More than half of working-age Australians think they won't have enough funds to last their retirement, with women and those living in regional areas more likely to believe their funds will fall short.
A new study from the Australian National University has found 55.7 per cent of Australians are worried they won't have enough money saved to live comfortably once they retire, although the majority of those already retired believe their savings will go the distance.
Almost 3500 Australians were surveyed about their views on retirement incomes in January this year, and the results show a disturbing increase in the number of Australians who think they won't have enough money to last their retirement, compared to when the same question was asked in 2015.
Relatively young Australians haven't been able to accumulate the same levels of wealth previous cohorts have.Professor Nicholas Biddle
"Our study shows a large increase since the last time we asked this question in 2015, when only 39.6 per cent of Australians thought they would not have enough money to live comfortably," study co-author Professor Nicholas Biddle said.
The number of Australians who are confident they will have enough funds to retire is steady, at 38 per cent, when in 2015 39 per cent said the same, but the change is in those who said they would "definitely" have enough for their retirement - just 6.1 per cent this year, down from 21.3 per cent.
Professor Biddle said the drop in confidence couldn't be pinned on the COVID-19 pandemic alone, but on a number of factors.
"I do think there's a link between, not just house prices, but people's ability to build up wealth at a younger age," he said, pointing out younger working Australians were more likely to be worried than those who were closer to retirement or already retired.
"Relatively young Australians haven't been able to accumulate the same levels of wealth previous cohorts have."
The survey also showed the majority of Australians think the rate of the aged pension should increase, and around half believe the family home should continue to be excluded from the pension asset test.
The results show the government was wise to back away from a plan to delay the legislated increase to superannuation, with a clear majority of Australians saying the rate of superannuation payments should increase to 12 per cent as legislated (55 per cent). Just 20.4 per cent said it should stay at the current rate of 9.5 per cent and only 3.8 per cent said the rate should be less or superannuation abolished altogether.
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