Nearly one quarter of self-employed Australians have no superannuation, according to an Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) report.
The report, using newly released data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), found the average superannuation balance for the self-employed is only half that of wage and salary earners in the lead-up to retirement (ages 60-64).
ASFA chief executive Pauline Vamos said this lack of superannuation is "extremely concerning".
"We encourage all Australians to think about the lifestyle they want in retirement and to set up, and make, regular contributions to superannuation," she said.
Ms Vamos said assets such as shares and investment properties were often seen as "de-facto superannuation", but warned that retirees who rely on these assets would "struggle" to maintain the standard of living they are accustomed to.
ABS data shows that the self-employed represent close to 10 per cent of the Australian workforce, and that more than 85 per cent of these people have balances of less than $100,000, compared with 79 per cent of wage earners.
Superannuation guarantee (SG) payments are not compulsory for self-employed persons, and the Australian Taxation Office recommends they make personal contributions.
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