March 2015 living standards

For a modest lifestyle (better than a Government pension but fairly simple living), the annual guidelines are now $23,438 for a single or $33,799 for a couple. For a more comfortable lifestyle, the estimates are $42,569 for a single and $58,444 for a couple. This equates to about $510,000 in super for a comfortable lifestyle as a couple or $430,000 for a single.

There has been very little change – less than a dollar a week – in these overall benchmarked costs of retirement over the quarter.

So how much do you need?

If you take the relevant annual figure and multiply it by the number of years* you expect to be in retirement, you will get a rough idea of how much super you need for a modest or comfortable retirement lifestyle (based on ASFA's definitions as explained above). The ASFA website includes a simple calculator to show how much super may be enough.

Your personal circumstances and goals also need to be considered in deciding how much super you will need in retirement.

What does this mean for you?

It may mean you need more super than you thought – consolidating other accounts into one, making personal contributions and salary sacrificing are ways to increase super. This could be a good reason to contact our Member Advice Consultants for some personal advice, too.


*You can use the Australian Bureau of Statistics life tables for an idea of your life expectancy.

Phone 1300 128 751 (Local call)