Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he has heard “loud and clear” people’s concerns about how the global financial crisis is affecting their retirement savings.

Rudd today took questions from ordinary people about the crisis during filming of a Seven Network television special.

Asked what he took away from the forum, Rudd said: “That people are really worried about their superannuation, about how it’s deployed, how it’s used, how it’s growing.

“I think that is heard loud and clear.”

But Rudd said Australia’s super funds typically performed well.

“It’s a rocky time right now, I understand that, but our job as a government is to try and make those earnings as smooth as possible over time, despite these huge gyrations in the stock market which occur from time to time.

“And let me tell you, this is a big one.”

Rudd said he also heard the community’s message that they had had a “gutful” of greed and excessive executive salaries.

Asked whether he could fire the boards and senior executives of companies which pay executives too much, Rudd said: “I think sometimes you’d like to.

“But it’s a free country governed by laws, and ultimately shareholders are going to hold the boards of these institutions accountable.”

Rudd was also asked whether he would consider a referendum to abolish state governments to eradicate waste and duplication.

Rudd agreed duplication was a problem.

“I think we’re unintelligently governed in the structures we’ve got, that’s what I really think,” he said.

AAP