More Australians are experiencing economic strain, but their super gives them confidence better financial times are ahead, new consumer research finds.
An Essential Research survey of 1151 people commissioned by the Super Members Council (SMC), revealed almost two thirds of Australians say super makes them feel more confident about their financial wellbeing, despite a majority (53%) now saying they are financially struggling.
But even most of those experiencing financial difficulty say super makes them more confident about their future,
Australians have great trust in super. The research shows people trust that super works in the best interests of members, is a low-cost way to build wealth and believe super has delivered strong long-term investment returns.
Super Members Council Executive General Manager of Advocacy Georgia Brumby said while cost-of-living pressures are impacting family budgets their super gives them a feeling of future financial security and certainty – and those who engage with super can better maximise the benefit.
“More Australians are feeling the pinch, but super is seen as a lifeboat through today’s economically turbulent waters,’’ Ms Brumby said.
“Our universal and world-class super system has provided economic security, financial flexibility and peace of mind to millions of Australians.
“If the policy settings remain stable and changes are made only in the members’ best interests, super can go on delivering for generations to come.”
The new consumer research found that:
- 60 per cent say they are confident the super system is working in the best interest of everyday Australians.
- Overall, 58 per cent say super gives them confidence about their financial wellbeing, as do 54 per cent of those who say they are experiencing financial difficulty.
- 55 per cent agree that super has performed strongly over the long-term, with only 14 per cent disagreeing.
- 55 per cent say super is a low-cost way to build savings, with just 17 per cent disagreeing.
- 60 per cent say they trust profit-to-member super funds to act in their best financial interest, the highest rate among Australia’s financial institutions.
While trust and confidence in the system is generally high, those who are more engaged with their super historically report higher levels of satisfaction.
“Previous research shows those who take an interest in super are happier with their fund’s investment performance, so we would urge all Australians to check-in with their fund to make sure they are getting the most they can from their super,” Ms Brumby said.
“Life is busy and retirement for many is decade’s away, but spending some time now looking into super could really pay off in the long-term.”
And there are some simple steps members can take over the summer months to ensure they are getting the maximum benefit from super:
- Make sure you are being paid all your legal entitlements; Unpaid superannuation impacts almost 3 million workers a year – costing them a total of $5 billion. Check with your super fund either via an app or contacting them directly to make sure you are being correctly paid.
- Consolidate your super funds into one account; finding lost or unpaid super is simple now using the Australian Tax Office tools.
- Make sure you are with a top performing super fund; Investment returns after fees are the most important metric in measuring performance. The ATO has a useful comparison tool for MySuper products.
- If financially able to, consider making extra contributions to super; A 30-year-old on average wages that salary sacrifices $20 a week into super has $67,000 more at retirement and gets a tax saving now.
Media contact: James Dowling 0429 437 851, email@example.com
The Super Members Council (SMC) is the peak body for profit-to-member super funds and its primary purpose is to advance the interests of its 10 million members. SMC advocactes on their behalf to ensure superannuation policy is stable, effective and equitable.
The super funds who were members of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees and Industry Super Australia jointly created the new body.
James Dowling: 0429 437 851, firstname.lastname@example.org