Bernard Reilly

The outgoing chief executive of Australian Retirement Trust has backed the Quality of Advice Review as being essential part of solving the challenge around decumulation.

This week, Australian Retirement Trust announced its inaugural CEO Bernard Reilly was stepping down with a successor expected to take the reins in February 2024.

Reilly became the first CEO of ART as a result of the merger between Sunsuper and QSuper that commenced officially last year.

In that time, the industry has seen a change philosophy around decumulation amid the introduction of the Retirement Income Covenant and the ongoing QAR.

Reilly tells Professional Planner the fact there is a broader conversation around decumulation is “incredibly positive” because the building blocks to deliver to members already exist.

“It probably requires some changes and tweaks to regulations over time,” Reilly says.

“Quality of Advice [Review] is a great example and we’re focused on that. That requires some change about how and who can provide advice and the government has really taken up, which is great.”

The government response to the QAR will give trustees more freedom to give financial advice, although the parameters are yet to be set, nor has any consultation been opened to the industry.

How willing funds are to handle advice obligations varies, some funds like UniSuper have a strong internal advice team, while ART has leaned on relationships with external advisers.

Trustees are already obligated to deliver retirement solutions under the covenant, but the government and regulators have been underwhelmed by their performance so far.