Parametric knows what keeps super trustees sleepless
Wednesday, 13 January 2016 12:40pm

Industry consultant and after-tax specialist Parametric says issues that will keep superannuation trustees awake at night during 2016 include regulation, post-retirement solutions, and immunising members against market volatility.

Parametric Australasia chief executive Chris Briant said operational strategy and tax management will also feature on funds' agendas in the New Year.

This is backed by a recent "Insomnia Survey" from Parametric's Sydney office where up to 100 super fund trustees told the firm what keeps them awake at night.

Issues such as keeping technology current and finding and retaining talent, as well as hidden costs that erode returns - such as tax, foreign exchange, and brokerage - also have trustees tossing and turning during the night, according to the survey.

Mercer retirement and investments consulting business leader Pacific, Graeme Mather, said he was not surprised that regulatory change and adequacy of post-retirement solutions were chief among the concerns of trustees.

"Regulatory change will be both a challenge and an opportunity for the industry in the immediate future, and Mercer is in ongoing discussions with the industry, Treasury and the Government on relevant matters," Mather said.

"We believe the super industry needs more competition, more innovation in retirement income products, and more freedom to communicate with members in a meaningful way that will help lift financial literacy and consequently improve retirement outcomes."

The survey drew its strongest response from super funds with between $5 and $10 billion under management. Most respondent funds were industry funds.

Scale concerns and job losses were the least of concern among trustees.

In December, Parametric research also indicated a defensive equity approach would be an ideal addition to comprehensive income products for retirement (CIPRs). Both simulated and actual results of this approach, which Parametric manages over both MSCI ACWI and S&P 500 equity portfolios, are available options for super funds building a CIPR.

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