Bouris takes on 'super' confusing jargon

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Most Australians are failing to take control of their superannuation, due to a lack of understanding of how the system works and a general discontentment with recent superannuation fund performance, claims Yellow Brick Road executive chairman, Mark Bouris.

Bouris says that, with a system that continues to be ‘tweaked’ by the government and an industry which uses ‘confusing jargon’, it is not surprising that Australians are more than happy to turn a blind eye to their increasingly inadequate retirement savings.

The comments follow the launch of Yellow Brick Road’s new superannuation fund, RetireRight, complete with an eye-catching TV ad featuring a young mother being slapped in the face by her baby.

“Australians have two big financial goals in life: to own their own home and to retire comfortably,” says Bouris. “For Australians who are working hard today whilst raising a family and paying off their mortgage, retirement seems like a long way off. In reality, the average couple will need a million dollars to retire comfortably, and most people simply aren’t going to get there.”

He argues that Australians are living longer and that the country’s aging population will put pressure on the pension system as the ratio of taxpayers for every retiree reduces over time.

“The current compulsory superannuation guarantee is not enough, and with the Coalition flagging a delay to the proposed rise to 12%, it’s time that Australians take their future into their own hands.”

Bouris believes peoples’ detachment with super boils down to the fact that they’re ‘generally confused’ by the system and how it works.

“They don’t understand it and many people don’t actually see super as their money. That’s why Yellow Brick Road has launched RetireRight, in order to show people how their super works and give them the ability to choose how they invest their money. It’s a basic right that many people have been deprived of.”

“Research shows that too many Australians don’t have enough super to fund five years in retirement, never mind the 20 or more that they’ll actually be in it,” adds Bouris. “The only way to reverse this problem is to give people the knowledge and the tools to take control of their future. No one is doing that. The majors are competing for business at the top end of town – the clients who are earning a comfortable six figures. But then there’s the rest of Australia, the people who are slogging it out just to get by. Who’s looking after those people? The answer is no one, until now.”

  • Soph M on 7/06/2013 9:38:24 AM

    Innocent Observer - thank you, appreciate clarification - feel for the ordinary - those who would think like me, without the knowledge. I for one would like to see the Industry shift... to a secular system that allows battlers to be more in control... Financial Planners are not on the list for battlers that I know (thats a drop in the ocean of course)

  • Justin Brand on 6/06/2013 10:38:57 AM

    If Mr Bouris is concerned about those Aussies "slogging it out to get by", then perhaps he could let us know his thoughts on the $10,000's they pay in trailing commission on their mortgages over 25 years (for little or no value). This could go towards their retirement savings.

  • Innocent Observer on 6/06/2013 7:07:49 AM

    Soph - Superannuation product disclosure is already far clearer than GI (just that there's more of it because there's more to it). It's the concept of "superannuation" that is misunderstood. People who think that "superannuation" is a product, not a tax structure

  • Soph M on 5/06/2013 3:46:37 PM

    Would it be just too simplistic to ensure that Superannuation is provided with disclosure information akin to say.. general insurance allowing all and sundry to understand what they are signing for? Or is this a .. once upon a time ............

  • Innocent Observer on 5/06/2013 11:56:25 AM

    Bouris is right on one count - there is a widespread misunderstanding of the superannuation system. By the sounds of it he too falls into this category. And the rest of his statement is PR/marketing stuff....he's legally entitled to that, even if it does misrepresent the vast majority of advisers who work our arses off to provide our clients with the strategies, direction and peace of mind to plan for their future (which as Mr Bouris would know, if he was an adviser, means very different things to different people). Nothing personal against him, it's more a reflection of the mortgage broking world, which is sales, not advice (anyone familiar with the process knows that "recommendations" are generated by the aggregation software....the real work is in finding clients and selling to them the idea that they should sign on your dotted line, and not one of the other thousands of brokers)

  • Phil B on 5/06/2013 9:55:50 AM

    Bouris is a Jonny come lately to the superannuation industry for which his mortgage background makes him ill equipped. It is to be remembered like others who have built up a profile, they will say anything that is controversial to get a headline. Bouris has never worked in the industry (it is unlikely he is qualified to advise) and therefore cannot know that the bulk of advisers clients are in the mid range, not the upper end.

  • Ben (CFP) on 3/06/2013 1:08:18 PM

    Sorry Mr Bouris but I take exception to you saying that the 'top end' are the only ones being looked after. The vast majority of my clients are hard working battlers who need the advice. I guess you are going to do the same as you always do, build up your business based on 'supposedly doing the right thing' and then when it's worth a few bucks you will off-load it to the highest bidder, namely one of those so called 'majors who look after the top end' and have the cash to buy you out.

  • aa on 3/06/2013 11:52:52 AM

    Does Bouris even have a DFP...????

    Who cares who you are? our industry only cares that you have completed your tafe course..... #Education requirements are a joke....

    For all the compliance people out there who dont have a finacial based degree and tell us that ADFP is of a higher standard than a Econ/ Commerce degree get a clue....

  • stevie c on 3/06/2013 9:44:40 AM

    I think you are a bit mislead, Australians have always had a choice of how to invest their superannuation. If no response to a choice is given then a default fund is used, I do agree though that it is up to advisers to actively work with their clients to get their input regarding investment choice.
    The majority of people are not interested or just a bit lazy.

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