A KPMG partner has said that the recent change of government — and the replacement of Kelly O’Dwyer — will be positive for the superannuation industry.
KPMG partner and former SuperRatings chief executive Adam Gee made the comments about the former Revenue and Financial Services minister at the WSSA Conference in Sydney on Friday.
“We had a very angry minister for financial services and superannuation. We haven’t helped, I don’t think, in making her less angry, but thankfully she’s not the minister anymore. I am very happy about that,” he said.
Mr Gee made the comments in relation to the changes to super from the 2018–19 federal budget that will see automatic insurance cover for younger members’ super accounts turned off.
“There was significant discussion from the Minister around should we just take insurance out of superannuation, and from our perspective that is absolutely not the right outcome, but I think that was absolutely her view,” he said.
In the May budget, the government had announced a deadline for the industry to enact the changes, but Mr Gee said it would be a struggle to hit it.
“The biggest challenge we think is the implementation time frame of 1 July 2019, which realistically is almost impossible in our view,” he said.
Mr Gee said that the industry had experienced setbacks which caused delays, but also had to take some of the responsibility.
“Unfortunately, inactivity in our industry has not helped when you have a minister as unfriendly as she has been for the last six months or so, so we do have ourselves to blame to a certain extent here,” he said.
However, with a reshuffle in the cabinet and portfolio roles, Mr Gee said they would have to wait and see what happened.
But he also expressed concern over the division of the financial services minister role, which Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced he would share alongside the Assistant Treasurer and the Assistant to the Minister for Treasury and Finance.
“We are concerned that we don't seem to have a minister for financial services and superannuation now necessarily,” he said.
Mr Gee said that he believed Mr Frydenberg has a good understanding of the industry and suggested this would be satisfactory for the industry.
“Our view is that we need a minister who has a very strong focus and understanding,” he said.
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