A new survey by industry fund Club Plus has found young Australians are engaged with superannuation, but lack proper education about the way the system works.
The Club Plus Super Future survey canvassed over 500 Australian between the ages of 18 and 36, and found that around six out of every 10 respondents believed it was important to start thinking about superannuation in the near future, if not immediately.
“It’s no surprise that asking young Australians to contribute more towards something they cannot access for many years into the future comes with its challenges, but when we delved deeper, this group proved more interested in super than many give them credit for, albeit on their terms,” said Club Plus acting chief executive Stefan Strano.
Mr Strano said members of this age group recognised the importance of their superannuation, but was not their top financial priority.
When asked what they would do with $5,000 if it were given to them, 36 per cent of survey respondents said they would use it to pay off debts, and 23 per cent said they would save for a house deposit – only 4 per cent said they would invest it in their superannuation.
“Given the extent of credit card debt and recent growth in house prices in many markets, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that young Australians’ priorities lie in paying down debts and saving towards their first home,” said Mr Strano.
“For the vast majority of young Australians who don’t contribute additional funds to their super, the reason is not because they are disengaged or ‘don’t care’ about their future, they may simply have other more pressing needs and priorities.”
The survey also highlighted a lack of superannuation education, with 87 per cent saying they believe superannuation should be taught in schools and that they intend to teach it to their children.
“We also found that 74 per cent of respondents were unsure about how much they need to retire comfortably, supporting the notion that we need to do more as an industry to demystify super,” Mr Strano said.
“While further research is needed to drill down into some of these areas, young Australians clearly understand the importance of the superannuation system and have their own distinct views on various facets of it.”
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