Analysis: Australian pension system slammed

— 1 minute read
Australia's compulsory pension system has drawn criticism from European investment managers, writes our man in Monaco.
While Australia's financial system has been upheld as best practice in terms of transparency and governance, the Europeans really took to shortsheeting our pension industry at the conference yesterday.

The morning session looked at innovation in the post-retirement market and how to achieve a new, European-style 401K lifestyle product.

The focus may have been distinctly European. However, Australia's compulsory superannuation system drew criticism from the speakers including Axa Investment Managers chief Dominique Carrel-Billard, Towry Law chief Andrew Fisher and BNP Paribas Investment Partners chief Philippe Marchessaux.

They said we have 25 million people. The factual errors compounded from there.

According to the panel, 25 per cent of Australian pensioners are on the poverty line, ranking Australia as the fourth-worst pension environment in the world. 

Carel-Billiard said the Australian system is based on a 17 per cent replacement ratio, which is relatively low, and the expectation in other regions would be considerably higher.

Marchessaux was simply agnostic about compulsory super, while Fisher said compulsory superannuation would help the retirement funding gap but education is critical.

The panel concluded with the belief that a small populated market like Australia doesn't offer a global template due to differing tax regimes and regional nuances.

It was the arrogance that stuck in the craw and I think a few Aussies in the audience were looking to set up a lynching party.

The cost of toothpaste further compounded my irritation.

Monaco, as you know, is expensive. I bought a small tube of toothpaste for $9 and when the woman asked if I wanted a toothbrush I said I needed to ring my bank manager first.

Dawson is attending the Fund Forum International event in Monaco.


Analysis: Australian pension system slammed
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