In its latest finding, Roy Morgan revealed that more than 2 million superannuation members (or just over one in five) are contributing above the compulsory 9.5 per cent level.
These numbers, measured over the 12 months to January 2018, reflect an overall downturn in the number of Australians making extra payments.
Noting this, industry communications director at Roy Morgan Norman Morris said the government recognises it will need to move the superannuation guarantee (SG) rate from 9.5 per cent to 12 per cent to support Australians’ retirements.
Nevertheless, the execution of the plan has been delayed and won’t begin until July 2025.
“With the government delaying the time for the SG rate to reach 12 per cent, it will be even more important for individuals to voluntarily increase their level of contributions (within the current limits), otherwise they are more likely to fall behind in their retirement funding,” Mr Morris said.
“We have seen that there are major competing priorities when it comes to people choosing to increase retirement funding options,” he continued, pointing to younger savers’ family priorities.
Further, changes to superannuation proposed and carried out by both sides of politics could also erode confidence in super’s long-term performance.
“The government’s changes have involved a number of major reforms, including a $1.6 million balance cap in the retirement phase, and reduced contribution levels to $25,000,” Mr Morris said.
“The opposition has said that they will make major changes to dividend imputation, which will place more pressure on superannuation, particularly SMSF’s.”
Roy Morgan’s analysis found high income earners were more likely to make extra contributions, with members receiving an income of more than $70,000 making contributions at an above average level.
Those earning more than $150,000 made the most extra contributions, with more than 45 per cent making voluntary contributions.
That was followed by those with incomes between $100,000 and $149,000, with 33.8 per cent making extra contributions.
Only 11.4 per cent of those earning less than $25,000 made extra contributions.