BACKGROUND COLOUR

Should the Age Pension be an Australian Right?

Australia has a unique three-pillar retirement income system. One of the key pillars is the Age Pension, a means-tested payment that aims to mitigate poverty and minimize income inequality in retirement. However, the majority of Australians do not believe the current Age Pension is sufficient and want to see an increase to the current rate of $944.30 per fortnight.

49 %

49 per cent of people said that they would not have enough money to live comfortably during their retirement.

1115 $

The majority of people think that the Age Pension should be higher than it is currently. On average people believe the Aged Pension should be $1,115 per fortnight up from the current rate of $944.30 per fortnight.

76 %

Three-quarters of people believe that everyone should be entitled to at least some if not all of the Age Pension even if they have other sources of income.

50 %

There was an even split between people who believe that homeownership should be included in the Age Pension asset test, and those who don’t.

Are all Australians entitled to the Age Pension?
Which of the following statements best describes your views about getting the Federal Government’s Age Pension?
Sources & Methodology
Variable description % agreement
Variable time span 2021 (January)
Published by ANU Poll
Publisher Link https://csrm.cass.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/docs/2021/5/Retirement_income_Paper.pdf
Data Source doi:10.26193/HQX1FV
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The Age Pension is a means-tested government payment that was introduced in 1909 to provide a ‘safety net’ for retirees who do not have the financial means to support a minimum standard of living.

Almost all Australians are in support of at least some Australians receiving an Age Pension from the Government. Half of Australians believe that 'Everyone should receive at least some of the Age Pension even when they have other income' with just over a quarter of Australians believe that 'Everyone should receive the full amount of the Age Pension as a right', and just under a quarter believing that 'Only people with no other income should receive an Age Pension'. Only 2 per cent of Australians believe that ‘Nobody should receive an Age Pension – people should make their own financial arrangements for retirement.’

Since 2015, when this question was last asked in An ANU Poll, there has been an increase in the number of people who believe that everyone should receive the full amount (16 per cent in 2015 and 27 per cent in 2021); there was a decline in the number of people who believe that only people without an income should receive the same amount (30 per cent in 2015 and 23 per cent in 2021).

Retirement longevity risk perceptions
Do you think you will have enough money to live comfortably throughout your retirement?
Sources & Methodology
Variable description By year
Variable time span 2015 & 2021
Published by ANU Poll
Publisher Link https://csrm.cass.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/docs/2021/5/Retirement_income_Paper.pdf
Data Source doi:10.26193/HQX1FV
CSV Data
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While the Australian retirement income system is ranked in the top third in the world, many Australians do not believe that they will have enough income to live comfortably throughout their retirement.

The Australian general public agrees with industry experts that the replacement rate- or the level of income retirees should receive should be around 70 per cent of their pre-retirement income. The median response was 70 per cent and the mean response was 71 per cent when asked What is the replacement rate that you think the retirement income system should aim to achieve for the average Australian retiree?

55 per cent of Australians not yet retired do not believe they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement, with only six per cent believing they defiantly will have enough to live comfortably.

Of those who are currently retired, 72% believe that they will have enough money to live comfortably for the rest of their retirement.

Longevity risk perceptions have increased since 2015 when these questions were last asked. In 2015 40 per cent of Australians thought they would not have enough money to live comfortably. While the rates for retired Australians show there has been a decrease in the level of confidence, with a decline in the number of people saying yes, they defiantly will have enough to live comfortably until the end of their retirement (34 per cent in 2015 and 17 per cent in 2021).