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Super fund satisfaction down in May, but still up on a year ago as Australians withdraw up to $10,000

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, December 2018 – May 2019, n = 14,907. December 2019 – May 2020, n = 13,640. Base: Australians 14+ with work based or personal superannuation.

New data from Roy Morgan’s Superannuation Satisfaction Report shows an overall super fund satisfaction rating of 63.6% in May. This is down 0.9% points on the previous month, but is a significant increase of 2.9% points on May 2019. The most recent ratings cover the period in which Australians in financial hardship were able to apply to withdraw the first of two tranches of up to $10,000 of their superannuation.

Compared to a year ago the largest increase by sector was for Retail Funds which increased 2.2% points to customer satisfaction of 58.7%. Also increasing their satisfaction were Industry Funds, up 1.9% points to 64.4%, and Public Sector Funds which increased 1.6% points to 72.7%.

Although Self-Managed Funds were the only sector not to record an increase, they still maintain a high overall satisfaction rating at 72.3%, down 1.9% points on a year ago.

The Superannuation Satisfaction Report, with data up to May 2020, shows Unisuper with the highest customer satisfaction rating of the Industry Funds ahead of CARE Super, AustralianSuper, Cbus, First State Super, HOSTPLUS, Tasplan, HESTA and Sunsuper.

The highest placed Retail Super Fund is Colonial First State followed by OnePath, MLC, BT and AMP.

The report’s findings are from Roy Morgan Single Source, Australia’s most trusted consumer survey, compiled by in-depth interviews with over 50,000 Australians each year.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says although most parts of Australia were in varying levels of lockdown during May, there were positive signs for super funds as Australians in financial hardship gained access to the first tranche of $10,000 of their own money held in super, and financial markets recovered.

“Australia’s superannuation funds have been in the spotlight in recent months as at least 2.5 million Australians in financial hardship (APRA) have applied for early release of up to $10,000 in superannuation. According to regulator APRA the average withdrawal for the financial year just ended was just over $7,500. (July 1 marked the beginning of the application period for a second tranche, also for up to $10,000.)

“As these withdrawals have been taking place, overall customer satisfaction with super funds has taken a hit and is now at 64.6% in May, down slightly on April. However, this still represents an increase of a significant 2.9% points on a year ago.

“Satisfaction with Retail Funds has increased the most from a year ago, up 2.2% points to 58.7%, while Industry Funds were up 1.9% points to 64.4% and Public Sector Funds were up 1.6% points to 72.3%. The exception was Self-Managed Funds, down 1.9% points on a year ago, but still well above the industry average at 72.3%.

“The Retail Funds to experience the largest increases in customer satisfaction from a year ago are led by Colonial First State, BT, OnePath and MLC while the biggest increases for Industry Funds were for HOSTPLUS), AustralianSuper and CARE Super.

“The relatively high customer satisfaction rating of Australia’s super funds during this uncertain period is due to the significant bounce-back in the Australian share-markets. The ASX 200 Index bottomed at 4,564 points on March 24 as restrictions were being introduced, but by the end of May it had increased by nearly 30% to close the month at 5,851.

“The impressive share-market performance in turn relies on Australia keeping control of the pandemic. The renewed outbreak of COVID-19 in Victoria has already had a negative impact on Consumer Confidence, which has struggled during June and July and is now at only 92.1 (July 4/5, 2020) – down from a mid-pandemic high of 98.3 on May 30/31, 2020. It is vital for the continuing economic recovery that the Victorian Government gets on top of the outbreak before it gets out of control.”

Satisfaction with financial performance of different type of super funds

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, December 2018 – May 2019, n = 14,907. December 2019 – May 2020, n = 13,640. Base: Australians 14+ with work based or personal superannuation.

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

1,000

±3.0

±2.7

±1.9

±1.3

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2