The average retirement age in Australia in 2017 is difficult to determine.
The reason it is difficult to determine is because the definition of retirement has evolved over the past decade or so.
How do you define the term retirement? There is actually a definition of retirement for superannuation condition of release purposes (found here), but the definition of retirement for determining the average retirement age in Australia has changed over recent years.
With the introduction of the superannuation transition to retirement rules in 2007, put in place by the Government to encourage people to work for longer, the definition of retirement and average retirement age in Australia has become somewhat skewed 10 years later in 2017.
The new changes to superannuation rules from 1 July 2017 may further affect the average retirement age in Australia.
There is no compulsory retirement age in Australian. Australian’s are able to work for as long as they like. Further, mandated employer contributions must now be made for employees over age 75, which wasn’t always the case.
Average Retirement Age Australia 2017: Super
Let’s first discuss the accessibility of superannuation as a form of retirement. Superannuation is important because it is generally the first in the chronological order of determining the average retirement age in Australia.
A person is able to first access their superannuation once they attain their superannuation preservation age. Your superannuation preservation age ranges from age 55 to age 60, depending on the year that you were born, as follows:
|Date of Birth||Preservation Age|
|Prior to 1 July 1960||55|
|1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961||56|
|1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962||57|
|1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963||58|
|1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964||59|
|On or after 1 July 1964||60|
The ways that you can access your superannuation will vary depending on your employment and intentions.
After age 65, all of your superannuation is accessible. Most of it will generally be able to be accessed tax free too.
You can already see, the superannuation accessibility rules are broadly divided into three different age brackets, so it is difficult to determine the average retirement age.
We haven’t even discussed the Age Pension yet, or the statistical average retirement age in Australia in 2017.
Average Retirement Age Australia: Age Pension
Many people will access their superannuation in some form or another prior to being eligible for any Age Pension entitlements. The Age Pension age is increasing from 65 to 67 depending on your date of birth – yet another variable in determining the average retirement age in Australia.
Age Pension Age Australia
|Date of Birth||Eligible for Age Pension at age|
|Prior to 1 July 1952||65 years|
|1 July 1952 – 31 December 1953||65 years and 6 months|
|1 January 1954 – 30 June 1955||66 years|
|1 July 1955 – 31 December 1956||66 years and 6 months|
|From 1 January 1957||67 years|
Average Retirement Age Australia: Statistics
The statistical average retirement age for Australians was surveyed in a comprehensive publication conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, titled ‘Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia, July 2014 to June 2015‘.
This is considered one of the most reliable sources of information in determining the average retirement age of Australians in 2017.
The report concluded the following average retirement ages:
|Age Group||Portion Retired|
|45-49 year olds||8%|
|55-59 year olds||18%|
|65-69 year olds||66%|
|70 years and over||86%|
Average Retirement Age Australia: Men and Women
The same report found that the average retirement age from the labour force for people aged 45 years and over was 54.4 years.
It was found that:
24% of men retired prior to reaching age 55;
50% had retired between ages 55 and 64; and
26% had retired after attaining age 65
52% of women retired prior to reaching age 55
38% had retired between ages 55 and 64; and
10% had retired after attaining age 65
The report is quite comprehensive in nature and includes the reason why people ceased their last job, their sources of income throughout retirement, plus a plethora of other information directly related to the average retirement age in Australia.