Aussies not so super with their super

Katelyn CatanzaritiAAP
Research shows one in four Australians may not know the whereabouts of their superannuation funds.
Camera IconResearch shows one in four Australians may not know the whereabouts of their superannuation funds. Credit: AAP

One in four Australians say they don’t have a superannuation fund but often just don’t know where it is, new research reveals.

People who really don’t have a fund might include baby boomers who retired before superannuation came into existence but who have Self Managed Super Funds.

Or they might not be employed or are low income earner earners taking home less than $450 per month, who until very recently were not eligible for compulsory super payments from their employers.

But sometimes Aussies who think they don’t have a super account actually do - often more than one, says Finder’s superannuation expert Alison Banney.

“The most likely explanation is that a number of people have a super fund, or even multiple, open in their name that they’re either not aware of or have forgotten about,” Ms Banney told AAP.

Finder’s survey of 1007 Australians revealed 24 per cent - equivalent to around 4.6 million people - claimed not to have a fund.

Of the respondents who said they did, 17 per cent were unaware of their risk profile.

Ms Banney says it is alarming people are not more knowledgeable about their financial future.

Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures suggest half of Australian retirees still depend on the government age pension as their primary income source.

Meanwhile, the COVID pandemic has forced people to dip into their funds, with more than three million Australians withdrawing a total of $37.8 billion between April and December 2020, according to the Australian Tax Office.

“Whether Aussies never had super, accessed it during the first COVID outbreak or have lost track of their accounts, it all adds up to fewer people being protected than the system would hope,” Ms Banney says.

“Superannuation is a fundamental right for those in the workforce.

“That’s why it’s so important to check.”

People should get on to their myGov account, which is linked to the ATO, to check their super accounts and consider consolidating or switching accounts to avoid paying multiple account fees, Ms Banney says.

And at the very least, know where their hard-earned money is.

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