Asia-Pacific’s pension market and its inherent risk to social and economic stability demand an entirely new level of governance.
Asia-Pacific is the fastest aging region with the largest retirement asset growth rate in the world. Yet, across the region, pension fund governance frameworks have not evolved in line with the size, complexity and importance of national retirement and social security systems.
In many countries, the pension and retirement industry is as large as the banking sector or GDP, with global retirement assets rapidly growing towards a US$500tr AUM target. Garnished with tax advantages and responsible for the retirement wellbeing of large percentages of vulnerable customers, governance in this massive, complex and growing sector should be highly robust.
Yet, large retirement savings gaps, the US DOL fiduciary duty debate, slow progress in adopting stewardship and customer first codes in Japan, and findings from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry in Australia all reflect the urgent need for governance to strengthen.