Almost-retired stopping work later

A Roy Morgan survey has revealed what has been expected for some time: that Australian almost-retirees are waiting longer to actually retire. The average age of Australians intending to retire in the next 12 months is 61 years, up from 58 in 2014. In 2008, the average age of retirement was 57.5 years. 

The researcher states this is likely due to negative publicity regarding changes to pension eligibility and superannuation regulations, plus low deposit rates and economic uncertainty. 

The survey also established how much retirement savings was held by those who were intending to retire, with the following results, based on a sample of 50,000 respondents:

  • The current average gross wealth, including owner-occupied homes, of intending retirees is $286,000, up from $276,000 (3.6 per cent) in 2014. 
  • In the year leading up to October 2016, most respondents held their super savings in an industry fund (41 per cent), retails funds (33 per cent), public sector funds (22 per cent), and self-managed super funds (8 per cent). 
  • The average level of savings is below the new age pension asset eligibility levels. 
  • The average level of debt was $18,000
  • Eighty-five per cent of intending retirees either own or are paying off their home
  • The value per person of the home was $495,000 - 73 per cent higher than the average of $286,000 in superannuation funds. 
  • The researchers conclude that some government benefits will be required in retirement.