The idea that young people don’t need insurance is a misguided idea, according to Rest chief executive, Vicki Doyle, as over a quarter of the fund’s 18-24 year old members have dependants.
Speaking at the Association of Superannuation Funds Australia (ASFA) conference in Sydney, Doyle said the Rest super fund represented many young, part-time and casual workers and they were about a third of the workforce.
“Our 18-24 year olds, 21% of them say they have dependents who are financially-dependent on their income. So to say that a lot of young people don’t have debts or don’t have dependents is maybe a white Colonialist attitude, not all Australia and not regional Australia.”
Without group insurance, many young people would likely be denied access to insurance, she said.
“If you did not have group insurance then you can imagine that a third of the workforce would never be able to afford it in their take-home pay. Secondly, they probably would be denied access to it in many cases because of medical and health issue, dangerous occupations, blue collar workers and the shifts they work. I would hate for a third of Australian workers to be left behind.”
Her comments followed findings in a report by ASFA and Deloitte that only 8% of blue collar workers opted in to insurance in super, despite working in dangerous occupations.
This presented an opportunity for super funds and the industry to understand how they could improve engagement levels for that demographic, she said.
“There are some young Australians who are opting in but there are lots who don’t because they don’t necessarily understand it. There are lots of parents of young people who actually read it and want to know about the insurance offering for their children.”
“The challenge for us as an industry is how do you simply and easily communicate that and that’s the crux of the issue.”