How much super you should have at your age


One way to work out if your superannuation savings are on track is to look at how much other people your age have saved.

Knowing whether you have more money than your peers could give you peace of mind. Alternatively if you are way behind your age group, it could spur you on to catch up.

It is up to superannuation fund members to monitor their savings regularly and have a retirement plan that can fund a retirement stretching 30 to 40 years. It is a huge challenge.

how much super should you have at your age

How much super will you need at retirement?

You can't afford to just wing it and hope your 11% superannuation contributions over time will procure you a good retirement.

You may need to top up with additional contributions or other strategies.

Luckily there are plenty of tools to help design your retirement needs and tell you whether you will have enough money.

Here's a table of the average superannuation balance for your age from AustralianSuper that is prepared by Deloitte.

What if you withdrew from super during COVID?

It is worth pointing out that these amounts reflect the $38 billion withdrawn by 2.6 million Australians from superannuation funds during the pandemic in 2020.

It is estimated that up to one million Australians wiped out their entire super savings.

Industry Super Australia estimates a 30-year-old who took out $20,000 would be $80,000 worse off at retirement. If fund members were on track before their withdrawal, they could be behind.

What is the superannuation gap for women?

The different age groups show that women start off with the same amount of superannuation as men but over time their superannuation lags because they typically are in lower paid jobs and take time out of the workforce for caring roles.

The gap between men and women slips as they age. At 35, women have 31% or $40,800 less than men. By the time they retire, women typically have $77,700 less or 23% less than men.

But just because you are tracking the average balance for your age and gender group, it doesn't mean you shouldn't aim for bigger amounts of superannuation. The more money the better off you will be in retirement.

The medium age balances are short of the lump sum for a comfortable retirement that is set down by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia. It found a single person needs $595,000 at retirement and a couple needs $690,000 for a comfortable retirement.

ASFA has a superannuation calculator called Super Guru found at that allows you to calculate the kind of retirement you can afford. Another good calculator is at

Your retirement is a complex calculation that takes into account what you have now, what will be contributed on your behalf in the future, and what return will be earned on your superannuation investments after fees and taxes.

It is worth plugging in the numbers regularly to see if you are on track and considering ways to boost your super such as voluntary contributions or changing investment options.

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Susan has been a finance journalist for more than 30 years, beginning at the Australian Financial Review before moving to the Sydney Morning Herald. She edited a superannuation magazine, Superfunds, for the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, and writes regularly on superannuation and managed funds. She's also author of the best-selling book Women and Money.
randy irvine
April 23, 2024 4.50pm

I think it is a farce telling single people they need $600k in Super at pension age to have a comfortable retirement. A single person with $301,750 in Super at pension age would qualify for the full pension of nearly $30,000 plus the minimum 5% Super withdrawal at pension age would give them a combined amount of $45,000.

Michael Parker
April 25, 2024 8.21am

Very short sighted comment. It presumes that nothing will change pension-wise in the future. When pension aged people far outweigh the number of workers you can guarantee it will change.

Elaine Davis
April 23, 2024 5.45pm

I love your editorials Susan Hely and it's actually encouraged me to fully educate myself to the complexities of Super. In early 60's with retirement not too far away, Husband and I have salary sacrificed last 8 years, which has resulted in a self-funded retirement.

Thank you.

April 23, 2024 7.19pm

If you were one of the people who took money from their super during Covid - then look forward to being destitute during retirement, but you get what you deserve for doing so and don't cry poor - to the rest of us as your fellow citizens and taxpayer's - looking for a pension.

Stupid is as stupid does as Forrest Gump told us.

Rod Fraser
April 24, 2024 11.07am

"By the time they retire, women typically have $77,700 less or 23% less than men."

Is this correctly stated? Women retire around four years earlier than men so you would expect balance at retirement to be lower by around 6% per year even if they were the same earlier. Should this read "23% less at standard retirement age"?