Australia has arguably the most sustainable retirement framework in the world but it differs from most others in a few key ways. These distinguishing features give it its unique Australian flavour.
1. Unlike the rest of the world, we have compulsory employer contributions currently set at 9% of an employee’s wage, soon to increase to 12%. The real benefit of this regime will present itself over the next two decades, when – for new retirees – a large portion of their superannuation will come from the earnings on their employer sponsored contributions accumulated over their working life.
2. Presently the taxpayer funded age pension constitutes the core pillar of most Australian’s retirement income. Compared with most other countries, relatively speaking, it is quite modest in that it represents less than one third of average wages. This and the fact that it is means tested make it unique in the world.
3. Superannuation still enjoys tax benefits although this aspect has been greatly reduced over the past few years.
4. Most of us have ‘defined contribution’ style superannuation funds. By this we mean the contributions are known but the return will depend largely on the markets in which those contributions are invested. In days gone by, most superannuation funds in Australia were ‘defined benefit’ in style. This meant the end benefit was known (usually expressed in a multiple of the member’s final annual salary) but the level of contributions varied. With this change, there has been a shift in responsibility to the member to keep a watchful eye on their super balance to make sure it meets with their retirement needs.
The rates and benefits vary from time to time so it is vital to get up-to-date information, and to also have expert advice that takes into account your specific goals and circumstances before taking action. Book a free, no obligation consultation with one of our experienced wealth management advisers who can assist you in planning well financially for retirement.
Contact us today to learn more.