The Productivity Commission has released its proposed framework to assess the efficiency and competitiveness of Australia’s $2 trillion superannuation system.

‘Our superannuation system is large, complex and has broad reach. This means even small system improvements can offer significant financial benefits to Australian workers, particularly in their retirement.’

‘We have developed a framework that will allow us to assess how well our super system is able to meet its primary purpose of providing retirement income,’ said Commissioner Angela MacRae.

This study represents the first in three stages of superannuation work by the Commission.

‘This is the first important step in our work. Undertaking a system-wide assessment of the competiveness and efficiency of our super system is challenging and novel. It has not been done before. Getting the foundations right matters most — and we know there are no silver bullets.’ said Productivity Commission Deputy Chair Karen Chester.

The draft report proposes a comprehensive framework to be used in stage 3 to assess the super system’s efficiency and competitiveness. The framework comprises system-level objectives, corresponding assessment criteria and a suite of performance indicators supporting each criterion.

The system-level objectives for superannuation identified by the Commission are specific to competition and efficiency and revolve around the best interests of members.

‘Competition is not an end in itself. It will be assessed in terms of the benefits it can deliver for members.’

‘In defining our assessment criteria, current policy settings are taken as a ‘system given’ to ensure our assessment focusses on what is within the system’s field of influence,’ said Karen Chester.

The Commission is seeking feedback on whether the objectives, criteria and indicators are fit for purpose. The draft report also foreshadows the Commission’s data needs and seeks views on addressing data gaps.

The Commission welcomes post-draft submissions from interested parties by 9 September 2016. The Commission will also be consulting with stakeholders via industry roundtables, and will be releasing a final report later in the year. Information can be found at the Productivity Commission’s website.

Our proposed assessment framework: a snapshot

Our proposed assessment framework:  a snapshot

[Productivity Commission website – Media Release] [LTN 147, 2/8/16]