Less Than Super: Almost Two-Thirds Of Australian Retirees Are Relying On Welfare

Almost two-thirds of Australian retirees are relying on government welfare as their main source of personal income, new data from the ABS reveals.

According to the ABS’ survey of Retirement and Retirement Intentions, under half (46%) of Australians aged 45 and older relied on a government pension or allowance when they first retired, but 66% were doing so currently.

That’s a difference of 700,000 people for whom other forms of income – including superannuation, annuity, dividends, interest or rental property income – didn’t last.

The following two charts from the ABS show what retirees started with and ended up on by 2012-13:

The survey found that only 57% of people who relied primarily on superannuation, annuities or allocated pensions when they first retired were still relying primarily on those sources of income later on.

Those initially relying on dividends and interest, or rental property, fared even worse, with only 43% and 40% still doing so respectively.

The ABS reported that there were 191,200 Australians, including 114,000 women, aged 45 and over who had previously retired from the labour force but had returned to work or were looking for work at the time of the survey.

Of those, 42% said they had returned or were seeking to return to the workforce due to “financial need”, while 30% said they were “bored [or] needed something to do”.

The ABS data is available here.

Now read: Australian 30-Year-Olds Will Need More Than $1.5 Million To Retire Comfortably

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