How much super do we need to be comfortable?

New figures released by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) update how much we need at various ages to be on track to the comfortable standard of retirement set by ASFA.

If a person owns their own home and is in reasonable health, a single person needs $43,694 per year and a couple needs $60,063 to be comfortable. After 85 years of age the amount needed to be comfortable drops to $39,443 for singles and $55,382 for couples.

To be comfortable during retirement, single people need $545,000 in super and couples need $640,000. This number assumes retirees will draw their capital down and receive a part age pension.

ASFA executive officer Martin Fahy said that dream retirements are in reach for many people due to compulsory super and compound interest. A 30-year-old earning $70,000 per year with the 9.5 per cent superannuation guarantee being lifted to 12 per cent by 2025 will be on track to reaching the ASFA comfortable standard of living by the time they retire at 67, if they have $50,000 in their super today.

For a 40-year-old to reach the comfortable retirement standard they need to have $175,000 in their super today, a 50-year-old needs $275,000, and a 60-year-old needs $425,000.

A 35-year-old with a $100,000 annual income could begin saving for retirement today and achieve a comfortable retirement. A 45-year-old would need $100,000 in their superannuation account to achieve a comfortable retirement, a 50-year-old needs $250,000, and a 60-year-old needs $410,000.

Fahy said that super is setting up the current generations of workers for a more comfortable retirement, and a rise in the superannuation guarantee to 12 per cent would mean the promise of compulsory super would be surer.