Better retirement outcomes: a snapshot of account balances in Australia

Superannuation Retirement savings Retirement savings Australia

From the inception of superannuation under the industrial award-based system in 1980s, to the now legislated move to 12 per cent in 2025, the benefits of our superannuation system are being realised by more and more Australians.

This report demonstrates the efficacy of our system in the rise of self-funded retirees and the increasing proportion of people retiring with greater account balances. Key findings from this report show:

  • there are 16.1 million Australians with at least one superannuation account – however, one in three women and one in four men, across all ages, have no superannuation account.
  • approximately 25 per cent of women and 13 per cent of men are retiring with no superannuation.
  • most people retiring in the next few years will rely partially or substantially on the Age Pension for their retirement income as they have inadequate super savings
  • but the proportion of new retirees who are fully self-funded has been increasing.
  • it’s projected that 43 per cent of Australians at retirement age will be self-funded by 2023, compared with 22 per cent in 2000.
  • many people, especially those who will not receive the full benefit of the increase in the SG to 12 per cent over their entire time in the labour force, still need to contribute over and above compulsory contributions to their superannuation to ensure they have adequate retirement savings

Balances still have a long way to go, and concerns remain for the many people who will retire with very little, or no, superannuation at all. Australians aged between 60-64 are retiring with a median balance of $154,453 for males and $122,848 for females, compared to a targeted retirement balance of $545,000 (ASFA Comfortable Retirement Standard).

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