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THE CONEXUS INSTITUTE

The Conexus Institute was established as an independent think tank focused on improving retirement outcomes for Australians. The Conexus Institute applies a “research-for-impact” model to produce high quality, often collaborative, research which is used to assist industry, regulators and policymakers.

Webinar recordings:

Exploring Big Ideas 

Recent Thinking

Evaluating retirement income strategies and the applications to advice

We’ve just released new research recommending the next essential step for development of a healthy retirement system following on from the introduction of the Retirement Income Covenant (RIC) and the first round of retirement income strategies (RIS).
25 November 2022

Retirement strategies need new ways of judging the future

The superannuation industry is grappling with the complexity of delivering retirement solutions. Perhaps the only way to assess how well they work in the future is to start assessing them right now.
16 November 2022

Research – YFYS Performance Test – Constraint on ESG, Sustainability and Carbon Transition Activities

Collaborative research with FTSE Russell, An LSEG Business, ASFI and RIAA explores the performance test tracking error created by different ESG and sustainability activities.
9 November 2022

Research shows performance test limits ESG activities of super funds

Super funds’ activities in ESG, sustainability and carbon transition result in relatively high levels of tracking error under the Your Future, Your Super performance test, increasing the risk of funds failing the test.
9 November 2022

The verdict is in: YFYS curbs ESG

New research confirms the “anecdotal concerns” of the superannuation industry that the current design of the Your Future Your Super test makes responsible investing a no-go zone.
9 November 2022

Assessment of retirement income strategies essential next step

The Retirement Income Covenant (RIC) represents a significant milestone in the development of a high quality retirement income system for Australians. As super funds develop their Retirement Income Strategies (RIS), the next essential next step is to assess the quality of the RIS they are delivering to create accountability, and provide a framework for ongoing improvement.
7 November 2022

Thought piece – Assessing retirement income strategies… when outcomes are but a promise

Collaborative research with Associate Professor Geoff Warren (ANU) outlines how retirement income strategies can be assessed.
4 November 2022

Research paper – Exploring sustainable YFYS tracking error

Research paper exploring a sustainable level of YFYS performance test tracking error and the opportunity cost of the constraints.
12 October 2022

YFYS test constrains investment strategies at a cost to members

The Conexus Institute has just released new research exploring how much the Your Future, Your Super (YFYS) performance test will constrain investment strategy resulting in an opportunity cost to consumers of $3.1 billion per annum.
12 October 2022

YFYS performance test distorts fund investment behaviour

Financial Services Minister and Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones announced a review of the Your Future, Your Super (YFYS) reforms earlier this year, including the performance test, applied to MySuper default options, which is arguably its most contentious element. The deadline for submissions closes on October 14.
10 October 2022

Submission to Quality of Advice Review

26 September 2022

Transforming Financial ‘Advice’ Survey

Produced by CoreData, this report explores the current state of Australian consumers with regarding financial literacy and management of financial affairs, along with present and future behaviours regarding different sources of financial assistance. Financial and The Conexus Institute. The aim was to facilitate the continuation of an important conversation:how to improve the retirement outcomes of Australians delivered by the superannuation industry.
23 September 2022

Govt services could bridge advice gap

Government services have a higher trust rating than financial advisers which might hold the key to bridging the advice gap according to research.
23 September 2022

QAR proposals put more responsibility on trustees

The changes proposed by the Quality of Advice Review (QAR) are aimed at providing funds with more clarity on what they can advise their members on but also increasing responsibility on trustees.
23 September 2022

Government announces members of YFYS technical working group

The working group will work alongside Treasury to evaluate the YFYS performance test.
21 September 2022

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

Jeremy Cooper

Chair of advisory board

David Bell

Executive director

Hazel Bateman

Marisa Broome

Gregory Cooper

Ian Fryer

Pamela Hanrahan

David Knox

Xavier O'Halloran

Kevin O'Sullivan

Deborah Ralston

Fiona Reynolds

Nicolette Rubinsztein

Geoff Warren

Amanda White