Equip Super says Australians are delaying retirement

New independent research commissioned by Equip Super has revealed that Australians are delaying retirement and working into their 70s due to the current cost of living crisis.

The survey found that only 26% of Australian workers believe they will be able to retire at 65, with more than a third listing the rising cost of living as the reason for the delay.

The research also found that 85 percent of Australians are becoming more cautious about their spending.

Paul Stocker, Head of Advice at Equip Super said: “In times like these, it’s essential to have a solid financial plan in place, and managing your super is a crucial aspect of that plan.”

Equip Super’s survey questioned more than 2,000 Australians, randomly selected across the nation. The results illustrate the financial pressures felt by many households across the country with rising inflation, interest rates and higher costs of living.

ART and AvSuper complete merger

Australian Retirement Trust (ART) has successfully merged with AvSuper marking the funds 4th successor fund transfer (SFTs) this financial year.

As part of this transition, more than 4,800 new members and $2.43bn in funds under management (FUM) have transferred to ART from AvSuper.

ART’s Chief Commercial Officer, Dave Woodall, said onboarding AvSuper is an important step in the growth of ART as the Fund continues to expand in the best financial interests of its more than 2.3 million members.  

“Our more than 4,800 new members from AvSuper will benefit from Australian Retirement Trust’s global investment capability, award-winning financial advice services and dedicated member support, including digital tools and education seminars. We’re very excited to be supporting them with these offerings.

AvSuper Chief Executive Officer, Michael Sykes, said ART was an attractive choice as a merge partner due to its similar culture and member-first alignment.

New retirement research from TAL

TAL has captured research findings in a whitepaperWhat I Wish I Knew: Insights into the Financial Needs of Australian Retirees which compares the expectations of Australians approaching retirement with the lived experience of retirees.

TAL aimed to learn more about their financial health – whether they’re feeling financially confident or stressed, what they did in the lead-up to retirement, what they did with their superannuation when they retired – and how they feel about decisions made. Key insights include:

  • 34% of pre-retirees aged 55+ feel unprepared for retirement and 32% have taken no action to prepare.
  • Retirees who had topped up their investments and super early in their retirement-planning felt most confident in retirement.
  • 34% of pre-retirees don’t know what to do with their super when they retire
  • 51% of pre-retirees are looking to their super fund for advice
  • A third of retirees now expect to live longer than they thought when they first retired
  • 27% of retirees believe they either won’t have enough to live comfortably, or else be able to cover basic expenses for the rest of their lives.
  • 27% of retirees kept most of their super in accumulation after retiring.

Ashton Jones, TAL General Manager of Growth, Retirement & Wealth Partnerships, said that by understanding the expectations and concerns of pre-retirees and the realities of those living in retirement, superannuation funds had an opportunity to help more Australians enjoy a fulfilling and financially secure retirement.

Aware Super launches retirement planner calculator

New research from Aware Super has found that 94% of Australians aged 18 to 54 are very concerned about the cost of aged care, with the average cost around $470,000. 

Aware Super has launched a calculator tool to reduce Australians’ concerns and help them plan for the retirement they deserve. The new My Retirement Planner calculator is now accessible to every Australian, whether they are an Aware member or not. 

In nine months since it launched for members57,000 of Aware’s members have accessed My Retirement Planner, resulting in more than 37,000 Statements of Advice being issued. 

Jacki Ellis, Head of Retirement at Aware Super, says the need to engage with super, to plan for the entirety of retirement, is imperative as the cost of living rises and Australia’s population ages.

Chant West says super funds still on track for healthy FY24 result

After five consecutive months of positive returns, super funds experienced a pull-back in April with the median growth fund (61 to 80% in growth assets) down 1.7% over the month. However, Chant West estimates that the median growth fund’s return for FY24 is sitting at a healthy 8%. This comes on the back of the surprisingly strong FY23 return of 9.2%.

Chant West Senior Investment Research Manager, Mano Mohankumar, says the big story is the healthy return over the financial year to date, despite all of the uncertainty.

“The return experience over FY23 and FY24 so far collectively represents a healthy reward for members who have remained patient and maintained a long-term focus. If you think back to nearly two years ago, FY22 closed with a particularly disappointing June quarter amid surging inflation and uncertainty as to when interest rate rises might come to an end.

“At that time, I don’t think anyone could have foreseen a return of nearly 18% over the subsequent two years. It’s just another important reminder to put short-term noise aside and focus on the long game.”

Rest urges government to make super fairer for under-18 workers

Rest has urged the Australian Government to remove a rule that prevents most workers under 18 years old from earning any superannuation.

Currently, workers under 18 are only eligible for compulsory Superannuation Guarantee payments from their employer if they work more than 30 hours per week, although some employers already voluntarily pay this. This means around 90% of under-18 workers miss out on super contributions.

Rest CEO Vicki Doyle said: “Rest represents around one million members aged 30 or younger, so we know how beneficial it is for members to set themselves up for their best-possible retirement from day one.

“This change would mean that every young Australian can engage with and benefit from our super system from the day they earn their very first dollar.”