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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.

Webinar recordings:

Exploring Big Ideas 

Recent Thinking

Fewer losers as super funds manage to the YFYS performance test

Fewer funds failed the Your Future Your Super (YFYS) test than last year – but plenty of passes have come from managing to the constraints of that test.
31 August 2022

Super funds pass performance test, but at a cost

Funds have adapted to the test's metrics, but the consequent risk aversion could put the industry in "limp mode" and curb performance
29 August 2022

Retirement Conference 2022: Super sector is making strides

The 2022 Retirement Conference showcased an industry that is stepping forward and developing better retirement strategies for members. Run in an open-forum style, attendees from the 14 largest super funds were joined by representatives from Treasury, APRA, ASIC, government and opposition representatives, six industry partners and some recognised thought leaders on retirement
29 August 2022

Retirement Conference: Review and reflections

The 2022 edition of the Retirement Conference was a collaboration between Conexus 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.
26 August 2022

Good advice, flexible individual solutions critical to the best retirement outcomes

The principles-based approach of the Retirement Income Covenant gives funds the flexibility to focus on the best outcomes for individual members, but challenges remain in measuring success and providing tailored advice according to experts.
22 August 2022

Retirement Income Covenant: Managing members’ retirement outcomes

With the Retirement Income Covenant coming into effect on July 1, superannuation funds have focused on applying a principles-based framework and strategic approach to providing retirement solutions for their members, rather than just looking after accumulation
22 August 2022

Super funds long-term investors no more as industry goes ‘limp mode’

A big chunk of super funds are now in “limp mode” as their buffer against the performance test evaporates. And sustainable investing is getting harder when even tobacco exclusions eat up the tracking error budget.
27 July 2022

Super fund returns hit by YFYS performance test – research

Investment returns of super funds are expected to be hit as appetite to take on performance test risk is diminished due to the Your Future, Your Super performance test according to the latest research.
22 July 2022

The complex science of integrating impact into portfolio design

This article explores the technical challenge of navigating the 3-D investment framework.
21 July 2022

‘Sizeable portion’ of super industry could fail performance test

A sizeable portion of the super industry is in “limp mode” and close to failing the prudential regulator’s annual performance test, which money managers fear is leading to less active risk-taking and lower investment returns.
20 July 2022

Ineffective YFYS stapling measure should be reviewed

While the Your Future, Your Super (YFYS) performance test was the most controversial aspect of the reform package, the stapling measure designed to prevent the unintended creation of multiple accounts wasn’t far behind.
20 July 2022

Government reviews YFYS performance test

Minister for financial services Stephen Jones has made a sensible decision in requesting Treasury reviews some of the Your Future, Your Super (YFYS) reforms, particularly the performance test.
8 July 2022

Lottery effects in superannuation and the challenges ahead

The Productivity Commission (2016-2019) identified default fund allocation had a “lottery” effect, which could result in significant differences in outcomes between like individuals.
8 June 2022

Quality of advice review

The Quality of Advice Review will be difficult for panel members due to the morass of law and regulation, and the operating models that have developed as a result.
3 June 2022

Phew, that’s a relief: SG won’t impact wages of low earners

In February this year it became law that all workers will be covered by the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) regardless of their monthly pay. This replaces the $450 monthly threshold. Ever since that announcement I’ve worried that many low-income earners will experience a reduction in take-home pay. Fortunately that is unlikely to be the case. Overall, this provides a good opportunity for self-reflection.
9 May 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

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