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Senate Inquiry to Shine Spotlight on Insurance Outcomes in Retirement System

Senate Inquiry to Shine Spotlight on Insurance Outcomes in Retirement System

The Australian retirement system is under examination as a new Senate inquiry focuses on improving consumer experiences, choice, and outcomes.
The Economics References Committee has been tasked with investigating various aspects, including general and life insurance, and is expected to deliver its findings by June 30, 2024.

Chairing the committee, Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg emphasizes the need to align insurance with the expectations of Australians throughout their life cycle. He asserts that the legal framework and industry practices must be adapted to ensure a better customer experience and increased choice in insurance.

Areas of Focus

The inquiry has outlined specific areas related to insurance that will be examined:

  • Regulatory and tax impediments to innovation and uptake of insurance products in retirement.
  • The interaction of health insurance, life insurance, general insurance, and social security supports to retirement outcomes, including improving incentives and the sustainability of the retirement income system.
  • The impact of climate change on insurance premium affordability and accessibility.
  • The projected impact of climate change on insurance premiums for various types of coverage.

Senator Bragg highlights a concerning statistic regarding complaints about death benefits offered by super funds, which have risen by 136% in the past year. He acknowledges a systemic issue with these products that the government has yet to address.

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has responded to the inquiry, noting that there is already a separate federal inquiry into how the industry responded to last year's floods. The ICA commits to reviewing the terms of reference to avoid duplicating the work being done by the House Economics Committee.

Meanwhile, the Council of Australian Life Insurers (CALI), representing the life insurance industry, welcomes the inquiry's focus on improving retirement outcomes and financial security for Australians. CEO Christine Cupitt states that life insurers are prepared to protect wealth and provide reliable and stable retirement income solutions.

"CALI will actively participate in any discussions surrounding these issues. Our goal is to ensure that the life insurance industry works in the best interests of Australians, allowing them to live healthy, confident, and secure lives throughout their lifetime," Cupitt adds.

Published:Friday, 8th Dec 2023
Source: Paige Estritori

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