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Australians in the dark on super tax changes

Australians in the dark on super tax changes

Killian Plastow
— 1 minute read

Almost one-third of Australians surveyed by ASFA reported they had 'no idea' about the government's proposed changes to the taxation of superannuation.

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) commissioned CoreData to conduct a survey of 1,000 Australians to gauge consumer attitudes towards superannuation.

While one-third of respondents said they had 'no idea' about impending changes to the taxation super, the number of people with multiple accounts has halved since ASFA's 2013 survey.

Sixty-five per cent of respondents said they were happy with their superannuation fund, but 70 per cent of super members have not read the associated product disclosure statement and are either making decisions based on emotion or opting to use default funds, ASFA research has found.

“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,” said ASFA chief executive Martin Fahy.

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees similarly noted a majority of Australians relied on default super funds in its submission to the Productivity Commission regarding proposed changes to default super arrangements.

Additionally, ASFA said that while more than half of Australians thought the superannuation system was a good way of managing retirement income, 50 per cent were unsure of how much super they’ll need for retirement.

A Mercer study released last week found that only 53 per cent of men and 41 per cent of women were on track to reach a super balance that could support a comfortable retirement, with millennials among those “not doing so well” with regard to super savings.

Mercer's findings were in line with ASFA’s results, which found that capturing the attention of younger members was “a significant challenge”.

“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,” Mr Fahy said.

“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.”

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