COVID-19 predicted to have ‘lasting impact’ on super balances
Half of all members in public offer super funds believe it will take 12 months or longer for their super balance to fully recover from the downturn in markets in early March, according to new research.
The Investment Trends 2020 Super Fund Member Sentiment and Communications Report, based on a survey of 6,383 respondents, indicates that Australians are paying closer attention to their super amid the global pandemic and believe COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on their investments and finances.
In the aftermath of the sell-down in equities in early March, half of super fund members believe it will take 12 months or longer for their super balance to recover fully, according to the survey results. Less than a quarter, or 23 per cent, expect a full recovery by the end of 2020.
Investment Trends senior analyst King Loong Choi said engagement with super investments is growing, indicating that super fund members “are now more active stewards of their money”.
“As members scrutinise their super balance and performance more closely, it is important that super funds continue keeping members informed, educated and confident in weathering heightened market volatility,” Mr Choi said.
“At present, just 61 per cent of members believe their super fund’s range of investment options is sufficient to meet their needs, while 31 per cent say they are unsure, further highlighting the need to alleviate members’ knowledge gaps.”
The survey results also show that 68 per cent of members have actively sought guidance from their super fund, particularly to find basic information such as fees and insurance premiums, their likely balance at retirement and the balance needed to retire comfortably.
“As Australians engage more directly with their super fund, their satisfaction and confidence rises. Those who sought guidance tend to be more satisfied with their funds’ efforts to help them feel confident about the future,” Mr Choi said.
“It is vital that super funds continue promoting and facilitating their member guidance services, given its positive, tangible impact in lifting member engagement and confidence.”
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.