The study revealed that if super fund members (with the exception of pensioners) consolidated their multiple accounts, the average account balance of $50,300 as at June 2015 would rise 79 per cent to $90,000.
“This research underlines why government, super funds and fund members need to look beyond bare statistics giving average account balances if we are to properly confront the inadequacy of Australia’s retirement savings," Rice Warner said.
According to Rice Warner, super funds with a more accurate assessment of their members’ total savings are better placed to understand and educate their members. They are also more likely to design appropriate products.
“And individual members who focus on their full super savings may feel more of an incentive to save more for retirement and to consolidate their multiple accounts,” Rice Warner said.
Currently, 17.7 million Australians hold at least one account within the Australian superannuation system.
The research also revealed that multiple accounts are most prevalent among industry fund members and least common among SMSF members.
The gap between the average account balance and average member balance increases with age, reaching its peak when members are in their mid to late-30s.
However, the gap reduces as rapidly with age following the said peak, effectively closing when members reach the 65-69 age group.