High numbers of Australians are considering the level of savings needed for retirement and have a general idea as to how much they have in superannuation, but would like advice about how to deal with changes in their personal finances, according to an investment group.
MLC, which is part of Insignia Financial, found that based on research involving 2500 Australians aged 18 or above, 69 per cent had spent time thinking about their retirement savings and 70 per cent understood how superannuation could help them reach their financial goals.
The “Financial Freedom” research compiled by MLC also found 79 per cent of respondents had a rough idea of the size of their superannuation balance and 13 per cent of those aged 18 to 27 made additional personal contributions, as did 14 per cent of those aged 28 to 42. Additionally, 20 per cent of those aged 43 to 75 and 16 per cent of those aged 58 to 76 also stated they made additional personal contributions to their super.
The research found that while there was a high level of general understanding, 31 per cent of respondents felt only slightly, or not at all, prepared to handle unexpected personal finance challenges.
Insignia Financial head of superannuation and chief distribution officer Mark Oliver said: “The research clearly shows Australians understand the value of superannuation and are motivated to improve their financial situation, but they need more assistance to achieve financial freedom.
“While it is broadly understood that superannuation is not a set-and-forget strategy, the industry has a role to play to empower members to feel confident in their superannuation and overall financial well-being.
“With 5 million Australians at or approaching retirement, super fund members need better access to relevant tools, information, education and advice well before retirement age – waiting until members transition to retirement is simply too late.
“The journey to financial freedom and achieving a desired lifestyle in retirement requires careful planning and commitment to create. Australians need assistance to improve their financial literacy, set clear financial goals and access to a range of advice, tools and resources to feel secure about those golden years.
“Expanding the personal advice offer that superannuation funds are able to provide to their members is a great step forward and will be an important tool to help members plan and prepare for retirement.
“Financial advice needs to exist on a continuum and expanding the scope of advice in super will better meet these needs.”