Impact of a mortgage improves engagement with super
Taking out a home loan is a major trigger for Australians to engage with their superannuation, research has shown.
The new report from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) found that “super fund members who took out a new residential mortgage in 2014 changed their super contribution behaviour around the time they took out their mortgage compared to those who did not take out a mortgage”, according to CEPAR’s deputy director and UNSW Business School professor Hazel Bateman.
Analysis in the report recognised that the ways in which super contribution behaviour changed differed depending too on the type of mortgage that the person had taken out.
“Those taking out a mortgage to buy an investment property tended to re-weight their portfolios towards real estate and away from super, but owner-occupiers tended to build up their super after the real estate purchase,” added professor Susan Thorp from the University of Sydney Business School.
Super fund members taking out mortgages are also increasingly likely to interact with their financial service providers, pointing to a higher level of financial engagement, with Professor Thorp stating that “members who took out a mortgage increased their number of bank branch visits, use of their bank app and online banking, as well as phone calls to their super fund”.
The report highlighted that superannuation is characterised “by low levels of engagement as the way the system is set up allows many super fund members to ‘set and forget’ until retirement”.
The University of New South Wales, University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney and Colonial First State all collaborated on the research.