Aussies happy with compulsory super, research shows


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Australians are firm believers in the superannuation system, with 80% of fund members believing those who are self-employed should also be mandated to contribute.

This is a headline result from the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) 2023 Fund Member Survey and includes many individuals who considered themselves to be in that category.

"While there is some capacity for the self-employed to contribute to superannuation, we know that around one-fifth of these workers have no super at all in retirement," commented ASFA deputy chief executive Glen McCrea.

aussies support compulsory super

"The upcoming federal budget provides an opportunity to bring the self-employed and gig economy workers into the compulsory superannuation system."

The survey follows ISA analysis that suggested the average gig worker, who is not entitled to Super Guarantee contributions, could have up to $29,000 more at retirement.

ASFA says 98% of respondents also felt the current compulsory super system is about right or should be extended.

"This survey confirms that Australians not only see the benefit of compulsory super for employees but consider that all working Australians should be covered," says McCrea.

Further, around two-thirds of respondents say they would need annual expenditure consistent with, or exceeding, the ASFA Comfortable Standard to maintain their desired living standard in retirement.

In the 2022 December quarter, the advocacy body reported the comfortable standard for a couple is $69,691 and around $49,462 for a single person.

"Australians' expectations of retirement are clear; they want to be comfortable and the move to 12% super guarantee over the next few years will help more people to achieve that," says McCrea.

This article first appeared on Financial Standard

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Cassandra Baldini was a senior journalist at Financial Standard from June 2022 to December 2023. Prior to this, she was a reporter at the Daily Telegraph's digital subsidiary News Local covering court, crime and community news. She held various roles at Bloomberg in the London newsroom, and worked at Vanguard and Sony. She has a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Macleay.