Australia’s superannuation system is broadly admired.
Disruptive entrants have thus far focused on user experience, ethical alignment and branding rather than fees or performance.
However, regulatory change will drive significant shifts in the industry in the coming years.
Between 1908 and the 1990s, most Australians relied on the taxpayer-provided Age Pension or voluntary private savings for their retirement income. However, in a matter of decades, Australia transitioned from a strained public age pension system to what is widely considered one of the best retirement savings systems in the world.
The Australian superannuation system is a mixed public-private system, with three pillars, which balance the government’s need to manage public pension obligations and the goal for most Australians to retire comfortably (on a higher overall retirement income than the Age Pension alone can provide):
The means-tested and publicly funded Age Pension;
Compulsory private savings through the Superannuation Guarantee arrangements; and
Voluntary private savings supported by taxation concessions and direct government payments for low income earners.