A recent study by Club Plus Super has revealed that a majority of young Australians view superannuation as important, but are being let down in terms of being taught about how the super system works.
How young Australians are engaging with super
The Club Plus Super study surveyed over 500 Australians aged 18-36 years old and found that:
- 87% believe superannuation should be taught in schools.
- 80% said they were not taught about super.
- 75% said they didn’t know how much they would need to retire comfortably.
— 7 News Queensland (@7NewsQueensland) February 8, 2017
The findings fly in the face of the popular perception that young people don’t care about superannuation, with Club Plus Super acting CEO Stefan Strano saying that young people are more interested in super than many might think.
“Nearly half of all those surveyed said they specifically chose their own super fund,” he told the News Corp, adding that “a lot of people don’t even know they have a choice of funds”.
“Young people don’t need to know every intricacy of how it works, but at least should understand the value of it, so they don’t have multiple funds and pay multiple fees.”
Where are young Australians going for financial advice?
The other topic the study explored was where young Australians take their financial advice from, and the not-entirely-surprising answer is that the internet beats out financial planners as a preferred source of financial info. 22% of respondents said they turn to Google for super advice, versus 18% who asked a financial planner.
However, with that being said, family members were preferred over both financial advisers and the internet, with nearly half (48%) of respondents saying that they turned to a family member for financial advice. A further 31% would turn to their partners.
Mr Strano warns that anyone seeking financial advice on the internet needed to be careful.
“There’s so much information online, so you have to make sure you are looking at credible information.”
Schools have superannuation on the cards
The good news for young Australians seeking knowledge on superannuation is that recent years have seen financial literacy introduced to the curriculum in Australian schools, with some modules touching on superannuation.
In February 2017, a program with resources for teaching superannuation basics was implemented in a little over half of primary and secondary schools in Australia. The program was created by ASIC’s MoneySmart, the ATO, and the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).
— ato.gov.au (@ato_gov_au) February 10, 2017
ASIC senior executive leader Miles Larbey agrees that super education is important, saying that knowledge of superannuation puts school leavers in a great position.
“It will help them understand their entitlements and keep track of their super,” he told News Corp.
“A key thing for young people to understand is that the sooner they start saving the better, understanding that their investment increases over time.”