Prominent legislators, regulators and superannuation analysts have been given free rein to share big ideas about how the industry needs to change to support self-funded retirees, the head of the SMSF Association says.

John Maroney, chief executive of the SMSF Association, says the future of super will be the overriding theme of this year’s conference, with plenaries and break-out sessions to tease out both how the industry must reform itself and how it is already equipped to help trustees achieve their retirement objectives.

Education, for both professionals and consumers, will be a topic in several forums, including the opening breakfast, which will broach how advisers, accountants and auditors can keep their skills up to date to meet the evolving needs of their clients.

“There will be a lot of focus on recent changes to super and how they are being implemented,” Maroney says. “A lot of people will have developed strategies in the last five years that will need to be revisited.”

Professional standards and voluntary education are also going to be agenda points.

“A lot of work is being done about lifting standards and how that plays out will be a key area of interest,” he says.

On Day 2, Deen Sanders, chief executive of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority, will take the floor to outline the future requirements for advisers.

Also on Day 2, Peter Kell, deputy chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Robert Jeremenko, head of Treasury’s retirement income policy division, and James O’Halloran, the Australian Taxation Office’s deputy commissioner of superannuation, will join Maroney to discuss the future of superannuation regulation.

As usual, superannuation policy will also be a hot topic over the three days, with a mix of both policy distillation and agitation for change in certain areas.

“We still think there’s a lot more work to be done to smooth out these retirement black holes, where people are earning more in super but not being able to take that in retirement income,” Maroney says.

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