A little over a year ago, the debate around the future of Australia’s retirement income system was scattered, unfocused and restricted to a few policy and industry insiders.
Since then, the nation has seen a positive shift with a widening and enrichening of the debate to the point where a consensus has emerged around the need for reform and priority areas.
Part of that change has been stimulated by the energy and ideas unleashed through the activities of the Committee for Sustainable Retirement Incomes (CSRI).
As an independent, non-partisan and non-profit organisation, the CSRI was formed to act as a catalyst for the development of good public policy within the broad aim of improving the adequacy and sustainability of retirement incomes in Australia.
We have made good progress on our mission this year on several fronts. Our inaugural Leadership Forum in Canberra in June brought together interested parties from across the divide. The goodwill shown and the depth and quality of ideas on display provided a tremendous foundation.
The CSRI also played a central role at the National Reform Summit in August, which found extraordinary consensus among business, employee, seniors and community organisations for a holistic approach to retirement incomes instead of further piecemeal change.
In the meantime, our extensive work program continues with input from academic experts, superannuation funds, consultants, fund managers, financial planners and other industry experts toward a series of papers showcasing some of the best ideas for reform.
None of this would have been possible without the tremendous and ongoing support from many organisations and individuals. While there are too many to thank individually, I would like to take this opportunity at year-end to make special mention of a few individual contributions:
Murray Radcliffe, Academy of the Social Sciences Australia
Michael Stutchbury, Australian Financial Review
Brian Bennari, David Cox, Challenger
Nicolette Rubinsztein, Colonial First State
Graham Lennon, Jim Parker, Dimensional
Russell Thomas, Finsia
Michael Dwyer, Martin Stephenson, First State Financial Services
Michael Vrisakis, Scott Donald, Herbert Smith Freehills
David Whiteley, Phil Gallagher, Zac May, Industry Super Australia
Ruth Stringer, King and Wood Mallesons
Michael Monaghan, Suzanne Doyle StatePlus
That our policy advice is taken seriously by government leaders, parliamentary members and the public service is clear evidence of the confidence of the broad community in the CSRI and its ability to deliver outcomes in the national interest.
I also wish to sincerely thank all the members of the Committee – Michael Keating, Elana Rubin, Vince FitzGerald, Bob Officer and most particularly Andrew Podger – for their contributions and ongoing dedication to good public policy.
I will be communicating further in the New Year about our program and policy goals for 2016. In the meantime, I want to wish you all a safe and happy festive season and look forward to collaborating further next year.
Executive Director, CSRI