'Far too many people are living without enough super'
NEARLY half of Australians aged 50 to 70 years have a super balance of less than $100,000 according to new research from MLC.
MLC's survey of 1,000 Australians in that age bracket with super balances under $1m also revealed 33% had $50,000 or less in their super account.
Lara Bourguignon, general manager of Customer Experience, Superannuation at MLC, said super is one of the greatest tools Australians have to change the high level of poverty among retirees.
"While these results are concerning, we want to remind people in this age group that it's not too late for them to take action and better understand their holistic wealth position as they prepare for retirement," Ms Bourguignon said.
"All Australians should enjoy retirement - regardless of their financial situation."
ASFA Retirement Standard
The Association of Superannuation Funds today released its June quarter retirement standards update.
The figures show a couple around age 65 will need to spend $60,063 per year to live comfortably, with singles needing $43,695 - up 0.2% from the March quarter.
At a modest level, couples need to spend $34,911 and singles $24,270, up 0.1%.
"The pension is not enough," ASFA CEO Dr Martin Fahy said.
"Far too many people are living without enough super, especially women. In particular, retirees with health care needs are facing significant increases in costs.
"The costs of electricity and gas and of council and water rates are a serious concern for many."
Retiree living costs by capital city
ASFA examined living costs for retirees by capital city, with Sydney at the top of the list.
Over the last quarter, Sydney saw an unsurprising increase in food costs (3.8%), electricity (12.5%) and health expenses (5.1%).
Darwin, Perth and Brisbane had the lowest overall price increases.
"Australian retirees living at the very basic level are doing it tough meeting costs of living and need help," Dr Fahy said.
ASFA suggested financial support and literacy be part of the solution to help members sort out their retirement living planning.
Ms Bourguignon said that just under of a third of people surveyed admitted they never checked their super balance until well into their 50s.
"By helping Australians boost their savings ahead of retirement, and assisting them for the next five to ten years, they might not have to miss out on the things they love in life," she said.