What is the retirement age in Australia?

The following two tabs change content below.

Wally David

I’m a proud husband and father and I advise people on money for a living. I've been doing this money thing for over a decade and have a keen passion for educating people on their options by simplifying information into everyday language and cutting to the chase.

seniors

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:

  • The age that you can access your superannuation
  • Your qualifying age for the Age Pension from Centrelink

What is the retirement age in Australia?

Factors to consider

Accessing your Super

In most cases, you must reach your ‘preservation age’ to get your hands on your super. The following table provides your preservation age based on your date of birth.

Date of BirthPreservation 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

Once you reach preservation age and have retired, you can access your super.

For example:

Jacqui is 56 and was born on January 13th, 1958. She has just retired from the workforce and doesn’t intend to work again. She can withdraw from her superannuation, subject to any tax considerations.

If you are still working, then you may only have limited access to your funds. By limited I mean you may be able to access your super in the form of an income stream, rather than a lump sum payment. The technical name for this is a transition to retirement pension where you can receive regular payments from your super while you continue working. You can access up to 10% of your super account balance each financial year.

An example of this is John who has a super balance at July 1st of $300,000. He can start a Transition to Retirement pension and receive up to $30,000 in pension payments for that financial year.

Once you have reached 65 you have the green light to access your superannuation without any restrictions. You can take it as a lump sum if you want to pay off something big like your mortgage or you can take it as a regular payment or pension.

Age Pension

Men and women currently aged 65 are eligible for the age pension.

Set to increase

The Government announced in the 2014 Federal Budget that the Age Pension age is set to increase to 70 years of age from 2035.  This change will occur in a staggered approach rather than in one swift increase.

From 1 July 2025, the age pension qualifying age will start rising by six months every two years, from 67 years to 70 years by 1 July 2035.

In effect, someone born after 1 January 1966 will not be able to apply for the age pension until 70.

 Use the following table to work out your qualifying age.

Date of birth between Eligible at age
1 July 1952 to 31 Dec 195365.5
1 Jan 1954 to 30 June 195566
1 July 1955 to 31 Dec 195666.5
1 January 1957 and 30 June 1958
67
1 July 1958 and 31 December 1959
67.5
1 January 1960 and 30 June 1961 68
1 July 1961 and 31 December 1962 68.5
1 January 1963 and 30 June 1964 69
1 July 1964 and 31 December 1965 69.5
1 January 1966 and later 70

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.

Around 77 per cent of Australians over the age of 65 receive some income support from the government. 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.

This change in pension age does not mean you will need to work to age 70, just that you will need to rely on superannuation and other savings between retiring from the workforce and reaching age pension age.

If you have found this page helpful, please share with your friends. Thanks!

Want to find out about 5 ways to boost your pension? Subscribe to our newsletter for your free report download now.

Comments

    • Wally David says

      Hi Gunther,

      If you are 61 and have retired from the workforce, you should be able to access your super. In terms of Age Pension, you can look up your qualifying age in the table above based on your date of birth.

      I hope this helps.

      – Wally

      • Li Li says

        Hi Wally,

        You are offering a great site with practical Q & A. I hope to seek for your advise. We lived and worked in Sydney between July 2001 to July 2006 and was contributing to Superannuation. We moved away from AU after that and I discontinued the superannuation while my husband continues to contribute. So, can we still have the access to the super fund when we reach the age if we don’t live in AU anymore? Does it still make sense to continue the super contribution even if we don’t have the plan to live in Australia at the retirement age? Can we get the super fund out now? I am only 41 and my husband is 46. Thanks!

        • Wally David says

          Thank you for your question and kind words, Li Li.

          Please refer to a Q & A at SuperGuide on accessing your super when departing Australia.

          I hope this provides some clarity on your issue.

          – Wally

  1. says

    Hi Wally,
    I am 59 still Working and my wife is 50.She has returned to Employment on a Casual basis after not being in the Workforce for 25 years.
    I would like to Retire at 66 but would like to know what affect/restrictions
    it will have on my Pension if she stops working or would be better to continue to work.
    Regards Rod

    • Wally David says

      Thank you for your question, Rod.

      Any employment income your wife earns will be assessed against the income test of your Age Pension. How much this will affect your pension will depend upon how much she earns and, what other assets and sources of income you have. It’s really hard to judge so far out, as the rules and limits are likely to change in that period. You can make that call closer to the time based on your prevailing set of circumstances.

      – Wally

    • Wally David says

      Hi John,

      Thanks so much for the positive feedback. I’m glad you find the site so helpful.

      – Wally

    • Wally David says

      Hi Peter,

      Great to hear you find the information helpful. Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback.

      – Wally

  2. Cruise says

    Hi David, great and useful information above. Wanna ask my aunt is 68 already and still work in farm industry. Someday she gotta work until midnight everyweeks and I dont think this is a good work habit. Does it illegal for an old woman to work over 50 hours a week? On the othe hand,as her contract mentioned she can get pay every two weeks, however, she never get the salary on time. Sometimes I heard she need to wait over a month. It is rediculious that happened in Australia. How can I help her? Thanks and cheers.

  3. noah says

    Hi David,
    I am 57. Would I be able to retire early as an Australian citizen ? I am planning to leave Australia permanently and will move to Europe.

    Yours sincerely,
    Noah P.

    • Wally David says

      Thank you for your question, Noah.

      I’m not entirely sure what you mean by your question. In terms of the Age Pension, people can live overseas and still be paid the pension.

      According to the Department of Human Services website to be eligible for Age Pension you must satisfy residence requirements. You must be:

      – an Australian resident on the day you lodge your claim,
      – be physically present in Australia on the day you lodge your claim, and
      – need to have been an Australian resident for a continuous period of at least 10 years

      I hope this helps.

      – Wally

  4. Karen says

    What legal avenues can you take to access the super that has been taken out of your pay, but the company you have been working for has a. Folded b. Failed to send it through to the super fund

    When the taxation department was notified, they washed their hands of the matter..

    • Wally David says

      Thank you for your question, Karen.

      The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is the body responsible for collecting any unpaid super and enforcing penalties for late or non-payments. I’m surprised to hear of the response you received.

      There is a Employee Superannuation Guarantee (SG) calculator tool that allows you to calculate what you may be owed. There is also the option to lodge an electronic notification to the ATO to assist resolving the issue.

      I hope this helps.

      -Wally

  5. Annette says

    Can I retire at 60, collect my super, pay off my mortgage and then re- enter the workforce as a casual or part time worker?

    If so, is there a certain amount of time I have to be ‘retired’ before I re-enter the workforce?

    • Wally David says

      Thank you for your question, Annette.

      Once you reach age 60 and you cease gainful employment with an employer, you can access your super. There is no prescribed time period that you must remain out of the workforce. If you’re aged 60 or over, any withdrawals from a taxed super fund are completely tax-free. If you have an untaxed fund such as a government super fund, different rates may apply.

      You should get some professional advice beforehand.

      I hope this helps.

      – Wally

  6. Neil says

    I was born 15/03/1961 and didnt contribute to super until it was compulsive,how much money should I be putting away each week through salery sacrifies on top of the $100 work puts in. Also what is the cut off year for a full pension, been born in 1961 do I quailify.

    • Wally David says

      Thank you for your question, Neil.

      There is no one-size-fits-all amount that you should be contributing on top of your employer’s contributions. You really need to work out how much you will need in retirement, and work backwards to calculate the regular amount you need to save now to reach that goal. Everyone is different based on their circumstances and lifestyle. A good financial adviser can assist with this task.

      In terms of cut-off for the pension, this figure will change many times over in the future with the regular indexation of the limits, plus any change in the eligibility rules. It would be better to check the asset limits closer to your qualifying age, to get a better understanding.

      – Wally

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current ye@r *