Securing better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in superannuation Alternative formats available on request to PIAC - Contact PIAC
In partnership with the Anti Discrimination Board (ABD) and the National Congress of Australia’s First People (National Congress), the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) hosted a forum to discuss the difficulties faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in relation to superannuation. This paper is a summary of the issues raised at the forum with some further explanation and research included.
The forum was attended by consumer advocates, legal professionals and others working in the area. The forum participants shared their experiences and discussed potential solutions and further work to be done to achieve better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Some of the main issues raised, and reflected in this paper, were:
- The lower life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, leading to reduced opportunities to enjoy a retirement income generated by superannuation;
- Consideration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kinship in relation the distribution of benefits;
- The difficulties of locating lost and unclaimed superannuation;
- Issues of identification of members of superannuation funds (members) and their family;
- The need for more effective communication with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members and their families;
- The need for specific assistance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to access their superannuation or the superannuation of deceased relatives;
- The importance of education to fill the significant gap in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community’s knowledge of superannuation and financial literacy skills more generally.