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Superannuation statistics 2022

There are 23.2 million superannuation accounts in Australia with assets totaling $3.4 trillion.

There are 23.2 million superannuation accounts in Australia from a total of 145 fund providers (excluding funds with 4 members or less), with assets equalling $3.4 trillion. The top asset allocations across all funds are international shares (27%), Australian shares (24%) and fixed income (18%).

Superannuation is a crucial safeguard to have in place to finance your retirement and ensure you can live comfortably in your old age, but a concerning 37% of Australians have little to no understanding of how superannuation works. We used data from Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker to explore the state of superannuation in Australia and how Australians interact with their funds.

How much money is in superannuation?

As of March 2022, the superannuation industry holds $3.4 trillion in assets, with the majority ($2.3 trillion) held in funds with more than 4 members. Nearly a third of super assets are held by industry funds ($1.1 trillion), with self-managed super funds taking second place ($892 billion).

What assets are super funds investing in?

Total investments by Australian super funds totalled $2.2 trillion as of March 2022.

International shares (27%) and Australians shares (24%) are the top asset allocations, followed by fixed income (18%), cash (9%) and property (9%).

How many Australians have superannuation?

According to Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker, 69% of Australians have a superannuation fund and a further 6% plan on opening a super account in the future. Australians are more likely to have a savings account (84%), a mobile phone plan (82%) and car insurance (74%) than a super fund. This is particularly concerning for those approaching the end of their careers. According to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), 23% of women retire without super, compared to 13% of men.

Those living in metropolitan areas (72%) are more likely than their regional counterparts (65%) to have a super fund, and higher income earners are substantially more likely to have a super fund. Only half (49%) of Australian adults with a household income of less than $50,000 per year have a super account, compared to 89% for those earning above $100,000. Prior to July 2022, those earning less than $5,400 per year have not been eligible for superannuation contributions from their employer, which has made it more difficult for low income earners to save for their retirement. However, this threshold has since been removed.

How does superannuation compare between men and women?

According to ASFA, the average woman retires with $137,050 in super, while the average man retires with $178,800. This equates to a gap of 23%. While this gap is closing, men still retire with more money, in part due to the gender pay gap and the career breaks women take to have children. Overall, Australians retire with substantially less super than ASFA's comfortable retirement standard of $540,000.

How many super funds does the average person have?

On average, Australians have held 2 super funds over their lifetime, and 1 in 10 (10%) currently have more than 1 active fund. Having multiple super fund accounts can risk members losing track of their funds or losing a substantial portion of their balances to account management fees. According to the ATO, the total value of lost and unclaimed super is $13.8 billion across the country – equivalent to $4,871 per lost or unclaimed account.

According to a Finder survey, 1 in 4 super holders (24%) has had accounts with 3 or more funds, and less than half (48%) have stuck with the same fund for their whole life so far. Baby boomers (53%) and women (52%) are the groups most likely to stay loyal to a single super fund.

How do Australians choose their super fund?

Superannuation funds vary widely in performance, management fees and investment strategy, so it's important to understand your financial goals and compare funds before choosing one. However, 3 in 5 workers (58%) say their super fund was picked by their employer, which means they might not be compatible with their fund.

Gen Z are the most likely to have stuck with their employer's fund (67%). Meanwhile, baby boomers are the most likely to have chosen their fund based on the recommendation of an expert (29%).

Women (61%) are more likely than men (54%) to stay with the fund chosen by their employer. Women (11%) are also twice as likely as men (5%) to pick their fund based on the recommendation of a friend or family member.

How many people make additional super contributions?

As of March 2022, member contributions to superannuation made up 26% of total contributions, and employer contributions made up the remaining 74%. A Finder survey in June 2022 found 14% of superannuation holders make monthly contributions to their superannuation fund, and an additional 20% have made one-off contributions. Another 21% say they are planning to make additional contributions to their fund at some point in the future.

Men (16%) are more likely than women (12%) to make monthly contributions to their super, and to have made one-off contributions in the past (24% compared to 15%). Meanwhile women (26%) are more likely than men (15%) to say that they might start to contribute to their super fund in the future.

Gen X are the generation most likely to make contributions monthly (16%) whereas gen Z and millennials (both 24%) are the most likely to have made one-off contributions. Gen Z are also the most likely to say they plan to make super contributions in the future (40%).

How often do Australians check their super balance?

It is generally recommended to review your super balance every 3 months to make sure your employer is paying the right contributions, which they are required to do on a quarterly basis. However, more than a third of Australians (33%) check their super less frequently than this, and 1 in 10 (10%) never look at their balance.

Men (24%) are twice as likely as women (12%) to check their super balance more than once per month. Meanwhile, 12% of women say they never check their super, compared with 8% of men.

Gen Z (13%) are the most likely to say they never review their super. Meanwhile, nearly a third (30%) of baby boomers look at their retirement fund more than once per month.

How many people are interested in an ethical super fund?

Australians are becoming increasingly conscious of ethical investing. More than 2 in 5 Australians (43%) would switch to an ethical fund if it was performing at the same level as their current fund. A further 6% say they are already with an ethical super fund, and 1% would switch to an ethical fund regardless of performance.

Finder's data shows that women are more interested in ethical investing than men. Close to half of women (45%) would switch to a well-performing ethical fund, which is slightly more than their male counterparts (40%). However, women (23%) are also more likely than men (15%) to say they wouldn't be bothered to switch funds for the same results.

Gen Z (55%) and millennials (54%) are the most likely to make the switch to an ethical fund, compared to just 19% of baby boomers. However, baby boomers (8%) are also the generation most likely to say that they are already with an ethical super fund.

44% of Australians would use superannuation to buy property if they could

1 in 5 Australians (22%) say they would like to use their super in an offset account to buy property, and another 22% would access their super early to buy a home if they could. However, 43% say they wouldn't want to mess with their super even if it meant the ability to own property.

Men (28%) are more likely than women (17%) to consider using their super in an offset account to purchase a home, while more women (17%) than men (10%) are unsure of what they would do.

Baby boomers (70%) are the most likely to say they wouldn't want to mess with their super, an understandable fact, given their relative proximity to retirement. Gen X are the most likely to use their super in an offset account, while millennials are most likely to want early access to their fund.

Compare superannuation funds

Sticking with an underperforming or high-fee super fund could be draining money from your retirement fund. To set yourself up to live comfortably in retirement, compare super funds with Finder.

  1. Finder Consumer Sentiment Tracker

  2. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)
  3. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
  4. The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA)

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