Younger consumers have been found to be far more likely to dip into their superannuation under the early release scheme, with a new survey showing 30 per cent of Gen Z Australians have used the measure.
The finding has come out of ME Bank’s Household Financial Comfort Report, a biannual survey which quantifies how comfortable Australian households feel about their financial situation.
Around two-fifths of households were found to have benefitted from at least one or more of the government fiscal stimulus payments and other assistance and/or had taken their own financial actions in response to the pandemic.
By June, 8 per cent of respondents had tapped into the first tranche of the early super release scheme, accessing up to $10,000.
But the figure rose to 30 per cent for Generation Z – around three times more than Generation Y or X.
Many Generation Z consumers also dipped into their existing savings – with 27 per cent using their savings to tide them over financially compared to the national average of 12 per cent.
Gen Z also requested rent reductions (15 per cent) and delayed or deferred bills (26 per cent) and loan repayments (11 per cent).
Around one in five households had tapped into one or both of JobKeeper and JobSeeker. Across generations, Generation Z was the largest recipient of JobSeeker (20 per cent) and the second-largest beneficiary of JobKeeper (14 per cent) behind Gen X (18 per cent).
A third (34 per cent) of households reported they were “worse off” from the pandemic, compared to a fifth (20 per cent) saying they were “better off” and 46 per cent saying their levels of comfort were unchanged.
More Victorians reported being “a lot worse off” (11 per cent) – the highest of any state or territory, with less residents being “a lot better off” (5 per cent).
Households experiencing a worsening financial situation cited “changes to employment arrangements and job security” (33 per cent), “changes to income (24 per cent) and “the impact of COVID-19” (24 per cent).
While the impact of the pandemic has been felt strongly by some younger Australians, overall the financial comfort of Gen Z increased 4 per cent during the past six months to June, and for young adults living at home this jumped by 13 per cent.
ME Bank consulting economist Jeff Oughton said: “Gen Z actively took up a variety of support measures to bolster their financial resilience and in turn financial comfort during the first wave of the pandemic.”
“This is likely due to many being employed on a casual or [part-time] basis across [COVID-19-affected] industries such as retail, hospitality and tourism.”
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
You can contact her on [email protected].
Former prime minister Paul Keating has warned that super is doing the heavy lifting in the recovery and blasted calls to freeze an increase ...
Australians are increasingly gloomy about their retirement prospects, and many believe they will be forced to delay retirement and work long...
While other Australian institutional investors have reported they are “quite satisfied” with their performance through the pandemic, mor...