Now that we live in the future, the term retirement takes on a range of definitions in Australia. This is due to the flexibility our retirement system offers and the various sources of retirement funding available to us.
Let’s cover all bases so that you know exactly what age you can retire and compare that against the average retirement age in Australia.
Retirement Age Australia
There are four main retirement ages in Australia; three relating to superannuation and one relating to the Centrelink Age Pension.
Superannuation Retirement Age
If you want to access your super, you need to have first met your superannuation preservation age. This could be considered your first retirement age. However, depending on your employment status, attaining your preservation age may only give you partial access to your super.
Your superannuation preservation age is dependant on when you were born and shown in the table below:
How to Manage Your Super Without Paying a Financial Adviser
Download our 6-step checklist & take control of your super
|Date of Birth||Preservation Age|
|Before 1 July 1960||55|
|1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961||56|
|1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961||57|
|1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961||58|
|1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961||59|
|After 30 June 1961||60|
Retirement Age Under Age 60
If you have reached your preservation age and are retired, with no intention of returning to full-time or part-time work ever again, then you will have full, unrestricted access to your super. Part-time is defined as 10-30 hours per week.
If you have reached your preservation age and are still working, you can access your super in the form of a transition to retirement (TTR) income stream, which provides limited access to your super.
Retirement Age 60 to 64
If you are over age 60 and have had an employment arrangement come to an end after reaching age 60, then all of your super up to that point will become accessible in full.Even if you decide to continue working in a different job or capacity.
If you are over age 60 and still working and have simply continued in your existing role, you have access to your super via a TTR pension.
Retirement Age Over 65
Once you have reached age 65, you can access your superannuation in full, regardless of your employment status. Your super can be taken as a lump sum, an income stream, or a combination of both.
Centrelink Retirement Age
The Centrelink Age Pension age is based on when you were born and is detailed in the table below.
Date of Birth
Your Age Pension Age
1 January 1954 – 30 June 1955
1 July 1955 – 31 December 1956
On or after 1 January 1957
Once you have reached this age, you have met your Centrelink Retirement Age and can apply to receive Age Pension payments. Age pension payments are means-tested, based on both an Income Test and an Assets Test.
Average Retirement Age in Australia
The average retirement age in Australia is slightly different for men and women. The table below details the average retirement age in Australia.
|Average Retirement Age||Number of Retirees||Proportion of People Over 45 Retired|
|Women||52.1 years old||2.1 million||43%|
|Men||59.5 years old||1.7 million||37%|
|Men & Women||55.4 years old||3.9 million||40%|
When Can I Retire?
Theoretically, you can retire whenever you want! You needn’t require access to your super or be eligible for the Age Pension in order to retire.
Provided you have sufficient investment assets and income from those investments to cover your lifestyle expenses, then you can retire.
The reason most people wait until being able to access their super or being eligible to receive Age Pension payments before retiring is because super is where much of their savings are held and the tax-effectiveness of super can make your money last longer in retirement. The Age Pension can also supplement your retirement income needs, meaning less of your investments are needed to meet your retirement expenses.
Retirement Age Calculator
Using a retirement calculator (such as this one) can give you an idea of when you can retire and how long your super will last in retirement.
This retirement age calculator details all the different types of retirement ages, based on when you were born. It shows you the age you can first access your super, your transition to retirement age, your full superannuation retirement age and your Age Pension age.