New research has confirmed the degree to which Australians are failing to plan for living longer and longer retirements and has canvassed policy changes to superannuation along with tax changes to deliver annuity-type income beyond age 85.
The research, carried out by National Seniors Australia, has pointed to a significant absence of planning with respect to their post-retirement phase, with National Seniors research director, Professor John McCallum suggesting people needed clear direction and help.
The report said that even when people wanted to plan to cover for their longevity, there was limited availability and take-up of financial products that could assist individuals efficiently manage the risk of outliving their savings.
However, the bottom line of the research was that around 56 per cent of survey respondents expressed positive support for two new policy options that might be pursued by the Government - superannuation insurance and compulsory saving at retirement.
That response was driven by two survey questions entailed in the research: 1. ‘Should superannuation funds include an insurance option that would keep paying you an income if you lived longer than say 85?’ And, 2. ‘Would you consider paying a portion of your savings, say 10 per cent, on retirement, in order to receive income for life once you reached say 85?’
The research report confirmed the fact there was an over-representation of women in groups deemed vulnerable who would benefit from the superannuation and retirement savings options.
“The analysis shows women have both greater vulnerabilities than men and a preference of protection in the superannuation option,” it said. “There is growing anecdotal evidence of increasing homelessness and disadvantage among older women relative to men. More generally, the free comments in the survey provide deep insights into the challenging situations facing many older women.”