20 Dec 2010

Superannuation changes being made in Australia

3:30 pm on 20 December 2010

Australia has moved to overhaul its $A1.3 trillion superannuation industry with reforms aimed at lowering costs and increasing transparency.

Radio New Zealand's Sydney correspondent reports that in some ways, Australia is the envy of the world with its system of compulsory superannuation savings.

But 20 years after its inception, super is seen as ripe for an overhaul.

The biggest perceived problems are cost and transparency. Workers are bombarded with choice, but have little understanding of what they are paying for or how much.

Now the government has adopted a recommendation by an inquiry for a low-cost default super option.

The "MySuper" option will be the only retirement product allowed to be automatically offered to people.

Radio New Zealand's correspondent says the changes, along with streamlined back-office procedures, are expected to cut fees by up to 40 basis points annually, which would add $A40,000 to the retirement savings of a 30-year-old on the average wage.