Retirement Matters

Australia currently has about four million retirees, with another 670,000 people intending to retire in the next five years. Retirement Matters, a Dialogue Paper written by actuaries Andrew Gale and Stephen Huppert, argues that the time for Australia to reimagine retirement is now. 

In brief: 

  • The key retirement challenge for many people is longevity, which can make them worry about running out of money and live more frugally than they need to do.  
  • To support longer retirements, Australia’s so-called Three Pillars of retirement funding – Age Pension, compulsory superannuation, and voluntary savings – should be expanded to better promote additional income sources retirees can draw on. This could include salaries and wages from part-time work or accessing income from equity in the family home or other property if they can and wish to do so.
  • People would benefit from a Help, Guidance and Advice framework for both the transition to retirement and in life after full-time work. Such a framework would build on recommendations made during the recent Quality of Advice Review (QAR) to improve the accessibility and affordability of quality financial advice. 
  • While financial considerations typically take centre stage when planning for retirement, people should take a holistic approach and remember to plan for their health needs, and how they will maintain their sense of identity and live a meaningful life.  

Dialogue Papers are a series of papers written by actuaries and published by the Actuaries Institute which aim to stimulate discussion on important, emerging issues. Opinions expressed in this publication are the opinions of the paper’s authors. 

“People are also often after some general guidance about retirement planning rather than comprehensive financial advice, which can be hard to get and expensive. A Help, Guidance and Advice framework would make it easier for people to obtain the support they need. This remains a real need even after the QAR report and the Government’s response to the report.”  
Andrew Gale
Actuary, former chairman of the Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) Association
and non-executive director 

“Retirement has evolved significantly, and many people will choose not to follow conventional retirement patterns. The needs of people who have 20 to 30 years of retirement ahead of them are going to be very different to those who in the past had only a decade or so. It’s time to reimagine retirement and get the system up to scratch.”  
Stephen Huppert
Actuary and superannuation adviser