The survey by CPA (Certified Practising Accountants) Australia, found six out of 10 Australian women aged 41-55 did not expect to have enough to retire on, but 67 per cent of both men and women in the 56-plus age range were confident they would.
The report found that 65 per cent of Australians accept they are largely responsible for safeguarding their own retirement savings.
"These results challenge suggestions that many Australians have their heads in the sand and are unaware of the need to save for their retirement," said CPA Australia CEO Geoff Rankin.
”Instead, it suggests that many know they need to save, but with current competing financial demands, they simply can't find the funds to direct to their retirement savings."
Mr Rankin said ongoing efforts to build financial literacy should, over time, translate into improved personal financial management, and may help people to direct more funds to their retirement nest egg.
Still, 85 per cent of those surveyed indicated they read superannuation funds reports, but 51 per cent believe these reports are too complex to be useful.
Thirty-four per cent dismiss them as just company marketing.
Sixty-seven per cent expect to have compulsory superannuation, with 34 per cent of those expecting it to be their primary source of retirement funding.
Just over half have voluntary superannuation and, of these, 21 per cent expect it to be their primary source of funding in their retirement.
”The compulsory superannuation guarantee will not provide adequate funds for most Australians, so it's essential people supplement these savings with more voluntary super, or have other investments," Mr Rankin said.
"These survey findings suggest that significantly fewer Australians hold other forms of investments.
They also may indicate that a further, as yet unquantified group, of Australians currently believe they have adequate savings, but may discover that's not the case once they retire."