From overindulgence on smashed avocado to being brushed off as a generation that’s entitled and living for the moment rather than planning for their future, Millennials or Generation Y often get a bad-wrap. But, do young Australians actually CARE about their super?
Rather than a simple response, read the revealing Super Future Survey Results.
Click here to see Super future survey.
What were the most interesting findings from the survey?
“Simply put, we got hard evidence that ‘young people’ DO care about superannuation. While traditional measures of ‘engagement’ with super don’t hold with this group, that is, they don’t typically make extra contributions, contact us or even login to their online account, saying that’s because they don’t care isn’t true if you ask me. The survey showed that despite 79.5% of people saying they were not taught about super at school, 86.8% said super should be taught at school and 87.5% said they would teach their kids about super! The good news is that some schools have already started to include this in their curriculum.”
“It’s quite amazing just how many young people my age finished school and enter the workforce with zero knowledge of super. When you think that super is almost 10% of their salary, to be going in blind to that seems insane to me. But hey, at least we learned about Pythagoras’s theorem and how to fire up a Bunsen burner ….. honestly.”
“Fair point but it’s also about context. I remember finding it hard to see why I should contribute more to something I wouldn’t be able to access for so many years. Yet when my employer made it easy and compelling for me to add more salary (they’d match my contributions) I ticked the box.”
“Yes, and we saw a similar dynamic recently when we ran a consolidation solution SuperMatch2 which enabled members of the Fund to round up lost super and rollover multiple accounts into one in just a few clicks on their mobile phone. Lesson here, make it simple and purposeful and they’ll interact.”
Did anything surprise you about the results?
“It wasn’t a huge surprise I guess but the survey definitely highlighted something really important – the influence of family and friends. A combined 78.9% of people advised they would turn to a family member or their partner for information relating to their finances. And while only 17.7% said they’d see a financial planner – who are of course are trained exactly for the purpose of giving financial advice – more people (22%) preferred to turn to google.”
“That’s right and don’t forget that 21.6% of people also told us that they would turn to themselves for advice, ‘I know how to deal with my own finances’, whilst only 4.7% of people highlighted that they’d turn to their super fund….. So what does that say about us?!”
“That’s disappointing to me because, and we certainly aren’t alone here, your super fund can help a lot at no cost to you at all (we are of course full of people that are experts in this stuff and just want to retain your membership rather than profit from it) but I think people tend to think that it’s all too difficult and avoid talking to their super fund.
What else did the survey tell us about these younger people?
“One of the questions I liked the most was when we asked what people would do with a $5,000 windfall. 25.7% said it would go straight into the bank, with another 36.47% saying they would pay off current debts. With over half the responses (62.17%) coming from people thinking about savings or clearing debt, clearly young people care about their finances.”
“I must admit that I am pretty surprised by some of those answers. 36.5% said they’d pay off debts? For the moment let’s say I believe that. 22.6% said they’d save for a home deposit. At this point I am pretty sure some of these people think their parents are going to see their answers. Then 8.4% said they would go on holidays and 3.7% said they’d go shopping and I was relieved that at least some people were capable of telling the truth.”
“No, look, if you couple those findings with the fact that 74.15% of people were unsure or had no idea how much they will need in retirement, it starts to tell a real story if you ask me. Why should young people be focussed on super now ahead of their current financial status? Honestly Stefan, throw in rising debt levels, the constantly out of reach goal of owning your own home and the fact super can’t be touched for 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years and I reckon that it’s not that young people are disinterested or disengaged, it’s just the current financial climate as well as the current social issues facing young people make it near impossible to address putting more into super now.”
Any final words?
“I think we have solid proof in these numbers that young Australians DO CARE about super and are increasingly aware of the importance of not ignoring it, but they need to see a reason to act now. In my opinion we need to do more as an industry to give them a way of seeing how they are tracking versus their peers and making it so simple to take small but important actions to ensure they aren’t disadvantaged later – which may be as simple as keeping just one fund through job changes.”
“I think this survey tells us that young people are still trying to get ahead but rather than preparing for their life in 50 years’ time, they’re focussed on that house deposit. While that goal remains so out of reach for many, they’re just going to have some fun in the meantime also. If that means having dinner with friends, drinks with the lads or shopping on a weekend, they’re going to do it. Young people understand the situation they’re in and their just trying to make the best of it whilst living in the NOW.”
Young Member Survey full results
Read the full results and response break-down for our Super Future Survey.
The information contained in this article is general information only and does not take into account your individual investment objectives, financial circumstances or needs. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for professional advice.