The CSRI Leadership Forum brings together leaders in public policy, industry and academia to debate how to secure a sustainable retirement incomes system for Australia and to explore alternative policy proposals.

The second annual forum is scheduled for October 12-13, 2016 at the Hotel Realm in Canberra.


The forum, hosted by the independent and non-aligned Committee for Sustainable Retirement Incomes (CSRI), will develop a holistic policy position on the reform of the system and seek to build a broad coalition of support for this agenda.

By doing so, it will contribute a long-term policy perspective and stability in the superannuation system that for too long has been subjected to adhoc changes that have undermined confidence.

Highlighting the need to improve both the effectiveness and sustainability of the retirement income system is the fact that millions of baby boomers with substantial superannuation balances are entering retirement over the next two decades.

People need secure incomes to reduce the risk of their running out of savings and falling back on the age pension or, as is more likely, living excessively frugally in an attempt to avoid outliving their savings.

Despite the strengths of our current retirement income system, a number of significant challenges exist:

  • The significant gender imbalance in super that leaves women on average ending their working lives with around half of the savings as men and spending long years in retirement on very low incomes.

  • Many older Australians are living precariously, especially those who do not own their own homes or who, for health or other reasons, are unable to keep working through to when they qualify for the age pension.

  • While our fully funded defined contribution scheme has served the country well, there are serious weaknesses in translating accumulated funds into secure income streams that last a lifetime.

  • There have been concerns that the system promotes wealth accumulation rather than retirement income, and that people on high incomes receive taxpayer support beyond what is needed to help them spread their lifetime savings.

  • The system has shifted a significant amount of risk to individuals who are ill-equipped to manage it.  Financial literacy levels are low and many people are confused about how much to save, what investment strategies to pursue and what retirement income products to take up.

  • The sheer complexity of the system and frequency of policy changes contribute to high transaction costs and undermine confidence.

  • Inconsistencies in the way the tax and social security systems operate influence people’s savings and work behaviour.

The CSRI has initiated a collaborative policy development process involving a broad range of industry and academic experts. The aim of this process is to build sustainable retirement incomes policies that go beyond the current budget or electoral cycles.

Within this effort, the goal of the Leadership Forum in 2016 is to present the research and scrutinize the alternative policy proposals with a view to building support for a reform program.

Sponsorship and Exhibition

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