BAD NEWS: You may not have enough money to retire
RESIDIENTS living in the Page electorate are saving less superannuation than others across NSW, despite there being a higher average of pensioners living in the region.
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) found Page residents, who have an average superannuation balance of $109,092, are falling behind the state average of $133,643, and the national average of $132,646.
The region's top super balances were held by residents of Yamba ($150,798), Wardell ($140,624) and Evans Head ($119,504), Lismore ($109,443) and Grafton ($104,379).
But for residents in other parts of the electorate, the superannuation average is even less, with Bora Ridge having the lowest average super balance of just $70,383, and Acacia Creek residents having $76,555, followed by Woombah ($84,834), Casino ($89,172) and Woodburn ($90,436).
ASFA CEO Dr Martin Fahy said that geographic factors could strongly influence superannuation account balances, with balances in coastal or inner-city suburbs tending to be higher than for outer suburbs of cities.
"Superannuation account balances are tied to income, so areas with a higher proportion of high income earners tend to have higher average superannuation account balances,” Dr Fahy said.
"We see this in more affluent suburbs, in major cities, and in some 'sea change' or 'tree change' destinations.”
Dr Fahy added average superannuation balances also vary with industry and occupation and because the self-employed, many of which live in regional areas working in agriculture, tend to have lower superannuation balances on average.
According to the ASFA Retirement Standard March quarter, couples aged around 65, need to spend $61,061 per year to achieve a comfortable retirement, whereas singles need to spend $43,255.
"We know that all Australians want to achieve a comfortable retirement,” Dr Fahy said.
"A comfortable retirement lifestyle enables an older, healthy retiree to be involved in a broad range of leisure and recreational activities and to have a good standard of living through the purchase of such things as household goods, private health insurance, a reasonable car, good clothes and a range of electronic equipment.
"It also allows for domestic holiday travel, and occasional international holidays.
"The legislated increase in Superannuation Guarantee to 12 per cent of salary will play an important role in helping more people achieve this.
"However, if it doesn't reach 12 per cent, many Australians, including those from Lismore, risk missing out on the retirement lifestyle they had imagined.”
In releasing the figures, ASFA called on all savers to check their super account balance and consider ways to boost their retirement outcome.
"Super has a crucial role to play in helping people achieve the standard of living in retirement that they want and deserve,” Dr Fahy said.
"Its favourable tax treatment also makes it a very good way to save.
"Making extra contributions to your account, consolidating multiple accounts, and checking whether your account balance is on track using one of AFSA's calculators are a few simple measures that can help set you on track.”
The data also revealed the number of Age Pension recipients in:
- Page - 2 6,032
- NSW - 810,776
- Australia - 2,474,564
While the percentage of people older than 65 who receive Age Pension in:
- Page - 71.8 per cent
- NSW - 65.2 per cent
- Australia- 65.5 per cent