"Stop talking about retirement" because young people don't care

Young people - unsurprisingly - still don't care about superannuation, despite efforts from the industry. The CoreData 2016 Member Engagement Report surveyed over 800 Australians earlier this year.

Key findings

  • Forty-one per cent of Gen Y members are engaged, compared to 47 per cent in 2015
  • The number of engaged members has fallen to 51 per cent, down from 56 per cent in 2015
  • Highly disengaged super members are on the rise, up to 24 per cent compared to 19 per cent in 2015
  • Satisfaction levels have also fallen - 69 per cent of respondents said they were satisfied, down from 74 per cent in 2015
  • Industry funds beat retail funds in engagement by five percentage points, but public sector funds won out, with 65 per cent engaged
  • Take-up of superannuation fund-provided financial advice has increased from 32 per cent to 34 per cent
  • Forty-two per cent, however, are unsure if their superannuation fund provides financial advice, but 45 per cent of those who haven't used their fund's advice services said they would if they were available
  • Gen X are the least likely to use super fund advice services, while pre-boomers are the most likely to have done so

Kirsten Turnbull, head of CoreData in Western Australia, said if superannuation funds want to engage younger members, they have to "stop talking about retirement". 

"There's a fundamental flaw in the marketing of super as a retirement vehicle for young people – and that is that many Gen Ys can't and don't envisage a time when they will no longer be working.

"The super industry needs to reshape the conversation they're having with younger members to recognise that phrases like 'retirement planning' aren't going to get the cut through they need to convince younger members that super is a viable investment for them in their 20s, 30s or even 40s. Many people legitimately think they'll remain in the workforce well into their 70s."