Does your super balance match your age?

How much super should you have at your age?

A healthy super balance is key to being able to live the life you want in retirement. But for many Aussies, retirement is a long way off, and it is difficult to know whether your super is keeping up. If you’ve ever wondered how much super you should have at your age, then read on to find out!

So, how does your super compare?

This table shows the average super balances for Aussie men and women of different ages (excluding those with no super).


Average balance – men

Average balance – women













40-44 $99,959


45-49 $145,076





55-59 $237,022


60-64 $270,710


Source: Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, Superannuation account balances by age and gender 2015-16, October 2017, pg. 9.

Does your super stand up to the test?

If your balance looks low, there could be several reasons why your super is lagging behind your peers, including taking time out of the workforce to study, travel, raise kids, care for older relatives, or simply earning less than the average wage for your age. You might also be self-employed, and not paying yourself super.

Another reason some of our clients face is that their employer has failed to pay the superannuation guarantee (SG) into their super. Though a pay slip may specify the SG amount, the employer could have failed to deposit this money into your superannuation account. We have helped several clients recoup unpaid super or set up payment plans for their employers to “catch-up”.

As these figures show, women are particularly affected, with lower super balances than men across all age groups.

Will your super be enough to retire on? Even if your balance is above most others at your age, will it be enough for a comfortable retirement?

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (AFSA) notes that “many people will still retire with inadequate superannuation savings to fund the lifestyle they want in retirement”, and that “most people retiring in the next few years will rely partially or substantially on the Age Pension for some or all of their retirement”, again due to “inadequate super savings”.i

The AFSA retirement standard estimates singles will need retirement savings of $545,000 for a comfortable retirement, whilst couples will need combined retirement savings of $640,000.ii

What can you do if your super needs a boost?

1.Search for lost super. You might have money sitting in an account somewhere you’ve forgotten about.

2.If you have super in multiple funds, consider consolidating it into one account. This may save you on fees and charges that could be eating into your balance. However, be on the lookout for exit or termination fees, and ensure that your insurance cover isn’t affected.

3.Consider changing how your super is invested. For example, consider switching it into a more growth focused investment option. If you do, bear in mind that returns are not guaranteed – higher returns are accompanied by higher risks. Contact your super fund to investigate investment options.

Once you have your super sorted for the long term, consider these options we use with our clients that can boost your balance:

  • Salary sacrificing: you can contribute extra cash into your super from your before-tax salary and it will be taxed at 15%iii, rather than at your usual marginal tax rate. However, make sure your total super contributions (including any from your employer) 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 is a $100,000 limit per financial year on the amount of after-tax contributions you can make. If you’re under age 65, you can also ‘bring forward’ the next two years’ worth of after-tax contributions, and make up to $300,000 in contributions in one financial year.iv
  • 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.
  • Government contributions: If you’re a low or middle-income earner, you may be eligible for contributions from the government or tax-offsets when you add after-tax money to your super.

Ask yourself:

  1. Is the superfund I am using the right one?
  2. Are the fees high?
  3. How can I get my super working harder?
  4. Can I make extra contributions to super but still afford other things?

If you want to take action now to help with these questions, contact us to ensure you’re super is back on track and higher than the average.  Use the chat service or call 03 4411 8744.

If you are closer to retirement the be sure to read our How To Avoid Common Retirement Pitfalls blog.

i Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, Superannuation account balances by age and gender 2015-16, October 2017, pg. 7.

ii Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, ASFA Retirement Standard, pg. 4.

iii Or 30% if you earn $250,000 a year or more.

iv Providing your total super balance at 30 June 2017 is less than $1.4 million.

7Wealth Pty Ltd ABN 44 609 210 246, is an Authorised Representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited ABN 89 051 208 327 Australian Financial Services Licence 232706 and Australian Credit Licence 232706
This blog contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information. If you decide to purchase or vary a financial product, your financial adviser, and other companies within the AMP Group may receive fees and other benefits. The fees will be a dollar amount and/ or a percentage of either the premium you pay or the value of your investment. Please contact us if you want more information.
October 9, 2018