How much super should I have at my age?

A healthy super balance can be a key ingredient in being able to live the life we want in retirement. But for many people, retirement is a long way off, and it can be hard to know if your super is on track.

How does your super compare?

The table below shows the average super balances for Australian men and women of different ages (excluding those with no super) so you can compare your balance to others your age.

Age
Average balance – men
Average balance – women
20-24 $6,265 $3,941
25-29 $18,072 $14,812
30-34 $36,373 $25,549
35-39 $55,279 $34,812
40-44 $83,565 $53,536
45-49 $119,500 $67,805
50-54 $146,608 $84,228
55-59 $227,765 $115,046
60-64 $292,510 $138,154

Source: Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, Superannuation account balances by age and gender, December 2015

Do you stack up?

If your balance looks low, there could be a number of reasons why your super is lagging your peers, such as taking time out of the workforce to study, travel, raise children, care for older relatives, or being out of work, working part-time, or earning a lower wage than others your age.

As the figures show, these issues particularly affect women, as they have lower super balances than men across all age groups.

But even if your balance is above others of your age, will you have enough for a comfortable retirement?

What to do if your super needs a boost

  • Firstly, search for lost super. Money belonging to you might be sitting in an account you’ve forgotten about.
  • Secondly, if you have super with multiple funds, think about consolidating it into one account and you could save on fees and charges that could be eating into your balance. However, you’ll need to check for exit or termination fees, and ensure that your insurance cover isn’t affected.
  • And thirdly, you could consider changing how your super is invested, for example, by switching it into a more growth-focused investment option. But bear in mind that returns are not guaranteed, and that higher risk accompanies the opportunity for high returns.

Once you’ve got your super sorted with these quick wins, you can consider ways to boost your balance, including:

  • Salary sacrificing: you can contribute extra cash into your super from your before-tax salary and it will only be taxed at 15%1, rather than at your usual marginal tax rate. However, your total super contributions (including any your employer makes on your behalf) don’t exceed $25,000 per year. Speak to your payroll department to set up a salary sacrifice.
  • Personal tax-deductible contributions: if your employer doesn’t offer salary sacrifice, you’re unemployed, self-employed or don’t want to salary sacrifice, you can make a personal tax-deductible contribution to your super, which is also taxed at 15%, and subject to the $25,000 per year limit.
  • After-tax contributions (also known as non-concessional contributions): There’s a $100,000 limit per financial year on the amount of after-tax contributions you can make. If you are under age 65, you can also ‘bring forward’ the next two years’ worth of after-tax contributions, and make up to $300,000 contribution in a financial year.2
  • Spouse contributions: If your partner is out of work, a stay-at-home parent, working part-time or earning less than $40,000, adding to their super could benefit you both financially.

Need help?

For more information or help with any of the above please contact us.

 

1 Or 30% if you earn $250,000 a year or more.
2 Providing your total super balance is less than $1.4 million.