Pension systems need to be streamlined on a global level, according to an Australian speaker at the third Asia-Pacific pensions forum.
Pauline Vamos, the CEO of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), delivered a welcome address at the forum and outlined current problems and possible solutions within the present pension system.
Although by their nature pension systems must be aligned to the local environment, there is a growing realisation that they share many issues and elements in common, she said.
“Each system is about fundamentally providing income for people when they are no longer able to work. But there is also a growing watch on how pension capital is allocated locally and globally.”
People should start thinking about the delivery of private pensions and governance as a ‘global brand’, Vamos added.
She outlined eight areas that could be streamlined globally within the pension system design.
One – the role of pension capital in both local and global economies – sees pensions acting as the bridge between the needs of long-term savings and long-term capital needs.
“The key focus of the G20 this year is infrastructure funding – new funding and financing models are being developed – pension capital is expected to be a key contributor in the future. We need to be a driver of these conversations,” Vamos said.
System implementation and connectivity including streamlined contribution collection, updated technology and integration into payroll and accounting systems; could also have a global framework, she said.
The standards and practices for fiduciaries were another area that could be set globally by implementing the design of global performance benchmarks and dashboards.
Vamos also stressed the importance of ensuring pension members are more informed and engaged.
“In the end, it is their system and their retirement and, increasingly, they will hold us accountable,” she said.