Pen­sion worth is mys­tery to most

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

A Sun­su­per sur­vey has found that 88 per cent of Aus­tralians don’t know how much the age pen­sion would pro­vide them in re­tire­ment, even though one in three (34 per cent) be­lieve they’ll be com­pletely re­liant on it.

The sur­vey of more than 1500 Aus­tralians, con­ducted by Galaxy Re­search on be­half of Sun­su­per, found that more than one quar­ter (28 per cent) be­lieved they knew the value of the age pen­sion, how­ever less than half (43 per cent) of th­ese peo­ple ac­tu­ally chose the cor­rect amount when ques­tioned.

Most re­spon­dents thought the max­i­mum govern­ment age pen­sion would pro­vide them with sig­nif­i­cantly more in re­tire­ment, with nearly one in five (18 per cent) think­ing it was dou­ble its ac­tual value.

Sun­su­per’s cus­tomer ser­vice gen­eral man­ager, Steven Travis, said th­ese fig­ures were alarm­ing es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the num­ber of Aus­tralians who will rely on the age pen­sion in re­tire­ment.

‘‘It’s quite shock­ing when you con­sider that ap­prox­i­mately 70 per cent of re­tirees re­ceive at least a par­tial age pen­sion and that most of th­ese peo­ple don’t know how much the age pen­sion is and what kind of life­style it would pro­vide them in re­tire­ment,’’ said Mr Travis.

‘‘Most Aus­tralians dream of trav­el­ling around Aus­tralia or over­seas and pur­su­ing new hob­bies in re­tire­ment. How­ever, most peo­ple don’t re­alise that the cur­rent max­i­mum age pen­sion is $733 for sin­gles and $1106 for cou­ples per fort­night.

‘‘Based on Sun­su­per’s life­style mod­el­ling if you were com­pletely re­liant on the age pen­sion in re­tire­ment it would mean only eat­ing out oc­ca­sion­ally at bud­get food out­lets, sav­ing hard for one or two short breaks near home each year, re­ly­ing on the pub­lic health care sys­tem and free ben­e­fits to cover med­i­cal costs and only par­tic­i­pat­ing in free or min­i­mal-cost leisure ac­tiv­i­ties.’’

The Sun­su­per sur­vey also found that more than 40 per cent of Aus­tralians were un­aware that the age pen­sion is based on an in­come and as­sets test, in­clud­ing one quar­ter of baby boomers (23 per cent).

Mean­while, re­search by Deloitte has found that al­though to­day’s young work­ers will have about $1.1 mil­lion in their su­per­an­nu­a­tion when they re­tire, on aver­age, it will not be enough for a com­fort­able life­style.

This fig­ure would last only to about the age of 75.

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