economist with The Australia Institute, believes there is ample government support for retirees, but says the funds are going to the wrong people.

Per Capita’s Emma Dawson and Myfan Jordan acknowledge that home ownership is a fundamental plank in Australia’s retirement income system, but say that pillar is crumbling.

Challenger’s chairman of retirement income Jeremy Cooper explains decumulation and how a lifetime income stream can deliver a confident retirement.

But first, here’s a snapshot of retirement in Australia. And what we know about retirees based on your responses in the 2019 Retirement Matters Survey (5100 responses) and the 2018 Retirement Income and Financial Literacy Survey (5064 responses).

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Janelle Ward
Janelle Ward
Energetic and skilled editor and writer with expert knowledge of retirement, retirement income, superannuation and retirement planning.
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