Fifty-three per cent of Australian households are expected to have enough for a comfortable retirement from their combined superannuation savings, personal assets and the Age Pension, according to the latest CommBank Retire Ready Index released today.
When the Age Pension is removed, the number of households that can afford a comfortable retirement reduces to 17 per cent, and to just six per cent when the calculations are based on superannuation only.
Linda Elkins, Executive General Manager Advice, Commonwealth Bank said: “The good news is that many Australians who may not currently be on track for a comfortable retirement are very close. A little bit of planning could see them reach the comfortable level.”
CommBank commissioned Rice Warner to prepare the report, which shows that many Australians are close to achieving the comfortable retirement standard defined by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA). The report shows that while 53 per cent of Australian households are on track, a further 18 per cent are projected have 80 to 99 per cent of what they will need.
The overall results are mixed across cohorts and age groups, and highlight the growing importance of superannuation in helping Australians achieve a comfortable retirement.
Millennials will need to save harder for retirement than other cohorts due to their longer life expectancies. Superannuation will play an important role and will comprise, on average, 78 per cent of retirement assets for 25 year-olds working today.
“The CommBank Retire Ready Index shows how important superannuation will be for the long term financial well-being of young Australians. Many people do not become engaged with superannuation until later in their working lives, but taking a keener interest in superannuation now, consolidating accounts into one super fund and contributing a little more each week can help younger Australians stay on track for a comfortable retirement,” Ms Elkins said.
In the 60-64 year-old age group, couples are expected to be better off than singles but will have reduced retire readiness as they have not received the long term benefits of compulsory Superannuation Guarantee contributions. On the other hand, younger age groups are expected to have less in assets at retirement outside of superannuation when compared with their older counterparts.
“The report also shows that more men than women are retire ready. Women have longer life expectancies, and therefore need more assets to maintain a comfortable level of retirement. Women also generally have lower retirement savings due to career breaks during their child bearing years and lower average income levels throughout their working lives.”
Ms Elkins also said: “People who are approaching retirement could give their savings a boost by taking advantage of the current superannuation contribution caps before they are reduced on 1 July.”
“It is important that people of all ages understand how much they will need to save now to secure their financial futures.”
“To help Australians see how on track they are for a comfortable retirement, CommBank has developed a retirement calculator. This is a good first step to see how retire ready you are and is a useful resource to help you get on track to reach your goals for a comfortable retirement,” she said.
Five tips to be retire ready
- If you have more than one superannuation fund, consolidate your accounts to help save on fees
- Find out how much you’ll need for retirement using our retirement calculator at commbank.com.au/retirementcalculator
- Develop a retirement plan – talk to a financial planner about your retirement goals
- Revise your household budget to see if there is any spare cash to put away for retirement, using our budget planner tool at commbank.com.au/budgetplanner
- Seek advice on how the changes to superannuation on 1 July 2017 will affect your retirement.
For more information about the CommBank Retire Ready Index, and to read the full report, visit commbank.com.au/retireready.
About the CommBank Retire Ready Index
The CommBank Retire Ready Index is a comprehensive analysis of the retirement savings and resulting retirement incomes of Australia’s working population. It looks at the percentage of the population aged 25-64 who are projected to have sufficient assets, including superannuation, personal wealth and Age Pension entitlements, to meet a comfortable level of retirement.
CommBank has partnered with Rice Warner, one of Australia’s leading and most respected actuarial firms, to develop this report.
The report projects the retire readiness of working Australians aged 25-64. Using data from over 10 million member superannuation accounts from Rice Warner’s Super Insights along with personal wealth data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, we have provided a comprehensive picture of the wealth of the Australian population. The data excludes the family home as this asset is not typically used for retirement income purposes.
Our analysis captures some of the most important factors affecting retirement adequacy, such as couple/single status and personal wealth. It also provides insights into the retire readiness of Australians by demographic split including:
- State; and
- Couple/single status.
Calculations and projections used in the report look at the anticipated costs of goods and services needed to maintain a comfortable standard of living. These are based on the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia’s (ASFA) comfortable retirement standard of $43,372 and $59,619 per annum for singles and couples respectively.