Millennials unsure about retirement savings

Australian millennials say they have yet to see retirement products targeted at them, while more than a third said they did not understand how pensions work, an international study reveals.

Research from the University of Oxford and BNY Mellon found that 77 per cent of those born after 1980 in Australia said they had not seen retirement products designed for them, compared with 58 per cent in the UK and 50 per cent in the Netherlands.

The research also found that two out of every five Australians under the age of 23 said they did not understand how pensions worked, while 37.5 per cent of all Australian millennials reported being unsure of the mechanics of retirement funds.

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BT Westpac head of retail and corporate super, Vicki Doyle, said the study's findings highlighted the need for a new approach to informing young people about the importance of retirement savings was needed

"Advertisements in the past pictured people walking down the beach with their dog - which is largely irrelevant for this age group," she said.

"As an industry we are in transition about how we really communicate and engage with customers of different age groups using segmentation and trying to give them something with value now."

While Doyle identified the need for new ways to attract and inform young Australians about the benefits of planning for their retirement, the study found that less than one per cent of respondants globally wanted financial service providers to contact them through social media.

The research also foundfound that 79 per cent of young Australians reported they trusted the advice of financial services providers. However, 52 per cent of those born after 1980 across the globe said their parents were their first port of call for financial advice.

The study found that 79 per cent of young Australians said they would be more inclined to save for their retirement if they were rewarded in some way (which was higher than the international average, 73 per cent), with 54 per cent saying they would save more if their money was not "completely locked away".

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