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AIST influences policy to make Australia’s
super system fair & sustainable for everyone.
While the Australian superannuation system was designed with the intention to benefit all Australians, the unique needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are often overlooked by superannuation policy makers and the industry itself.
AIST is keen to develop and implement strategies with the input of relevant stakeholders that address a range of issues that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples face in relation to their super.
AIST has been heavily involved in the Indigenous Superannuation Working Group (ISWG) since its inception in 2013 and our CEO currently serves as Chair of the working group. AIST continues to ensure that the organisation is represented at each meeting and takes an active participation in industry initiatives such as the Indigenous Super Summit and the Big Super Day Out, reflecting AIST’s continue advocacy regarding the interests of First Australians.
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Established in May 2013, the Indigenous Superannuation Working Group (ISWG) is a cross-industry initiative that seeks to improve superannuation outcomes for Indigenous people. The working group’s members include superannuation industry bodies, superannuation funds and representation from the First Nations Foundation.
Representatives meet regularly to share best practice efforts and collaborate on key initiatives. In addition, the ISWG advocates on increasing awareness and improving outcomes aligned within improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples access to superannuation.
In 2015, the Indigenous Superannuation Working Group completed their initial Discussion Paper - Building Better Superannuation Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.
The annual Indigenous Super Summit provides an opportunity for representatives from Indigenous communities, the superannuation industry and government bodies to discuss progress in addressing the unique and often complex barriers that stop Indigenous Australians from accessing superannuation.
For each summit that has been held, a report of the day, including summaries of the discussions and outcomes is available to download.
In 2016 the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) issued new compliance guidance encouraging funds to look at more flexible approaches to identification requirements for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – including accepting alternative forms of identification where possible.
The Indigenous Superannuation Working Group worked closely with AUSTRAC on developing the guidance and a number of funds have now adopted this.
The ISWG has also put together a free
letter template that organisations can use to inform others that the guidance exists.
AIST member funds can access Financial Counselling Australia’s online register, allowing them to confirm the credentials of financial counsellors that are acting on behalf of fund members.
Superannuation funds must identify the person that they’re dealing with before they discuss details about a members’ superannuation interests. The online register – developed by Financial Counselling Australia is designed to make this identification process easier for super funds when members choose to nominate a third party, such as a financial counsellor, to act on their behalf.
The online register allows superannuation funds to confirm the financial counsellor they’re dealing with is, in fact, a financial counsellor.
AIST believes improving this identification process will reduce complications for fund members when they try to engage with their fund, improving the members' overall experience. It is hoped this will be particularly useful for vulnerable groups seeking assistance with their super, such as many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
AIST member funds are able to access the register, free of charge. If you would like to learn more or would like to access the register please contact [email protected]