Meg's Musings June 2022

02 Jun 2022
Meg Heffron

Meg Heffron

Managing Director

When I wrote my last Meg’s Musings I didn’t imagine for a moment that we’d still be talking about the election in mid June.  But it does still seem to be the dominant topic in my newsfeed.

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In my corner of the world, I’ve been even more fascinated at how much discussion it has triggered amongst the youngest generation of voters. For my children as well as several nieces this was their first opportunity to vote. It won’t surprise those of you also lucky enough to be surrounded by today’s 18-25s how engaged they are in the world around them. We might well feel that this was the election in which women roared but I’d say there was also a substantial shout from our youngsters. They’re not happy with what other generations are doing on a great many fronts and wanted to say so. So they did.

The issues most important to them were typically climate and housing affordability but perhaps more broadly, the sustainability of the current way of life we take for granted.

It does make me wonder whether we sell them short in assuming that they won’t engage in their super without a lot of pushing. As part of my micro social experiment on my unsuspecting family, I’ve recently asked all the young adults where they’re putting their super. They know. And what’s more they know that their funds have ESG options. They have logged into the app. They don’t read the mail that’s posted to them – it stays on the kitchen bench (“Seriously? Who sends actual mail? What can they possibly have to say to me that I can’t see online?”). And they don’t really feel like it’s “their” money in quite the same way as their bank account but they are still interested in what happens to it.

I’m proud to say that one of my sons has even identified that he has some lost super and is doing something about it.  (Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that his version of adulting is to show me what he’s doing on the app and ask me to sort out why it’s not there. But he’s right – it’s not.)

So my social experiment has continued into explaining government co-contributions. At least one has already made the decision to put $1,000 into super this year to get the “free $500” (as he described it to me). To be fair, I don’t think this would have happened if he’d not been able to see that he could take the $1,000 back out again under the First Home Super Savers Scheme but still… baby steps.

It did remind me that there are many superannuation rules we rarely include in our education or content because they typically don’t directly impact our clients. But some of these (co-contributions being a good example) would be great for their kids. It inspired me to write a short explainer on co-contributions – feel free to download it here if it’s something you think you, your clients or their young adults would value.

I hope the new Government commits to some of the measures announced by the previous one. In particular, the legacy pension amnesty is something I truly believe a Government of any stripe should support. But I guess that remains to be seen.

In the meantime, it was probably a relief to all of us in the superannuation space that neither side seemed intent on a major shakeup of the super system. A few years of stability would be a good thing.