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How much Australians really have in their retirement savings – and what YOU can do from July 1

The worryingly low superannuation levels of most Australians – and what you can do from NEXT MONTH to ensure you can retire in comfort

  • Average Australian superannuation balances are at $143,979, new data shows
  • That is well below the $535,000 recommended for a comfortable retirement 
  • Men typically had $162,275 for retirement compared with $128,068 for women 

Australians are a long way off from having enough to retire on with average superannuation balances of less than $145,000.

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia recommends a single retiree have $535,000 banked up to live out their twilight years in comfort.

But average super savings in 2018-19 stood at just $143,979, new Australian Taxation Office released on Monday showed.

Men typically had $162,275 in their retirement fund compared with $128,068 for women, a 21 per cent gap. 

Average super savings in 2018-19 stood at just $143,979, new tax office data showed. Pictured are women

The top 3.5 per cent of professionals, earning more than $180,000, had average super balances of $608,283, making them the only income group to have more than enough to comfortably retire on.

Above-average income earners, on salaries of $90,000 to $180,000, had mean balances of $257,695.

The 41.7 per cent of Australians earning between $37,000 and $90,000 had $121,119 in average retirement savings.

From July 1 this year, the threshold for voluntary super contributions qualifying for the concessional 15 per cent rate is increasing to $27,500 from $25,000.

Compulsory employer super contributions on that date are also increasing to 10 per cent from 9.5 per cent.

They will be increasing in half a percentage point increments at the start of each financial year until it reaches 12 per cent by July 2025.

Former Labor prime minister Paul Keating, the architect of the compulsory super scheme that debuted in 1992, wants a 15 per cent rate.

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia recommends a single retiree have $535,000 banked up to live out their twilight years in comfort. Pictured is a stock image

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia recommends a single retiree have $535,000 banked up to live out their twilight years in comfort. Pictured is a stock image

When can Australians access their super?

For those born before July 1, 1960, it’s 55

The rises to 56 for baby boomers born between July 1, 1960 and June 30, 1961

It’s 57 for those born between July 1, 1961 and June 30, 1962

It’s 58 for those born between July 1, 1962 and June 30, 1963

It’s 59 for those born between July 1, 1963 and June 30, 1964

It’s 60 for anyone born after July 1, 1964

Source: moneysmart.gov.au

 

Money expert Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon, the author of How to Get Mortgage-Free Like Me, said putting away a few hundred a month from a young age was the key to being able to retire in luxury with $1million in superannuation savings.

‘If you start tipping in later, it’s going to be a really hard slog to get to that magic million,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.

She recommended a 20-year-old university student living at home put aside $381 a month. 

The longer someone delayed voluntarily topping up their super, the more they would have to chip in later to meet the seven-figure goal.

A worker actively contributing to their super would have to put aside $820 a month from age 30 rising to $1,921 a month for someone starting at 40 and $5,778 for an individual leaving it until age 50. 

Australians at least have more opportunity to add to their super with the ANZ job ad series showing a 7.9 per cent increase in May to a 12-year high of 213,894 available positions. 

The number of jobs advertised on the internet has risen for 12 successive months to be up 219.8 per cent from a year ago and 38.8 per cent above the pre-pandemic level of early 2020.

CommSec senior economist Ryan Felsman said international border closures and skills shortages were a major obstacle for employers. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk