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The role of financial education in a choice of fund superannuation system

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Ntalianis, M (2009) The role of financial education in a choice of fund superannuation system. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

The primary objectives of this thesis were to evaluate whether superannuation fund
provided educational resources provide superannuation defined contribution fund
members with the required information to assist them in making informed choices
regarding their superannuation investment funds; and to determine the importance
users place on this information for their overall superannuation investment decision
making. It was also an objective to determine which educational resources were not
being used by defined contribution fund members and why members failed to use
them. The importance placed by defined contribution fund members on other nonsuperannuation
fund financial education resources for superannuation decisions was
also investigated.
The study was motivated by the growing literature that suggests that individuals fail
to conform to rational economic behaviour when it comes to saving for retirement.
The literature shows that many individuals lack the capacity or willpower to
adequately plan or execute a retirement savings plan. Individual behavioural traits
such as inertia, procrastination and heuristics, lead to behaviour that was inconsistent
with the economic retirement savings model (life-cycle model). It was found in the
literature that workers exposed to financial education were more likely to save and
have a better retirement savings plan. The review of the literature shows that the
educational seminar, website, written communications and financial counselling were
all effective educational resources that changed an individual’s retirement savings and
investment behaviour.
To address the research objectives, a web-based questionnaire survey was
electronically mailed to a cross-section of university staff purposively chosen from 26
universities across Australia. Both academics and non-academics were represented in
the sample. The survey yielded a response rate of 30.1 percent. The responses to the
questionnaire indicated that a large majority of respondents considered the
superannuation fund provided educational resources to be important for their
superannuation financial decision making. It was shown that the superannuation fund
written communications were the most used educational resource and that financial
counselling was the least used. The respondents believed they were being informed on
superannuation matters when they utilised the superannuation fund provided
educational resources. A lack of time and a lack of motivation were factors that
received most agreement from respondents as reasons for not utilising the
superannuation fund educational resources. Friends and colleagues were also found to
be an important information resource when it came to a respondent’s superannuation
decision making.
Statistical inferences drawn from the data indicated that certain demographic groups
were less likely to utilise both the superannuation fund provided resources and other
non–superannuation fund educational resources. Females, younger individuals, those
with low superannuation balances or low knowledge of financial matters were the key
groups identified as less likely to utilise the educational information offered to them
by the superannuation fund and from other sources.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
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Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2011 05:07
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:53
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