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New residential mortgages and superannuation engagement

CEPAR industry report

Hazel Bateman, James Brownlow, Ben Culbert, Charles Chu, Christine Eckert, Bin Fu and Susan Thorp


We investigate how the decision to take out a residential mortgage is interrelated with engagement with superannuation, measured by changes in superannuation contributions and interactions with service providers (the mortgage provider and the super fund). We do so by analysing matched samples of superannuation fund members who do and do not take out mortgages in calendar year 2014. We measure the timing and size of changes in four types of superannuation contributions in the 36 months prior to and following mortgage commencement, and changes in interactions with service providers in the 6 months before and 12 months after mortgage commencement.

We find that the decision to take out a residential mortgage is associated with engagement with superannuation. Super fund members who took out a new residential mortgage in 2014 exhibited changes in their superannuation contribution behaviour before and /or after mortgage commencement (as compared with those who did not take out a mortgage), with the timing and size of these changes differing by mortgage type (owner-occupier or investment), employment status (employee or self-employed) and key demographics (gender, age and income).

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