AMP launches new retirement advice offer for super members

AMP has launched a new retirement health check advice offer for members of its superannuation funds, provided at no additional cost.

The new intra-fund advice offer comes as AMP’s Financial Wellness research shows that half of Australian workers have no plans in place to achieve their retirement goals. Most workers feel in the dark about how much income they will have or need in retirement and, according to the research, it’s women who are most anxious about their retirement.

The retirement heath check is a phone-based, simple, fast advice conversation available to members of AMP’s Super Directions Fund at no additional cost. It forms part of AMP’s Simple Super Advice suite of offers for members, which also covers super contributions, insurance and investments.

The service, delivered by a team of Retirement Specialists, will help members to consider their retirement options, how much superannuation is enough, how long money needs to last and general age pension entitlements. Members walk away feeling more informed and confident about whether they’re on track for a comfortable retirement.

AMP’s General Manager, Workplace Super Engagement, Stephen Owen, said: “Our Financial Wellness research shows that Australians feel underprepared and concerned about retirement – 50 per cent don’t know how much money they’ll have or need to achieve their desired living standard in retirement.

“Retirement is a critical period in our lives and the retirement income system is complex so it’s crucial people get access to information, guidance and good advice.

“The new offer will help our members take more control of their retirement, in particular, the critical and sometimes complex transition from our working lives into retirement.

“This is especially important for women, with our research showing they are more likely to have higher levels of financial stress, are less likely to have retirement goals, and are more concerned about retirement.

“Encouragingly, people recognise the importance of planning for retirement, albeit are unsure where to begin. COVID-19 has also acted as a wake up call, with more Australians setting goals and planning for their futures.  

“The challenge is turning this positive intent into action, which is where the health check comes in, arming members with important information about the changes they can make now, even small ones, that can amount to big benefits later in life.

“We also know that feeling more in control of financial and retirement planning provides peace of mind and supports day-to-day wellbeing for Australians,” Mr Owen said.

Key concerns for Australians about retirement

  • 44 per cent of Australians are concerned about not having enough money to retire;
  • Two in five (39 per cent) are worried they will have to work longer than expected to have a comfortable retirement;
  • One in three are concerned about a market crash or downturn impacting their super savings; and
  • Three in four (76 per cent) recognise the importance of planning for a secure financial future, however the majority do not know what this encompasses when it comes to retirement.

Women and retirement

  • 20 per cent of women have specific retirement goals, compared with 30 per cent of men;
  • 54 per cent of women expect a modest or difficult retirement, compared with 46 per cent of men;
  • 29 per cent of women are confident they’ll have enough money in retirement, compared with 48 per cent of men; and
  • 39 per cent of women are worried about their ability to cope with unexpected expenses, compared with 30 per cent of men.

Six tips to take control of your retirement planning

  1. Build your knowledge – Utilise online resources and education programs provided by your employer or super provider to improve your understanding of key financial drivers.
  2. Set goals – Connecting finances with goals helps us engage with our finances and having a plan to achieve these goals can significantly ease stress.
  3. Create a budget that works for you – be clear about exactly how much money you need to live the lifestyle you want. And be realistic. Writing up a budget may take an afternoon out of your diary, but it will help you to more easily identify where there’s room to save.
  4. Find and consolidate your super – According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in June 2020, there was $13.9 billion in lost ATO-held super, so it pays to see if any of this is yours.
  5. Commit to your investment strategy – Market fluctuations are not unusual, and over the past year, the coronavirus pandemic had a huge impact on millions of Australians’ retirement plans. While these fluctuations can be worrying, don’t be too quick to make dramatic changes to your investment strategy. Seek advice or talk to your super provider before you make changes. Just by selecting a different investment option, you could save tens of thousands more money for retirement.
  6. Understand your entitlements – There are various benefits you may be able to access. Seniors over 60 have access to cheaper public transport, health care and prescription medications. Australians over 66 may also be eligible for the Age Pension, tax offsets and government loans.

About the research

AMP’s Financial Wellness research is conducted by The Behavioural Architects, a global insight, research and strategy consultancy, specialising in the application of behavioural science. Insights were collected from over 2,100 Australian employees and weighted to reflect Australia’s broader workforce, based on ABS data.

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