Two-thirds of Australians feel reassured by their superannuation — here’s why

Last updated on 16 January 2024

Despite the cost of living reaching new heights and many retirees feeling the pinch, one thing is still inspiring hope in the future of Aussie retirement. [Source: Shutterstock]

Key points:

  • Research commissioned by the Super Members Council found that almost two-thirds of Australians reported feeling confident about their financial future due to their superannuation
  • The Essential Research report revealed that 53 percent of Australians reported struggling financially
  • Even those who reported struggling with their finances said that their super gave them confidence

An Essential Research report commissioned by the Super Members Council and released at the tail end of 2023 revealed that Australians still had a great sense of trust in their financial future due to their accrued superannuation.

In 2023, Australia’s Intergenerational Report highlighted that Australia’s economic future would drastically change as the ageing population became a significant hurdle for the future of national sectors and industrial growth.

Some of the concerns that retirees or partially retired Australians had shared about returning to the workforce or ongoing employment needed to make ends meet were not reflected in the latest report courtesy of the SMC.

The recent survey of 1,151 people found that 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.

“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.”

Notably, the report found that 60 percent stated they are confident the super system is working in the best interest of everyday Australians and a further 55 percent agree that super has performed strongly over the long term, with only 14 percent disagreeing.

“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 decades away, but spending some time now looking into super could really pay off in the long term.”

Throughout your career, your super fund will manage your money by investing your super guarantee and salary-sacrificed funds, with the returns growing over time and giving you a fall-back for financial support during retirement.

In addition, 60 percent say they trust profit-to-member super funds to act in their best financial interest — the highest rate among Australia’s financial institutions.

To ensure that you are getting the most out of your superannuation ahead of retirement, please refer to the financial planning and management guides listed at the end of this article and consider the following pointers:

Make sure you are being paid all your legal entitlements

The super guarantee gap was estimated to be as high as $3.6 billion dollars in 2020 – ‘21 by the Australian Taxation Office, which has sought to identify non-compliance and take a proactive approach to hidden wages.

A new SMC analysis of the ATO sample file has found that, on average, 2.8 million people are underpaid a total of $4.7 billion super in a year. SMC’s submission to the Securing Australians Super consultation shows that lower-income workers and younger women are disproportionately impacted by unpaid super.

Consolidate your super funds into one account

To find out more about missing and lost superannuation, please check the records as per the Australian Taxation Office.

Make sure you are with a top-performing super fund

To check the performance of your super fund against the industry standards, please refer to the Money Smart government tool to see how you compare.

Consider making extra contributions to super if appropriate

Check your options for adding to and growing your super through the Australian Taxation Office guide to voluntary contributions.

Keen to find out more about your retirement options and financial planning? Let the team at Your Retirement Living know what you need to know more about.

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