There is actually no hard and fast retirement age in Australia. For most people, the point at which they call it a day and retire from the workforce is generally determined by a couple of factors:
Preservation age – Accessing your Super
Generally, you must reach what’s called your ‘preservation age’ before you can access your super. You can use the following table to work out your preservation age, which depends on your date of birth.
|Date of Birth||Preservation Age|
|Before 1 July 1960||55|
|1 July 1960 - 30 June 1961||56|
|1 July 1961 - 30 June 1962||57|
|1 July 1962 - 30 June 1963||58|
|1 July 1963 - 30 June 1964||59|
|From 1 July 1964||60|
Upon reaching your preservation age, you must also meet a ‘condition of release’ to access your Superannuation. A condition of release is basically a list of reasons the trustee of your Super fund can accept to release your funds. Retirement is one of these conditions; however, what is actually classified as retirement depends on the person’s age. For instance, if you’re under 60 you must have ceased gainful employment and intend to never again become gainfully employment for 10 hours or more each week.
However, once you have reached 65 you can access your superannuation without any restrictions.
Men and women are now eligible for the age pension at 65.
The Government announced in the 2009 Federal Budget that the Age Pension age is set to increase to 67 years of age from 2023. This change will occur in a staggered approach rather than in one swift increase from 65 to 67.
Use the following table to work out your qualifying age.
|Born||Eligible at age|
|From 1 July 1952 to 31 Dec 1953||65.5|
|From 1 Jan 1954 to 30 June 1955||66|
|From 1 July 1955 to 31 Dec 1956||66.5|
|From 1 Jan 1957||67|
This change is bound to impact the potential retirement age of Australians going forward. For most, the Age Pension remains a key part of any retirement plan, even when you have superannuation and other investments. Regardless if you are only entitled to a few dollars in Age Pension, you still qualify for the extra benefits such as discounts on prescriptions, council rates and some other household bills.
Approximately 80% of Australians who have reached Age Pension age receive a full or part Age Pension. As it currently stands, some couples who hold in excess of $1 million in assets on top of their family home are still eligible for a part Age Pension.
It is best to speak to a professional to determine how much you require in retirement and whether you’re on track to meet this goal. And don’t do what many others do and leave this until just before you’re about to retire, as you may be in for a reality check as to what you can achieve.