Australians delaying retirement age, to the benefit of Government and funds

Australians are delaying retirement, with the average age of Australians intending to retire in the next 12 months increasing from 58 years of age to 61 between 2014 and 2016, according to Roy Morgan Research.

“This increase is likely to be a reaction to extensive negative publicity given in the lead-up to changes to pension eligibility and superannuation rules, combined with low deposit rates and economic uncertainty,” said Roy Morgan.

The increase in anticipated retirement age has also reduced the total number of people expecting to retire in the next 12 months, down from 411,000 in 2014 to 395,000 in 2016.

Roy Morgan Research said that an increasing retirement age is generally a positive for superannuation funds, as it leaves money in accumulation phase, and the Federal Government, because it reduced the cost of the age pension. However delayed retirement may lead to an increase in unemployment, with older workers staying in roles that could otherwise have been filled by younger people.

“As we have seen, recent changes to superannuation rules and pension eligibility appear to be impacting on retirement age, with the result that people will retire later. This is a positive for government retirement funding but could have negative ramifications for unemployment levels,”  said Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director for Roy Morgan Research.

However the level of assets with which Australians are retiring means pressure will remain on the age pension.

“The average level of savings and superannuation for those intending to retire in the next 12 months is well below the new age pension asset eligibility levels announced recently by the Australian Government and so pressure on government funding will continue for some time yet,” said Mr Morris.

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