THE CONEXUS INSTITUTE

The Conexus Institute was established to be a catalyst for improved retirement outcomes for Australians. The Conexus Institute applies a “research-for-impact” model to produce high quality research which is used to showcase the benefits of change.

Thought Pieces

Pamela Hanrahan and David Bell collaborate to propose a standardised tool for retirement transition support that would be made safe by design, rather than safe by regulation.

Watch on Demand

Hear from expert panellists Deborah Ralston, Pamela Hanrahan and Geoff Warren discussing the current changes to the superannuation industry with The Conexus Institute’s Executive Director, David Bell, in this special Exploring Big Ideas episode: The Pathway to Retirement Solutions.

Recent Thinking

APRA is evolving and super funds need to read the tea leaves

APRA’s direction is becoming clear: it is collecting data, using this data to produce insightful research, and putting this back to industry to challenge trustees.
8 April 2022

‘Big oversight’: Vertical integration notably absent from advice review

Vertical integration has been left out of the Quality of Advice Review terms of reference, leaving in limbo the application and appropriateness of vertical business models in the industry.
30 March 2022

Retirement guidance as a public good

Every Australian deserves access to a baseline level of quality retirement guidance.
16 March 2022

Submission to Review of SPS 530: Investment Governance.

Submission advocates for a more principles-based framework, and proposes two new requirements: a review of investment management model, and a review of member inequities.
16 February 2022

Super funds are offering obfuscation instead of clarity

In 20 years, the super fund industry has failed to implement common standards to compare outcomes. That is going to take industry leadership to change.
15 February 2022

Vertical integration needs a nuanced review

The Review of the quality of financial advice needs to undertake more than a binary debate on the merits of vertical integration.
9 February 2022

Submission to Review of the quality of financial advice – Draft terms of reference

Submission advocates for a nuanced review of vertical integration and the need for a scalable retirement guidance delivery mechanism.
4 February 2022

‘Is that the best outcome?’: Member inequality lurks in illiquids

Liquidity management for super funds needs to go beyond solvency and also consider member inequities, loss of portfolio shape in a crisis, and the cost of restoring liquidity and portfolio shape.
21 January 2022

Retirement: The possibility and reality gap is larger than ever

Retirement specialists need to be patient and positive as the gaps between the possible and present states of retirement expand.
17 January 2022

UNSW Sandbox Program explores retirement support

UNSW’s Sandbox Program is designed to introduce students to industry projects.
15 December 2021

A retirement algorithm could solve the nastiest problem in finance

A standardised web-based tool can make financial advice affordable and inform retirees about the retirement income products needed to make their superannuation savings last a lifetime.
23 November 2021

Retirement transition support that is safe by design

Pamela Hanrahan and David Bell collaborate to propose a standardised tool for retirement transition support that would be made safe by design, rather than safe by regulation.
28 October 2021

Unregulated retirement tool proposed for ‘middle’ retirees

A new paper released by The Conexus Institute and co-authored by one of Hayne’s royal commission advisers proposes the introduction of a low-cost, standardised modelling tool that provides access to retirement planning but sits outside the current regulatory parameters.
28 October 2021

Flawed performance test may constrain portfolio construction

Overviews the pathway forward for super funds under the YFYS performance test including constraints and opportunities.
20 October 2021

Retirement Income Covenant (Exposure Draft): Submission

Submission supportive of Retirement Income Covenant while identifying some of the important next-steps for retirement income policy.
15 October 2021

Research and submissions

Pathway to Better Retirement Outcomes

This will be an active area of research and advocacy for The Conexus Institute. Our work program will likely entail a range of research projects.

Your Future, Your Super

A review of the YFYS performance test, identifying that the performance test will, in many cases, be ineffective at identifying poor performing funds, while creating a range of undesirable outcomes.

UNSW Business School’s Sandbox Program

UNSW’s Business School’s Sandbox Program aims to introduce students to industry projects as part of their coursework program.

Celebrating our collaborators

Ian Fryer

Growth / defensive asset categorisation

Debbie Alliston

Growth / defensive asset categorisation

Kirby Rappell

Growth / defensive asset categorisation

Tim Jenkins

Early access to super

Scott Tully

Growth / defensive asset categorisation

Super Consumers Australia

Early access to super

Luke Zhou

Retirement income review submission

Tim Macready

Growth / defensive asset categorisation

Estelle Liu

Early access to super

Xavier O’Halloran

Early access to super

Actuaries Institute

Early access to super

Carol Lee

Growth / defensive asset categorisation

Annabelle Tian

Retirement income review submission

Anna Shelley

Growth / defensive asset categorisation

Eleanor Barz

Early access to super

Reece Zachariah

Exploring portfolios with illiquid assets

Kevin Liu

UNSW Sandbox Program 2020/2021

Yenni Tim

UNSW Sandbox Program 2020

Estelle Liu

UNSW Sandbox Program 2020

Xavier O’Halloran

UNSW Sandbox Program 2020/2021

Matthias Oldham

UNSW Sandbox Program 2020/2021

Nick Callil

Your Future, Your Super performance test

Tim Unger

Your Future, Your Super performance test

Emily Barlow

Your Future, Your Super performance test

Clayton Sills

Your Future, Your Super performance test

Kim Bowater

Your Future, Your Super performance test

David Carruthers

Your Future, Your Super performance test

Matthew Griffith

Your Future, Your Super performance test

Andrew Boal

Your Future, Your Super performance test

Stefano Cavaglia

Exploring portfolios with illiquid assets

Leigh Gavin

Growth / defensive asset categorisation

Lisa Carroll

Exploring portfolios with illiquid assets

Sandi Orleow

Exploring portfolios with illiquid assets

Pamela Hanrahan

Retirement transition support that is safe by design

Geoff Warren

Ensuring all retirees find a suitable retirement solution

Interested in collaborating?

Current projects

Illiquidity – governance, risk and portfolio management resources

Developing a suite of tools, guides and case studies to assist super funds achieve best practice

A better retirement for all Australians

We are currently undertaking early-stage research to develop our vision of a great retirement system

Exploring Big Ideas

Episode 1: Jane Hume

Ongoing micro-reforms, decumulation solutions, fintech and an end to ideological wars are highlights among the ideas Senator Jane Hume has for improving Australia’s retirement system, many of which can be described as micro-reforms which may disappoint those looking for a single silver bullet big idea.

Episode 2: Jeremy Cooper

The man who has shaped the architecture of Australia’s accumulation system sees great opportunity for further system improvement, challenges industry to illustrate the value of engagement, and questions whether tax incentives on super contributions should remain as strong if consumers are not drawing down on their capital in the retirement phase.

Episode 3: Marisa Hall

Pension funds need a generation of investment professionals that are willing to be brave and less conservative than their predecessors if they are to move to the systems level perspectives on investment that is required for better returns and societal outcomes, according to the co-head of the Thinking Ahead Institute, Marisa Hall.

Episode 4: David Knox

Middle income earners are most disadvantaged by the superannuation system, Mercer’s senior partner David Knox highlighted during an interview in which he pitched the concept of a universal pension for all Australians regardless of how wealthy they are or how much they earn.

Episode 5: The Pathway to Retirement Solutions

Expert panellists Deborah Ralston, Pamela Hanrahan and Geoff Warren discussed the current changes to the superannuation industry with The Conexus Institute’s Executive Director, David Bell, in this special Exploring Big Ideas episode: The Pathway to Retirement Solutions.

Meet our team

Colin Tate AM

Founder and adviser

Fiona Reynolds

Chair

David Bell

Executive Director

Hazel Bateman

Marisa Broome

Gregory Cooper

Jeremy Cooper

Ian Fryer

Pamela Hanrahan

David Knox

Xavier O'Halloran

Kevin O'Sullivan

Deborah Ralston

Nicolette Rubinsztein

Geoff Warren

Amanda White