Majority believe super not enough to fund retirement: FSG/ING survey

Zoe FieldingAugust 31, 20140 min read

Australians have greater trust and confidence in the superannuation system than they did a year ago but less than half expect to rely solely on superannuation savings in retirement, turning to cash and property to make up the anticipated shortfall, research has found.

The Financial Services Council/ING Direct Superannuation Sentiment Index, released last week, showed that attitudes had improved over the past year towards the performance of superannuation, as well as the stability and certainty that the compulsory savings system provided.

FSC chief executive John Brodgen said superannuation funds had achieved double digit returns for the second year in a row, which had helped to boost confidence. The index measure of sentiment towards fund performance improved by seven points to 121 in 2014.

However, 52% of those surveyed said superannuation savings alone would be insufficient to provide for their retirement and 55% had investments outside of superannuation.

One in five people with assets outside of superannuation had investment property, the research showed. One third had cash savings.

“What’s important is to understand that if you have got money in superannuation it’s not liquid. You do need some liquid savings,” Brodgen said.

Actuarial firm Rice Warner recently reported that Australians held more than $1.6 trillion in superannuation at June 2013. The actuaries projected that figure would increase in real terms to more than $5 trillion in 30 years.

In comparison, Australians hold around $2.3 trillion in assets outside of superannuation and that is predicted to grow to $4.6 trillion by mid-2028, according to Rice Warner’s report, Ageing and Capital Flows prepared for the Financial System Inquiry.

In dollar terms, investment property accounted for almost half of personal investments held now, at $1.1 trillion, Rice Warner’s report found. Cash and term deposits accounted for 33.8% of the value of personal investments, while directly held shares accounted for 11.1%.

Self-managed super funds have been boosting their allocations to direct property and Rice Warner predicts they will continue to be interested in the asset class.

However, the Rice Warner report suggests the proportion of overall personal investments held in direct property will fall by 4% by 2028.

“Growth will occur due to superannuation becoming relatively less attractive for high income earners and lower interest rates in the short to medium term. However, this will be somewhat offset by investors gearing property less and yields being under pressure due to property prices and costs rising faster than rents,” the report says.

Zoe Fielding

I am a freelance journalist and editor with more than 15 years experience specialising in personal finance, property, financial services and financial technology. A skilled writer and researcher, I have extensive experience producing high quality content for corporate and media clients. I am used to working to tight deadlines and tailoring the pieces I produce to suit a variety of audiences and formats.
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