New consumer research released by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) shows the majority of Australians want an increase in the super guarantee, people are increasingly consolidating their super accounts and nearly one third of those surveyed had no idea about proposed government changes to the taxation of superannuation.
ASFA CEO Dr Martin Fahy said the research, conducted for ASFA by Core Data and based on a survey of 1,000 Australians from a cross section of the community, showed more than half those surveyed supported super as a good way of saving for retirement.
“Australians are generally supportive of super but 50 per cent of people don’t know how much super they will need for retirement,” he said.
“Twenty-four per cent of those surveyed think superannuation is too complicated and 25 per cent want more information on super. The number of people with multiple super accounts reduced by half compared to a 2013 ASFA survey. This suggests industry campaigns to promote consolidation are working.
“For the first time we asked people about the ‘personality’ of superannuation and, pleasingly, found consumers ranked the industry as professional, secure, trustworthy and stable.
“This is a reassuring response for industry, with 65 per cent of those surveyed being happy with their fund and only five per cent seeking to change provider.
“However, we also found 70 per cent of consumers do not read product disclosure statements or are not aware of them. This means many are making product choices based on emotion or they are not making any decisions at all, relying on defaults.
“So engagement is fundamental for the industry – we need to do more to light the super fire, to promote people taking control of their super, so you can expect to see ASFA’s consumer campaigns continue. Reaching out to consumers is paramount.
“The super industry has to maintain relevance, build on the trust people have in the system and bring them along for the ride – with great retirement products and fantastic investment strategies that help build the economy and provide comfort and dignity in retirement for as many Australians as possible.”
Dr Fahy said a significant challenge was capturing young people’s attention.
“The survey found under 30s want better customer service from their super funds, as well as useful financial apps they can use to monitor and make decisions on their investments and to calculate and track their retirement needs and benefits from contributions,” he said. “They are also interested in having a low carbon footprint.
“Getting super fit for purpose for young Australians has to be a focus for the industry and this means connecting with young people so they see the relevance of super to them,” Dr Fahy concluded.
For further information, please contact:
Teresa Mullan, Media Manager, 0451 949 300.
ASFA is the peak policy, research and advocacy body for Australia's superannuation industry. It is a not-for-profit, sector-neutral, and non-party political national organisation, which aims to advance effective retirement outcomes for members of funds through research, advocacy and the development of policy and industry best practice.