Australian workers are feeling more optimistic about the future of the economy, but share market volatility has affected their confidence in superannuation and their preparedness for retirement, according to research by global HR consultancy Mercer.
The latest Mercer Superannuation Sentiment Index shows that more than half (58 per cent) of Australians said they were very or fairly optimistic the economy will improve.
However the GFC appears to continue to impair sentiment towards superannuation, which declined further in December 2009 to a rating of 37 out of a possible 100 (compared to a 42 rating the year earlier), showing that sentiment towards superannuation lags share market performance.
The study showed that while the majority of working Australians expect superannuation to be the dominant source of funding for their retirement, 3 in 5 expect to be less comfortable in retirement than they are now.
Yet people are keen to learn more. 17 per cent of working Australians rated their knowledge of superannuation as strong or sophisticated, while many (55 per cent) aspired to that level.
“Accordingly, industry, government and superannuation funds have an important role to play in educating working Australians about how to get the most out of their superannuation, and improving access to education and advice services to facilitate early retirement planning,” said Dawson.