Few Australians top up super

Only 6.5 per cent of Australians are prepared to add to their superannuation even if they had the extra cash to do so, a new ING-Melbourne Institute report on savings shows.

Although the percentage is very low it's still a 2.5 per cent increase on the figure in a similar survey released in December 2001. The report outlines several reasons for Australians' reluctance to top up their super: a preference for paying off debts, concerns over inadequate investment returns and a lack of understanding about super in general.

A Melbourne Institute researcher said there are still a lot of people who don't realise they have super savings, despite its compulsory nature, and many of those who do just don't understand the processes of their own funds or the industry in general. The most popular investments are real estate (25.3 per cent), paying off mortgages (14.7 per cent), buying shares, bonds and debentures (8.8 per cent), and deposits in banks, credit unions and building societies (8.6 per cent).