Independent information desk for seniors launched

Federal Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer has launched an independent financial information service for older Australians at Parliament House, Canberra.

 

The National Seniors Financial Information Desk (FID), launched yesterday, was resurrected from the ashes of the respected National Information Centre on Retirement Investments (NICRI) which closed this year after losing government funding.

 

At the launch, National Seniors chief executive Michael O'Neill said NICRI'S demise after two decades of operation had left a dangerous gap for consumers.

 

“This information service will help older Australians navigate through an overwhelming retirement income system,” he said.

 

"Retirement products are complex and superannuation choices are difficult for people ill-prepared for life-changing decisions".

 

"Unfortunately, older Australians don't have second chances; and there is no time to recover from poor decisions or bad advice."

 

O’Neill acknowledged the role of ASIC's Money Smart resource, but said consumers often needed more than an online option.

 

"We want to speak to someone, to ask questions, to be informed and prepared for the next step".

 

Manned by former NICRI staff, the FID will be accessible at no cost to National Seniors members.

 

The organisation is seeking government or philanthropic support to extend the service to all people over 50.

 

The FID will provide independent information on super, pensions, tax and other financial matters. It will not provide 'advice', recommend products or take commissions, bonuses or third party payments.

 

Shadow Financial Services Minister Dr Jim Chalmers, Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan, and the Australian Bankers Association CEO Steve Munchenberg also attended the launch.

 

The Financial Information Desk can be accessed on 1300 020 110 or via www.fid.org.au.

 

26 November 2015.