Members demand more ESG in their super

Almost three-quarters of Australians want to see more environmental, social and governance (ESG) in their superannuation.

According to a global survey by MFS, which surveyed 1,000 Australians, 74% of Australians wanted to see more ESG, rising to 83% of millennials. However, it fell to 65% for baby boomers.

Marian Poirier, senior managing director and head of Australia and New Zealand at MFS, said: “ESG investing continues to transform the way in which investors view and allocate their capital, and while quality long-term, purpose-focused investments inherently integrate ESG, superannuation funds are responding to demand for greater depth and diversity of investments that target change and impact.

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“The associated noise however can be intense, and we see a growing role for advisers to educate investors on the many shades of green and ESG within offerings, along with pointing out the differences between asset managers that integrate ESG into their overall investment approach and those that approach it strictly from a product perspective.”

Meanwhile, Australians were less confident about their retirement savings lasting their lifetime at 68% compared to 82% in the US and were unsure what level of return to expect on their retirement savings. The average Australian expected to retire at 60.7 years but 24% expected to still be working past 70.

Only 29% of respondents said they sought professional advice on their super with most choosing their adviser based on fees followed by experience. Men were more likely to seek advice at 34% compared to 24% of women.

Poirier said: “Sources, quality and consistency of advice vary widely. We see enormous potential for advisers to provide a greater and more specialist role in providing asset allocation advice to superannuants, especially women who remain under advise despite their working lives typically being more varied and punctuated by life events”.  


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