ASIC and Australia's ageing population
A speech by Greg Medcraft, Chairman, Australian Securities and Investments Commission at the Brisbane Stakeholder Event (Brisbane, Australia) on 25 July 2017
Good evening everyone and welcome.
Tonight I wanted to do something a little different – and I wanted to talk about something that is that is critically important – and that is the issues that face us as we get older.
It is a demographic reality for Australia that we have an increasing number of retirees and an ageing of our population. The 2015 Intergenerational Report showed that by 2055, the number of Australians aged 65 and over is projected to more than double; one in every 1,000 people will be 100 years or older.
At ASIC, we recognise that this raises issues of fundamental and strategic importance to the financial services sector, the community and the economy.
In terms of financial services for older Australians:
- retirement planning is complex, requiring people to consider the long term and think conceptually about uncertain and difficult concepts, including their own health and mortality
- as people age, they may be faced with their own cognitive decline and lack the ability to make sound decisions for themselves
- older Australians may also be more vulnerable to some types of scams or elder abuse
- some older Australians may lack familiarity with the technology used to deliver financial products and services.
ASIC and other regulators at the state and Commonwealth level have a keen interest in the retirement space and ensuring the provision of financial services to seniors in an appropriate and effective way.
Tonight I would like to talk about what ASIC is doing to help in this area, focusing particularly on:
- delivering education and information
- financial advice, and monitoring products being sold to older Australians
- the input and influence ASIC can have on the development of new retirement income products
- home ownership and investment.
I will then touch briefly on the international landscape.