1. Releases 2011

Media Release: 1 November 2011

Australians want SG increase: new research

New research reveals very strong levels of community support for an increase in the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) from nine to 12 per cent, the peak body for the superannuation industry said today.

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) released the figures from a survey by Core Data Research into community attitudes towards superannuation.

The results confirm previous research showing Australians support the increase in compulsory contributions from nine to 12 per cent.

ASFA chief executive, Pauline Vamos, says the research also shows that 'having enough to retire on' remains the main financial concern of the majority of Australians.

"This is a key point for policy makers; having enough to retire on is the main financial concern of households, ahead of other concerns such as paying everyday expenses or losing your job," she said.

"Australians want dignity in retirement and they know that a higher rate of superannuation contributions is needed to support that."

The survey shows older workers (those aged 50 and above) in particular would support a faster increase in compulsory super. Most likely because they have fewer years left in the paid labour force and are worried whether they will have enough super.

However, there also is strong support for the increase amongst younger workers with around 75 per cent of younger workers strongly agreeing that the increase will improve their retirement.

The majority of respondents said they thought the increase to 12 per cent would be affordable for employees (59 per cent) and employers (55 per cent).

The proposal to lift the SG would see the increase phased in between 2013 and 2019, meaning only relatively small adjustments in pay over time to offset the increased super contributions.

Already 25 per cent of workers receive employer contributions of greater than nine per cent.

When the SG was first introduced, the much more rapid movement to nine per cent was accommodated without any adverse impacts on employer profitability or the level of employment. The same can be expected this time around with the much smaller increase in super contributions.

Core Data Research surveyed a representative sample of 1,003 people between the last week of September and first week of October 2011.

Media contacts:
Pauline Vamos, 0433 169 342
Rebecca Glenn, GM marketing and communications, 0416 170 439
Megan McDougall, communications and media co-ordinator, (02) 8079 0849

About ASFA - the voice of super
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia is the peak industry body representing the superannuation and retirement industry. Its members represent over 90 per cent of the approximately 12 million Australians with superannuation. ASFA members manage or advise on the bulk of the $1.3 trillion in superannuation assets as at September 2011. ASFA is the only organisation that represents all types of superannuation funds (retail, industry, corporate and public sector) and associated service providers.