While Australians can legally retire at any age, there are five common factors that normally influence this decision. These include your health (or the health of a loved one), the type of work you do, friends and family, if you reach financial independence or if it simply feels like the right time to retire.

What is the retirement age in Australia?

During the 2018-19 financial year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recorded that the average retirement age (of all retirees) was 55.4 years old. However, the average age Aussies intended to retire was 65 years and 6 months [2]. At the time, this was also the age Australians could start receiving the age pension. [1]


During the 2018-19 financial year, 43% of Australian women aged 45 years or over retired [2]. Women were more likely to retire to care for an ill, disabled, or elderly person than men.


During the 2018-19 financial year, 37% of Australian men aged 45 years or over retired. [2]

Age Pension for Australian Residents

Since 2017, the age of retirement for an Australian resident has slowly been increasing alongside the pension age. And, as of 1 July 2023, Australians must be 67 years old to be eligible for the age pension. [1]

You’ll also need to meet the residence rules to confirm your residency, complete an income test to determine your income from all sources, and complete an assets test to determine what you own before you can access Australia’s age pension.

Age Pension Payments

Your age pension payment will vary depending on:

  • Your relationship status - whether you’re single or partnered 

  • You and your partner’s income  

  • You and your partner’s total number of financial assets 

  • The year you started receiving the pension

Age Pension Rates

Per fortnight Single Couple
apart due to ill health
Maximum basic rate $936.80 $706.20 $1,412.40 $936.80
Maximum Pension Supplement $75.60 $57.00 $114.00 $75.60
Energy Supplement $14.10 $10.60 $21.20 $14.10
Total $1,026.50 $773.80 $1,547.60 $1,026.50

Some Australians who were receiving part pensions on 19 September 2009 may be on transitional rates instead.

How to Plan for Retirement

Savings and Investments

In 2018-19, 36% of retired women and only 7% of retired men relied on their partner’s income to meet their cost of living needs at retirement. [2]

Before you retire, you’ll need to plan for how much you expect to spend and work out your budget for when you retire.


Nearly half (46%) of all Australians retire because they’re eligible for superannuation. Superannuation makes up 30% of main income for retired men and 17% of main income for retired women aged 45 years and over. [2]

Before you retire, you should set regular savings targets for yourself and your partner to contribute to your superannuation.

Preservation Age

If you reach your preservation age and meet all the conditions of release, you’ll be able to access your super and retire permanently. 

Your super may include any of the following benefit types:

  • Preserved benefits - all contributions and all earnings for a specific period 

  • Restricted non-preserved benefits - all contributions made between a specific period

  • Unrestricted non-preserved benefits - money held by your super provider (including your super fund, retirement savings account and approved deposit fund)

Life Insurance

With Budget Direct Premium Life Direct Insurance, you can choose to provide for yourself, your family and loved ones with some financial protection well before retirement.

Life cover can help you to protect your family against financial hardship with a lump sum benefit payable (which is your sum insured; you can apply for up to $15 million of cover) if you were to pass away or are diagnosed with a terminal illness that is likely to result in death within a period of 24 months.

Learn More About Life Insurance

Are Aussies retiring later than previous generations?

Lifespan is Increasing

Over the past 10 years (2011-2021), life expectancy has increased by 1.6 years for men and 1.2 years for women [4]. Australia’s population is continuing to age, not only because of longer life expectancy, but also because of declining fertility rates. [5]

While one of the main reasons Australians retire is reaching retirement age, the increase in life expectancy may also lead to Aussies continuing to work and retire later in life.

Healthcare Limitations

According to the ABS, one of the main reasons retirees left their jobs during 2018-19 was due to their own sickness, injury or disability [2]. But with Australians expected to live longer, it’s unclear whether we have the right policies in place to support the increasing healthcare needs of ageing Australians before they retire. 

These healthcare limitations are one of the reasons older Australians may experience discrimination in the workplace. [6]

Compared to their younger counterparts, older Australians experience a larger proportion of health risks including arthritis, osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease and a greater risk associated with musculoskeletal injuries and fatigue. [6]

Workplace Changes

Australian workplaces will need to adapt policies and procedures to meet the needs of older Australians who will continue to work past their “retirement age”. Identifying which Australian workplaces are least prepared as well as the type of support workplaces need to make these changes.

Your Life Insurance

You can do your part to protect your loved ones and keep your assets safe well before retirement with Budget Direct’s Life Insurance.

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