Assessing the super system’s performance, according to the PC

The Productivity Commission (PC) has finalised its comprehensive report to assess the efficiency and competitiveness of Australia’s $2 trillion superannuation system. You can download the complete paper here (although it’s 3,142KB — click here for the 646KB executive summary). Assessing the super system’s performance, according to the PC
The PC points out that the superannuation system is large and complex, with a broad reach, which it says means “even small system improvements can offer significant financial benefits to Australian workers, particularly in their retirement”.

But the PC’s commissioner, Angela MacRae, emphasises that its report “is not about comparing the performance of individual super funds or products”, but rather is an attempt to assess whether the super system is efficient and competitive in delivering the best outcomes for members.

However the release of this “final” report is the first of three longer term stages of exploring the superannuation system. “This first stage provides transparency and certainty to the superannuation industry about how it will ultimately be assessed in our forthcoming review of the system’s efficiency and competitiveness,” the PC’s deputy chair Karen Chester says.

The government has previously stated that the PC will be tasked to undertake a system-wide review following the full implementation of the MySuper reforms (after July 1, 2017). “Undertaking a system-wide assessment of the competiveness and efficiency of our super system is complex and novel — it has not been done before,” Chester says. “Our assessment framework is comprehensive to capture this complexity.”

The PC says its system-level objectives for super are specific to competition and efficiency and revolve around the best interests of members. However it also states that: “Competition is not an end in itself. It will be assessed in terms of the benefits it can deliver for members.”


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