Super fund or adviser: Where do retirees turn for help?

TAL superannuation funds retirement financial advice

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A new white paper from life insurer TAL has revealed how many retirees turn to their superannuation fund or financial adviser for support.

TAL’s What I Wish I Knew About Retirement report surveyed 1,000 Australians aged 55 and older to discover the expectations of those approaching retirement compared to the lived experience of retirees.

The research highlighted that 45 per cent of retirees turn to their adviser for information on their investments and super. Meanwhile, 37 per cent of retirees seek support from their super provider.

However, these statistics differed for pre-retirees. The majority (51 per cent) of this cohort go to their super provider for education, while 42 per cent turn to their adviser.

Beyond these two sources of retirement support, 19 per cent of retirees and 31 per cent of pre-retirees seek online help from Google.

Some 15 per cent of retirees and 27 per cent of pre-retirees turn to their accountant, while 12 per cent of retirees and 24 per cent of pre-retirees look to their friends and family for advice.

“Our research shows that while three-quarters of pre-retirees are engaged or highly engaged with their finances, one in three don’t know what they will do with their super when they retire. Super funds can play a pivotal role in helping these members attain the retirement lifestyle they want and deserve,” commented Ashton Jones, TAL general manager of growth, retirement and wealth partnerships.

Following the final tranche of the Delivering Better Financial Outcomes reforms released in December 2023, super funds are expected to begin providing advice to members. Issues have since arisen regarding changes to advice fee deductions by super fund trustees which is expected to receive future clarification.

Moreover, the white paper sheds light onto what age Australians expect to retire. While many commonly expect to retire between the ages of 65 and 69, six in 10 retire before this age in reality.

“When retirement arrives sooner than expected, it can derail a person’s ability to prepare as much as they’d like to. Some common themes that emerged for retirees were that many wish they’d put more into superannuation when they had the chance, or that they’d started salary sacrificing earlier,” Jones added.

This was coupled with one-third of retirees now expecting to live longer than they originally anticipated when they first retired, despite declining physical health.  

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