While the overall level of satisfaction with superannuation has continued to fall, SMSF members still report the highest levels of contentment with their fund compared to industry and retail super fund members, according to new research released by Roy Morgan.
According to the research group’s latest “Superannuation Satisfaction Report”, the overall satisfaction rate for super dropped from 72 per cent to 65 per cent from January 2022 to June 2023, an overall decline of 7 percentage points, which was also reflected in all non-SMSF super sectors.
Satisfaction with SMSFs declined by 5.6 per cent from 80 per cent in January 2022 to 74.4 per cent in June 2023, while public sector funds, which previously had a satisfaction rating of 79.1 per cent, saw that drop by 7.9 percentage points to 71.2 per cent over the same period.
By comparison, the satisfaction rating for industry superannuation funds fell by 7.4 percentage points from 74.2 per cent to 66.8 per cent, while satisfaction with retail funds dropped by 7.3 percentage points from 66.9 per cent to 59.6 per cent.
Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine noted that while the overall level of satisfaction with superannuation had fallen, it was still higher than the long-term average of 58.1 per cent from 2007 to 2023 and also greater than at any time prior to the pandemic years of 2021 and 2022 when the measure was at record highs.
“The drop in customer satisfaction from early last year has occurred as the ASX 200 experienced a period of volatility since mid-2021,” Levine said.
“The ASX 200 reached a high of 7628.9 on 13 August 2021 and fell by almost 200 points when the index closed at 6433.4 on 20 June 2022. Since the middle of last year, the ASX 200 has significantly recovered and closed at 7410.4 at the end of July.”
He also highlighted the latest satisfaction rating research, which surveyed 23,145 Australians aged 14 or older with work-based or personal superannuation, took place from February to July 2023 and straddled four successive Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) interest rate rises, which remained a concern for super fund members.
“Although inflation is down from the 32-year high of 7.8 per cent in the year to December 2022, it is still well above the target range of 2 to 3 per cent over the course of the cycle,” he said.
“If inflation were to remain elevated at these levels in the period ahead, that would increase pressure on the RBA to increase interest rates once again despite a widespread expectation that Australia’s cycle of interest rate increases has now ended.”