Some people are apprehensive about the thought of retirement. Others might not know what they’ll do once they retire.
Jump straight to…
At what age should you retire? What things should you consider to ensure a comfortable retirement? How do you ease into retirement?
Use this article to guide you in making retirement decisions, including retirement benefits and options for receiving a retirement income. We’ll also discuss Age Pension, including who can get it and when.
At What Age Should You Retire?
A report from the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) noted that the average retirement age of a person is 55.3 (58.8 among men and 52.3 among women). If you plan on retiring, you can use those figures as a benchmark.
How Do You Decide Your Retirement Age?
Retirement age decisions depend on how much you need and for how long you need it. Monitor your super, set retirement goals, and regularly check if you’re on track to achieving those goals.
Having a financial plan will help you achieve your ideal future or even go into early retirement. Get personal financial advice for retirement planning to get the most from your super.
How Much Will You Need in Retirement?
Consult a financial adviser regarding how much you need for a comfortable retirement lifestyle. Make financial decisions, create a retirement plan, and review your goals.
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia’s (ASFA) Retirement Standard estimates that a 65-year-old single person would need $44,183 every year to retire comfortably.
What Are Considered Retirement Essentials?
Maintain a healthy lifestyle, and you may have a long life expectancy throughout retirement. Build up your social security and retirement savings to last for 15 to 30 years.
Set aside retirement money for leisure and manage finances and debts. Consider savings and investment options outside super as alternative income sources.
Whether you’ll gradually ease down or go into full-time retirement, be mentally prepared to exit the workforce.
Understanding Age Pension: Who Can Get It and When?
Meeting certain age and residency requirements and passing a means test can qualify you for Age Pension. Age Pension rates are indexed to keep up with the price and wage increases in Australia.
Age Pension is different from service pension. Age pension is managed by Services Australia, while service pension is managed by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs for Australian Defense Force retirees.
The qualifying age for Age Pension is 67. For service pension it’s 60, for both men and women.
To qualify for Age Pension you must be an Australian resident, meet the age requirements, and pass both the income test and assets test. These tests will determine the pension income rate you will receive.
After reaching the Age Pension eligibility age, you can qualify for other Australian government benefits, such as the CSHC (Commonwealth Seniors Health Card) and SAPTO (Senior Australians and Pensioners Tax Offset).
The CSHC lets you access cheaper health care. SAPTO is provided by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to reduce or eliminate your tax liability.
Some pensioners over the Age Pension age may continue working. The Work Bonus benefit lets them keep their pension while earning income from work.
Other retirement pension benefits include a pension supplement, an energy supplement, and rent assistance.
What Is the Current Pension Age?
According to Services Australia, as of 1 July 2021, the age eligibility criteria for Age Pension increased to 66.5 for people born between 1 July 1955 and 31 December 1956, inclusive.
Does the Age in Pension Age Increase?
The short answer is yes. Pension rates are changed to help older Australians keep pace with price and wage increases.
There is a gradual increase in pension age from 65 to 67 years as set out in the table below.
|Date of birth||Pension age||Pension age change date|
|1 July 1952 – 31 December 1953||65.5||1 July 2017|
|1 January 1954 – 30 June 1955||66||1 July 2019|
|1 July 1955 – 31 December 1956||66.5||1 July 2021|
|1 January 1957 onwards||67||1 July 2023|
What is Preservation Age?
Your preservation age is the earliest age you can access your superannuation savings if you’re retired. Depending on your date of birth, preservation age ranges between 55 and 60.
Accessing Your Super
You may withdraw from your super balance if you are between 57 and 65 and permanently retired, or if you are 65 or over, whether you are still working or not.
If you were born before 1 July 1964 and under 65, you may have early access to your super fund.
Conditions of Super Release
To access your super upon reaching preservation age (for example, as an income stream or lump sum), one of the following conditions of release must be satisfied:
- Reached preservation age and retired or started TTR income stream
- More than 60 and ceased employment
- Turned 65 whether still working or not
- Has died
Accessing Your Super During TTR
Transition to retirement (TTR) lets you access super if you have reached preservation age but are not yet ready to retire or have not met a lump sum condition of release.
Funds You Can Trust in Retirement
With a TTR income account, you can receive payments from your super while you’re still working, essentially turning your super into an income stream.
The TTR rules allow you to start a transition to retirement income stream (TRIS) once you’ve reached your preservation age. With the TRIS, your income isn’t reduced even when you reduce your working hours.
To receive a regular income from your super fund upon retirement, open a retirement income account.
To receive regular income support for the rest of your life, choose a lifetime pension account.
Using TTR to Ease Into Retirement on Your Terms
TTR provides a seamless transition into retirement, with less worry.
The TTR income stream makes it easier for you to make retirement plans. TTR also prepares you to think about receiving income from your pension, rather than your employment.
TTR means you’re drawing early from your super. Plan carefully and you’ll have enough money for when you retire.
If you’re unsure about TTR, speak with a financial adviser or obtain the relevant product disclosure statement (PDS) before making decisions.
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1. How do I estimate the pension I will receive?
Consult a retirement planner for an estimation of your Centrelink entitlement.
2. Where can I find out how to access my super?
Find information about accessing your super on the Getting your super page.
3. When do I become eligible for a TTR pension?
You gain eligibility for TTR pension payments upon reaching your super preservation age. For more information, visit www.moneysmart.gov.au.
- Australian retirement age – things to consider. Accessed 9 July 2021.
- Age pension: Who can get it. Accessed 9 July 2021.
- What is the Age Pension age? Accessed 9 July 2021.
- Age Pension.