Over-50s consumer group COTA Australia (Council on the Ageing) and Industry Super Australia have jointly hosted a high-level roundtable on superannuation fund investment in aged care, in Melbourne today.
Attended by executives from leading not-for-profit industry super funds, discussions focused on how the $2 trillion superannuation sector could support the development of aged care services and vital infrastructure, and how funds can better support members access aged care.
With the first of the baby boomers set to turn 80 in 2026 – the average age at which people access aged care – demand is forecast to significantly increase over the coming decades. According to the Aged Care Financing Authority (ACFI), the residential care sector alone will require $35 billion to cater for this demand.
Of the roundtable, Industry Super chief executive David Whiteley said: “It was a good opportunity to better understand where aged care is headed and how industry super funds can play a positive role”.
COTA CEO Ian Yates said: “The aged care sector will be needing trusted institutions willing to invest in much-needed infrastructure. It would be terrific to see greater involvement amongst the industry super funds. Funds also have an important role to play in supporting members get access to the best aged care through both advice and new product development.”
Already leading in this space is health and community services fund HESTA, which, in July 2017, invested $19 million in an Australian-first dementia village designed to recreate real life experiences for residents.
HESTA CEO Debby Blakey said: “The project was a natural fit for our fund. HESTA is proud to be part of an innovative social project that could redefine how Australians grow old”.
“Helping our members plan for their future aged care needs is part of the financial planning service we offer as part of supporting our members to achieve the best possible retirement,” she said.
The group discussed services that would help consumers plan for their aged care and better understand and navigate the complex system.
The aged care sector provides services to 1.3 million Australians, generates annual revenues of around $21.5 billion and contributes almost 1 per cent of GDP to the economy. (ACFI, 2017)
The roundtable was attended by representatives from Australian Super, Cbus, Hesta, IFM Investors, ME Bank, ISPT, Catholic Health Australia, COTA, the ACTU and Industry Super.
David Whiteley & Ian Yates are available for interview. Media contact: Phil Davey 0414 867 188.
Industry Super Australia provides policy, research and advocacy on behalf of 16 not-for-profit Industry SuperFunds who are the custodians of the retirement savings of five million Australians.