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Article | Super Outcomes

Superannuation: Impact of COVID-19 on Retirement Adequacy

COVID 19 Coronavirus

By Nick Callil and Erinn Cullinane | August 26, 2020

COVID-19 has diminished prospective retirement outcomes for many Australians.

Beyond the early release scheme, this is the result of a range of factors with the impact on individuals differing depending on age, personal circumstances and actions.

In this article we break down the way the pandemic may impact retirement outcomes for a range of individuals with different ages, current account balances and earnings potential, by considering:

  • investment returns,
  • switching behaviour,
  • early release payments, and
  • periods of unemployment.

For the purpose of this analysis, 12 representative cameos aged between 30 and 60 years and with various earning levels, have been created to illustrate the spread of results.

The research emphasises the unique opportunity funds have to increase engagement with members, using well-crafted and targeted communications to positively influence member behaviour, demonstrate the value of additional contributions and the importance of making appropriate investment choices.

Funds need to understand their membership, what their projected retirement adequacy looks like, and how it has changed through this tumultuous time. A Retirement Adequacy Study, which produces a Retirement Adequacy Index for each fund member and selected cohorts, can provide valuable insights into the projected retirement outcomes of the fund as a whole, and help identify cohorts of members for targeted communications or other action.


Head of Retirement Solutions, Australia

Associate Director, Retirement

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