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How to retire in Australia in 2021?

How to retire in Australia in 2021? That will be the topic of this article.

Whilst nothing written here should be considered any form of advice, and the situation might change over time, my staff have done their best to ensure it is accurate.

It would also be wise to check out my article on investing for Australian expats living overseas, as expat investing is my specialism. 

If you are looking to invest, don’t hesitate to contact me, email (advice@adamfayed.com) or use the WhatsApp function below.


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How to retire in Australia in 2021? 3

What do we know about Australia? This is a country far from us, occupying an entire continent and distinguished by its natural features: unique flora and fauna. In the minds of European or the US citizens, this distant overseas state is associated with none other than a kangaroo. 

And this is justified, because we can see this type of mammals only in zoos. And in Australia, the popularization of kangaroos is twice the population: 24 million people live there, and such rare animals – 57 million. Apparently, it is good there for the first, and regardless of age, and the second.

You can’t argue with that – just remember how many Europeans, including the elderly, immigrate to Australia in search of a better life and stay there forever. And no wonder, because the Australian pension system is considered one of the most reliable and efficient in the world.

The pension system in Australia is one of the most advanced pension systems in the world. It differs significantly from some European countries. For example, on the Green Continent, elderly people receive a greater amount of state support, whose earnings during the period of active labor activity were lower. 

But the pension in Australia is calculated based on welfare. At the same time, problems related to the aging of the nation are beginning to appear in the country.

Who is eligible for retirement in Australia?

People who have lived and worked in Australia for at least 10 years can apply for a pension. In Australia, a pension can be received by citizens of the country and immigrants with a permanent visa who have passed the residency requirement: they have lived in the country for at least ten years. 

The residence time is calculated in total, but one of the periods must be at least five years.

The retirement age starts at 65, regardless of gender. By 2023, the country’s government plans to raise this mark to 67 or 70 years.

It is believed that a person remains able to work until this age. Against the background of the high quality of life and medicine in Australia, this approach is quite justified.

In addition, local residents who have faced financial difficulties under various circumstances can count on help from the state.

Retirement age in Australia can be changed. Due to the aging nation in 2021, the Australian government has expressed its intention to increase the retirement age to 70 years. However, in 2021, this idea was abandoned.

Nevertheless, a law was passed, according to which the age limit for retirement will be raised to 67 by mid-2021. This regulation only applies to people born after July 1952.

But in Australia there are also opponents of such a half-measure. They said that the decision to abandon retirement at 70 will cost the state budget 5 billion AUD.

In the third quarter of 2021, life expectancy on the Green Continent is 84 years. According to forecasts, every fifth inhabitant of the country by 2045 will be over 65 years old, which will cause a manifold increase in the volume of pension payments. 

Australia: Pension system

It should be noted that the Australian pension system is built on two types of pensions – public and private. The first type is funded by the state budget and paid to an Australian citizen or a native of another country who has reached the age of 65.

Citizens of the Green Continent need to have lived in Australia for more than ten years to receive a pension from the state in Australia. Immigrants need to be in the country at the time they reach the pension threshold.

In addition, you must:

  • have no more than 50 thousand Australian dollars on a personal bank account;
  • have a land area of ​​no more than 2 hectares.
  • the value of the entire property must be less than AUS $ 160,000.

If some facts are hushed up or do not agree, then the size of the pension may be reduced, or it will not be approved by the state authorities at all.

It’s important to know that in Australia, it is believed that having expensive real estate, a person can receive income from its use and does not need a pension.

The main goal of the state type of Australian pension is to provide the elderly residents of the country with a decent standard of living.

Another type of pension in Australia is a private pension. It is formed by means of contributions to a private fund, which is carefully controlled by the state, funds.

Private funds operate as an investment structure, providing clients with a choice of one of the proposed methods of investing finance. In addition, they provide an opportunity to accumulate a pension during the period of residence and work in Australia by regularly transferring funds to an open account.

It’s important to know that in Australia, workers and businesses each pay 9% to the fund.

Another type of pension accumulation, which is unique today and operates exclusively in Australia, is the opening of their own fund by future retirees. Such a fund is subject to much lower taxes. Now let’s discuss them in more details.

State pension payments

Any Australian citizen has the right to expect to receive a retirement benefit upon reaching a certain age: payments for women start at 64, for men – at 65. Not only a citizen of the country, but also a resident can rely on a pension.

You don’t have to work in order to receive a state pension.

Its size is not affected by the amount of the salary of a working person. The state sets itself a quite definite goal – to provide its citizen, who has reached old age, with everything necessary, albeit in a minimal amount.

In addition to monthly cash payments, a pensioner is entitled to various benefits. The most important of these are free health care and subsidies for essential drugs. 

Also, the pensioner has a large discount on tickets on public transport, and once a year he is allowed to buy a free long-distance ticket within the state.

A single pensioner is paid by the state a minimum of AU $ 850. A married couple receives at least $ 1,300 for two. The average salary in the country is $ 4,500 per month. Like other benefits, the pension changes every year – this is due to rising prices.

The average pension in Australia is 1505 AUD.

Not all seniors receive these amounts. This is the full amount of the pension. It is not prescribed for all elderly Australians. If a citizen has a residential property, the amount of which exceeds 160 thousand dollars, then the amount of the pension is reduced. If the property is not related to real estate, then the amount of $ 280,000 is taken into account.

An Australian can be left without a pension at all if he owns property for a significant amount – the one that is determined by the state. The government believes that such a citizen can live well on their own income.

Citizens with significant incomes try to do everything possible to keep them below the amount above which the pension is no longer paid. The state assigns them a small amount of monthly payments. But for such pensioners, it is not the amount that is important, but the preservation of benefits due to senior citizens.

Private funded pension (Superannuation)

Working citizens can count on a private pension, which is formed from contributions deducted from the employee’s salary. The amount of these contributions is 9%. 

This provision applies to citizens who have reached the age of 18 and work 30 hours or more per week. The government plans to increase the amount to 12%. This will happen by 2025.

There are many pension funds in the country. They work in different ways: in some, a larger amount of the initial contribution, in others a small percentage of monthly deductions, etc. 

The employee chooses the fund independently. You can change it at any time, and it will not be difficult to do this. You just need to fill out the form on the website of the newly selected fund.

After the employee decides on the fund, he has to make 1 more choice: you can leave the transferred funds in storage and receive a certain percentage for this, or you can invest them in shares of companies – Australian or international, as well as in real estate. If the investment is successful, the future pension will increase.

Having reached the age of 60, a citizen can withdraw the accumulated amount from the fund. How to deal with them depends on the desire of the person himself. He can add an amount to the state pension, or he can buy something large, for example, a house by the sea.

The funded part of the pension benefit can be increased by using one of the special programs, for example, Super Co-contribution. Its essence lies in the fact that the state increases the accumulated amount if the employee makes an additional contribution to the fund. The amount of the state additional payment depends on how much the employee has contributed additionally.

Another possibility to increase future retirement benefits is to create your own retirement fund. Entrepreneurs are allowed to do this. These funds can generate significant returns if the money is invested correctly. The state encourages the creation of funds by entrepreneurs, reducing their income tax rate by 2 times.

To open your own fund, you must meet a number of conditions:

  • find 2-4 members, who can be individuals or legal entities;
  • to notarize the trust;
  • open a bank account;
  • register the fund with the relevant authorities.

Pension System in Australia: Super Co-contribution

The funded part of the pension can be increased by using the Super Co-contribution program. For each additional contribution to the pension fund from the employee, the state adds a certain amount. The state supplement depends on the amount of the employee’s contribution and the amount of his annual income.

Persons under the age of 71 with an annual income of no more than 50,000 Australian dollars can participate in the program.

Work Bonus

In Australia, the size of the pension depends on the income – the higher the earnings, the lower the pension. The maximum payments are received by single retirees whose monthly earnings do not exceed $ 328, and retirees who are married and earn no more than $ 584 per month.

To reward working retirees, the Australian government has introduced the Work Bonus program. The first $ 500 from your salary is not included in your pension calculation. If a retiree earns $ 700 a month, then under the Work Bonus program, only $ 200 is counted on the retirement fund income tax return, and the retiree will qualify for the maximum pension benefit.

Concession Card and other benefits

Centrallink, a department of the Ministry of Social Security, provides pensioners with the Pensioner Concession Card. With the card, you can get a discount on prescription drugs at the pharmacy and medical services. Medicines can be purchased for as little as six dollars (medicines can cost up to $ 300 in Australia), and calling an ambulance is free.

The number of benefits and the amount of discounts on the card depends on the state of residence.

Benefits for retiaries 

Pensioners, in addition to the actual financial state aid, receive a discount on a considerable number of services and services. Of course, they will have to pay for a good rest, for example, in the same boarding house, but in order to get there by public transport, you can buy a ticket at a reduced rate.

In addition, retirees who receive some other income pay less taxes.

The purchase of pharmaceutical products deserves a separate discussion. Most retirees are issued cards for the purchase of drugs: Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or Health Care Card. 

The bearer of such a document can buy a medicinal product at a minimal price. Moreover, the real cost of the medicine does not matter: it costs 50 or 15 AUD, the cardholder will pay about 4 AUD in any case.

Seniors in Australia enjoy major discounts across the country – in shops, cafes and restaurants, hotels and inns. The pensioner is also entitled to a free intercity ticket within the country once a year.

As for utilities, certain categories of pensioners are also provided with discounts – for electricity, telephone, etc. However, the amount of the discount depends on the city. In different states of Australia, retired citizens are additionally provided with various allowances and co-payments.

Pension funds

As we discussed above, there are two main pension funds and others operating in Australia. At the same time, each entrepreneur can create his own. Such an enterprise can generate considerable income. To open, you will need to fulfill a number of conditions:

  • find at least 3 members to create a foundation;
  • to notarize and certify the documentation;
  • open a bank account;
  • register the fund with the relevant authorities.

The Australian authorities strive to ensure that every citizen of the country does not need money throughout their lives. Thanks to the competent distribution of payments among the population, this pension system in the 21st century is the most progressive in the world.

How Australian retirees live?

Australian retirees are doing well. That is why more and more citizens from various countries of the world, mainly from the post-Soviet space, are moving to Australia for permanent residence.

It is also significant that, in addition to a very impressive state pension, the government of the country also offers an extensive list of social benefits, including:

  • free medical care;
  • subsidies for the purchase of medicines;
  • discounts on public transport;
  • Once a year, you can use the opportunity to get a free long-distance ticket and go to another state.

It sounds tempting, especially since this is just a small list of privileges known outside the country. Citizens permanently residing there are more aware of social guarantees and willingly use all of them.

How is a pension issued to a foreigner?

Citizens of the country, as well as immigrants, can receive a pension in Australia. The latter are subject to the following requirements:

  • the presence of a permanent visa;
  • duration of residence in the country – at least 10 years. The total time is taken into account, but the duration of one of the periods must be at least 5 years.

To apply for a pension to this organization, you must provide:

  • Identity document.
  • Taxation number. Foreigners who do not have one need to get a special form from Centrelink, fill it out and send it to the tax office where they live. The TFN tax number will be ready in a few days.
  • Proof of 10 years of residence in Australia. This can be a certificate from a local employer.

The pension will be issued in the absence of comments on the submitted documents.

Some features of the Australian pension system

The country’s pension system has some features that are not found in other countries. How effective they are is to be judged by those who have experienced their effect on themselves.

There is a rule about income: the more it is, the lower the size of the state pension. Private pension is also included in the income list. A single pensioner will receive a full pension if his income is less than 130 AUD. For a couple – 230 AUD. 

Receiving additional income, a pensioner risks losing state benefits. Old people are trying in every possible way to keep their incomes slightly below the threshold and thus not finally lose their state pension. 

There is an explanation for this: even with a minimum pension, a pensioner retains the right to benefits, which are very good help.

Private pension funds are considered the most profitable in terms of accumulating pension funds. Their advantage is that all working citizens must contribute funds to the chosen fund; in parallel, the employer deducts 9% monthly to the personal account of the future pensioner. 

Private pension funds handle money like regular investment funds, but they also have significant tax breaks. 

The money becomes available to payers upon reaching retirement age, although the owners have the right to manage the funds: invest them in securities, shares, invest in a profitable business. 

The desire of the state to ensure that citizens learn to provide for themselves in old age is bearing fruit.

Summing up

Australia is now in the top 12 countries with policies that allow retirees to live comfortably. This is not surprising, because the government of this country strives to teach citizens to provide for themselves in old age, beforehand responsibly deducting taxes.

Future retirees are offered several profitable ways to receive a pension. This allows each Australian citizen to determine for himself what type and amount of pension is acceptable to him.

At the heart of the Australian pension are two components: public and private. Both a citizen of the country and a foreigner can count on receiving a pension benefit.

In addition to monthly cash payments, a person who is on a well-deserved rest is entitled to a variety of benefits, including significant compensation for the cost of purchasing the necessary medicines. In addition, retirees can purchase tickets for travel on public transport at a significant discount.

Pained by financial indecision? Want to invest with Adam?

Financial Planner - Adam Fayed

Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 252.3 million answers views on Quora.com and a widely sold book on Amazon

Further Reading

In the answer below , taken from my online Quora.com answers, I spoke about the following issues and topics:

  • What do you do with savings when interest rates are at historical lows, below the rate of inflation?
  • Why isn’t the smartest person in the classroom the most successful one in financial and other terms?
  • Will the dollar collapse in 2021? I suggest why it is foolish to expect such a thing, and even more silly to hope to profit from it. 
  • Is the average investor feeling worried right now, and could that affect stock markets, in a world where institutional investors dominant?

To read more click on the link below.

What do you do with savings when interest rates are low?



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