Planning for retirement

Whether it’s 30 years away or if you’re ready to retire now, it’s always important to plan for your future.

It’s never too early to start planning to help ensure you have enough savings to enjoy retirement – and the longer you have your money in super, the more it’s likely to grow. 

Deciding at what age to retire

Deciding when to retire is one of the most important decisions of both your personal and working life. Although there is no mandatory retirement age, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average retirement age is 55.4 years, with women on average retiring sooner than men.

Deciding when to retire largely depends on the age when you can access your super. In addition, depending on your circumstances, you may also want to consider at what age you could potentially qualify for the government age pension, a benefit paid to eligible Australians by the government to help them in retirement.

Accessing your super

You can access your super when you meet a condition of release, the most common being ‘preservation age’, which will depend on when you were born, and currently ranges from age 58 to 60.

The below table has been prepared to help you determine when you’ll reach preservation age.

Date of birth

Preservation age

Before 1 July 1963

Already Reached

1 July 1963 - 30 June 1964


1 July 1964 and onwards


Accessing the government age pension

The age in which you can qualify for the government age pension is also dependent on when you were born. The qualifying age currently ranges between ages 66 and 67.

The government age pension also has a number of other eligibility criteria which you will need to meet prior to receiving it. For general information on the government age pension, please see the Services Australia website.

Determining how much money you need to retire

Everyone is different and how much money you need to retire depends on your personal circumstances, and the type of retirement you’d like to live.

To help you understand what your retirement could look like, the Mercer Financial Advice team have developed a Retirement Calculator. This calculator can help you estimate how much you might need depending on the lifestyle you’d like to enjoy, income you might receive in retirement and how long it might last.

Allocated pension vs. Transition to retirement

Depending on where you are on your retirement journey, and if you’ve reached your preservation age, there are two types of retirement phase accounts that Mercer Super can offer – both within the Mercer SmartRetirement Income product:

Retired ladies having fun swimming at the beach

Allocated Pension

For members who are ready to, or are already retired, and want to receive a regular income, whilst keeping their super funds invested and earning money.

Transition to retirement

For members who aren’t ready to retire but want to reduce their working hours, a transition to retirement pension can draw from your super to supplement your income in a tax-effective way

The first step on your retirement journey

When planning for retirement there is a lot to consider, but with the right advice it doesn’t need to be difficult or confusing. If you are considering retiring, or looking to plan for the future, we recommend seeking financial advice. As part of your membership, our Helpline Advice team can provide financial advice about your super fund at no additional cost. You can make an appointment with this team by calling our Helpline on 1800 671 369 between 8am-7pm (AEST/AEDT), Monday-Friday.

Disclaimer: This content has been prepared and sent on behalf of Mercer Superannuation (Australia) Limited (‘Mercer Super’), ABN 79 004 717 533, Australian Financial Services Licence #235906, the trustee of the Mercer Super Trust ABN 19 905 422 981. Any advice contained in this content is of a general nature only, and does not take into account the personal needs and circumstances of any particular individual. Prior to acting on any information contained in this content, you need to take into account your own financial circumstances. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement, Product Guide, Insurance Guide, and Financial Services Guide before making a decision about the product, or seek professional advice from a licensed, or appropriately authorised financial adviser if you are unsure of what action to take. 'MERCER' is a registered trademark of Mercer (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 32 005 315 917. Copyright 2022 Mercer LLC. All rights reserved.