Just Interested or Getting Involved? An Analysis of Superannuation Attitudes and Actions

19 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2014

See all articles by Hazel Bateman

Hazel Bateman

UNSW Sydney, CEPAR

Jeanette Deetlefs

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Marketing

Loretti Dobrescu

University of New South Wales, School of Economics

Ben Newell

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Andreas Ortmann

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Economics

Susan Thorp

The University of Sydney Business School

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Date Written: June 2014

Abstract

Low levels of non‐default decision‐making among superannuation members in Australia are assumed to be evidence of a lack of interest and capability. Using member records and survey data from a large Australian superannuation fund, we test the relationship between attitudes towards retirement savings and observable levels of non‐default activities (such as making voluntary contributions, choosing or changing investment options and changing insurance cover). Additional retirement savings contributions by permanent staff are more likely if the staff member is very likely to recommend their superannuation fund. Individuals who rate their own personal interest in superannuation affairs as very high are more likely to be active online. This, however, does not extend to choosing a non‐default investment or purchasing additional insurance, where we find no differences between the highly interested and the disengaged. These findings, together with several other differences related to demographics and employment conditions, show that non‐default activity is not a reliable proxy for member engagement.

Suggested Citation

Bateman, Hazel and Deetlefs, Jeanette and Dobrescu, Loretti Isabella and Newell, Ben and Ortmann, Andreas and Thorp, Susan, Just Interested or Getting Involved? An Analysis of Superannuation Attitudes and Actions (June 2014). Economic Record, Vol. 90, Issue 289, pp. 160-178, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2445174 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1475-4932.12107

Hazel Bateman (Contact Author)

UNSW Sydney, CEPAR ( email )

High Street
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Jeanette Deetlefs

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Marketing

Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Loretti Isabella Dobrescu

University of New South Wales, School of Economics ( email )

High Street
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Ben Newell

University of New South Wales (UNSW) ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Andreas Ortmann

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Economics ( email )

High Street
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Susan Thorp

The University of Sydney Business School ( email )

Abercrombie Building
H70
The University Of Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
0290366354 (Phone)

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