David Murray gave a sound nod to the rigour and value of actuarial work as he launched For Richer, For Poorer in Sydney on Wednesday 2 September.
Murray addressed a press conference at the Actuaries Institute for the launch of the Institute’s new White Paper on Retirement Incomes and commented that “for the Institute to take on this work on the back of our inquiry to add value to what is going on in the superannuation system is really very valuable.”
“[The Actuaries Institute] is a very important body of people… it is an important pillar of our commercial system,” he said, adding that the “extraordinarily demanding” rigour required to get actuarial qualifications is important.
“One consequence of this is that the Actuaries Institute becomes a go-to place not just for work like this, but in many commercial contracts for dealing with arbitration, disputes, and valuations.”
For Richer, For Poorer analyses a cross-section of age, gender, income and marital status to build an intergenerational profile outlining the financial risks facing future retirees.
The Financial System Inquiry (FSI), which included two actuaries in its Secretariat, called for an agreed set of superannuation objectives to guide the sustainable financing of our ageing population and recommendations for the development of comprehensive income products for retirement.
Since the FSI there’s been very significant renewed debate in the superannuation system… and for those of us in the Secretariat and Committee, this is extremely pleasing. We have called out this problem of politics and superannuation which is, for the longer-term, very healthy,” said Murray.
Murray thanked the Institute for adding value to the debate on Australia’s retirement income system and reaffirmed the Institute’s calls for an overarching approach to designing a sustainable and equitable system.
“The system needs to be non-distortionary…in dealing with super, we should not use it as an instrument to deal with other issues,” he said.
“The FSI made it clear that we do not get enough value from the superannuation system, given what we invest in it, and that needs to be fixed … [Australians] have to believe in it.”
Download and listen to David Murray’s full address (7.38 minutes).
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