The Indigenous Superannuation Working Group has called on political parties to address the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the superannuation system.
The working group said political parties need to elevate Indigenous superannuation outcomes onto the agenda of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).
Chair of the working group and Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) executive manager Eva Scheerlinck said: “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have poorer superannuation outcomes than non-Indigenous Australians – including significantly lower balances at retirement.”
“Currently, Indigenous Australians face a range of challenges that government agencies are in a unique position to assist.
“Government agencies have all the information required to make it easier for Indigenous Australians to interact with their superannuation fund, but currently, they are unable to help due to excessive red tape.
“By placing Indigenous superannuation outcomes on the COAG agenda these agencies will be encouraged to collaborate to significantly improve retirement outcomes for many.”
The working group is currently investigating ways that super funds can be more flexible in terms of identification requirements. The group is also looking at ways to improve the collection of data from Indigenous members.
“There are inter-related issues at play concerning the registration of births and deaths and access to photo ID and alternative proofs of ID, compounded in many instances by issues relating to remoteness,” said Ms Scheerlinck.
The summit saw the involvement of 90 stakeholders from financial services, government and Indigenous communities.
“The summit has helped identify the key priorities for improved access and engagement opportunities for the Indigenous community with their super and there is now a collective will to develop practical solutions,” Ms Scheerlinck said.
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