Retirement Strategy Forum 2020
[i3] Retirement Strategy Forum 2020

[i3] Retirement Strategy Forum 2020

Retirement Strategy Forum 2020

Lobsters are a unique creature, because unlike most they can escape the process of ageing.

They don’t experience ‘senescence’, the gradual deterioration of normal functioning. At the cellular level, senescence means that cells stop dividing and they eventually die.

Most animals do experience senescence. In the process of cell division and DNA copying, the protective end-caps on chromosomes, called telomeres, slowly get shorter and shorter, and when they are too short, a cell can no longer keep dividing. They die.

But lobsters keep regenerating telomeres, because they have a limitless supply of an enzyme called ‘telomerase’. They produce lots of this enzyme, allowing them to maintain a youthful DNA indefinitely.

Humans are not as lucky. We fall in the category of mammals that do experience senescence.

We grow old.

As such, we have to think about our retirement. The Australian pension industry is still in its early stages of developing retirement solutions and the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has shown how vulnerable retirement savings can be to tail risk events in markets.

In March, global equity markets reported double digit losses, with 30 per cent drops in most G20 nations.

Although stock markets have since recovered most of the territory lost in that month, the impact on retirees is lasting. A number of them decided to sell out of equities in favour of cash, in an effort to lock in some form of security into the future, but thereby crystalising their losses and missing out on the recovery.

And while stock markets did recover dividends have been slashed across the board, especially by the big four banks, causing income problems for retirees.

With many funds in the midst of their product development for retirement solutions, can we learn from this experience to build lasting options for members, so they can grow old comfortably?

We will discuss this and many other topics at the [i3] Retirement Strategy Forum 2020.