Australians support superannuation, but find it complicated, ASFA finds

Australians support superannuation, but find it complicated and want more information, according to research released by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA).

ASFA CEO Dr Martin Fahy said the research showed that over half of Australians support super as a good way to save 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.”

The research also found that a majority of Australians want an increase in the superannuation guarantee rate and almost one-third had no idea about the Government’s proposed changes to the taxation of super.

For the first time the survey asked people about the ‘personality’ of superannuation, with consumers ranking 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,” Mr Fahy said.

“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.”

The research was conduced for ASFA by Core Data and is based on a survey of 1,000 Australians.

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2 Replies to “Australians support superannuation, but find it complicated, ASFA finds”

  1. Super easily explained:

    If you save $1m in Super you will be ineligible to claim any Old Age Pension come the new asset test on the 1/1/17.

    The Aged Pension will pay a couple $35,000 plus pensioner benefits such as discounts and Health Care advantages.

    My Super fund paid 3% less management fees. If I had $1m in Super then I would have been paid $30,000 less fees with no pensioner benefits.

    How simple is that explanation????

    1. Another way to put it is:

      The effect of new pension asset taper rate for assets above the lower asset limit is equivalent to an earning rate of around 7% for those assets. Therefore, if your super fund does not return greater than 7%, it is to your benefit to withdraw those assets (those that put you above the lower limit) and either spend them or invest them in your principal place of residence.

      Bob

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