SG 24 | Average Retirement Age in Australia

By Chris Strano

The average retirement age in Australia is difficult to determine. Why? Because times are changing. The previous life process of study, work, retire has evolved into study, travel, study a bit more, work, change career, semi-retire, retire.

Trying to pinpoint or find a common definition of retire is not so easy. Even accessing superannuation by meeting a superannuation condition of release has several definitions of retirement.

New Superannuation legislation, specifically the Transition to Retirement Income Stream, has resulted in people working longer, as was intended when the legislation was initially enacted. This legislation allows people to access their superannuation savings while still working, provided that they have reached their Preservation Age. Consequently, the average retirement age in Australia is not clear cut.

What is the Average Retirement Age in Australia?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics found … “of the 2.3 million people who gave an age that they intended to retire, 17 per cent intended to retire at 70 years and older, 49 per cent intended to retire between 65 and 69 years and 25 per cent intended to retire between 60 and 64 years, with the average intended retirement age being 63.4 years”… in this media release.

The same report also mentions that the average retirement age in Australia for those who had retired in the past five years was as follows:

Average for Australians who retired in the past 5 years 61.5
Average for Men who retired in the past 5 years 63.3
Average for Women who retired in the past 5 years 59.6

Due to us living longer, the superannuation preservation age is incrementally increasing, as is the Government Age Pension. This obviously affects peoples’ ability to retire on their desired retirement income and requires them to work longer, or accept a lower level of retirement income.

Where to from here?

Around two thirds of people over age 45 who are intending to retire expect to have their main source of income to be derived from a superannuation income stream or annuity and to not primarily rely on Government benefits. This is in comparison to almost half of retired Australians who reported Government pensions or allowances as their main source of income.

Average Retirement Age Australia

I would be curious to know if the retirees of today also expected to be mostly self-funded when they were in their 40′s and 50′s – only to see things not turn out as expected. Do we manage our finances better now, with compulsory superannuation contributions, resources at our fingertips and advice on every corner? Or will half of the population find themselves continuing to survive on the Old Age Pension?

If you would like anything clarified or have any further questions about the Average Retirement Age in Australia or any other topics, please do not hesitate to leave a comment in the section below and I will endeavour to respond within 24 hours.

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About Chris Strano

Chris Strano is a specialist independent superannuation author for SuperGuy.com.au - one of Australia's leading superannuation information resources.

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