How much super do I need to retire at 60?

Your approach to superannuation is likely to change as you near retirement. And while your own personal circumstances may influence how you approach super in your 60s, there are still a number of ways to give it a boost before you retire.

Everybody has a different retirement in mind. Some want to travel the world each year, while others want to downsize and spend time with their family and friends, locally. Regardless of the type of retirement you want, it’s important to have a plan as it starts to near.

Doing so helps to develop a good understanding of how much super you might need to retire in your 60s, as well as what to do with it. If it needs a boost, since 1 July 2022, the federal government made it easier to contribute money to your super fund in your 60s, as you can continue to make salary sacrifice and personal contributions to your super without needing to satisfy the ‘work test’ until you turn 75.

Thinking about retirement, but not sure where to start? Get tips and information in our Planning for Retirement guide, to help you get started today.


Pre-planning helps

Before you retire, it might be good to understand your spending patterns to determine how much you need to get by, or, to work out how much longer you need to work (either full or part-time). 

ASFA estimates people who want a comfortable retirement need $690,000 for a couple, and $595,000 for a single person when they leave work, assuming they also receive a partial age pension from the federal government. For people who are happy to have a modest lifestyle, this figure is $100,000.

To figure out which camp you fall into, take a look at your bank statement and calculate where you spend your money. Go back a number of years to get a really good feel for your finances.

Use our Retirement Lifestyle calculator to estimate the annual income you might need to support a retirement lifestyle you're after. 

Adding a little extra

Making small additional contributions to your super fund can make a difference when you do retire. So if you are able to, it’s a good idea to make voluntary contributions to your fund each year.

From 1 July 2023, you can make up to $30,000 in concessional contributions to your super account each year, which includes the 11.5 percent your employer is obliged to contribute to your chosen super fund each year and receive a tax benefit. By requesting your employer to make additional salary sacrifice contributions, this may mean the tax you pay could be reduced simply by making an extra voluntary contribution from your ordinary earnings to your super fund each year.

You can also consider contributing money to your super fund from any windfalls you may receive from inheritances or bonuses you receive through work. You don’t necessarily need to add the whole amount from your windfall to your super – although you could. Just be aware adding a portion of these funds to your super balance could make a difference when you retire, although you won’t be able to access the funds until then in most cases. 

If you have paid off your home, you may consider redirecting part of your mortgage repayments to your super account to add to your balance. You may be able to contribute $120,000 to your fund each year on an after-tax basis, as long as your super balance is less than $1.9 million and even contribute up to $360,000 in one year to your fund under the bring forward provisions, as long as your super balance is less than $1.66 million. Other factors may affect your eligibility to make these contributions and speaking to a financial adviser can help ensure you do not contribute more than is allowed.

It is important to note that there are limits to the amount of contributions you can make to super without exceeding your contribution caps. Refer to for more information.

Business time

If you sell a business you have owned for more than 15 years, you may be able to contribute some of the proceeds from the business’ sale tax-free to your super fund. This is a complex area of the super rules and if you’re in this situation, it’s a good idea to seek independent professional financial advice.

Thinking long term

As you get older, it also becomes important to ensure your estate planning is up to date, especially when it comes to your super. Remember, super is not considered to be an estate asset and you need to make either a binding or non-binding nomination about how you wish your super assets to be treated after your death.

If you make a binding nomination, this gives the trustees exact guidance about what should happen to your super after you die. Typically, these nominations are only valid for three years, so be sure to keep them up to date. But if you make a non-binding nomination, this will only give them a direction about your super. They will have some discretion about what should happen to these funds.

Next: Transition to retirement

Related content

Learn about how a Transition to Retirement pension could work for you, and the most recent changes to tax rules which may affect you.
With Australians living for longer, not everyone is ready to sign off from work permanently, and get their retirement started, at 65.

Not sure if your super will last the distance in your retirement? Our Super & Retirement calculator may provide a guide on the super balance you might have when you retire and how long it might last.

Whether you choose to gradually cut down your working week, or transition into retirement, one of the challenges faced by retirees is how to plan for the change.
Adding more into super is not only a good way to invest your income, it also helps your retirement savings grow so that when you do retire, your money will still be worth something.
While saving for retirement can seem somewhat daunting, there are a few simple strategies to use when planning your best financial future.

Things you should know

This information is current as at 1 July 2024.

This article provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such. This information does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to these factors before acting on it.

This article may contain material provided directly by third parties and is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be accurate at its issue date. It should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter nor relied upon as such. While such material is published with necessary permission, no company in the Westpac Group accepts responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of, or endorses any such material. Except where contrary to law, we intend by this notice to exclude liability for this material.

Any tax considerations outlined in this article are general statements, based on an interpretation of the current tax law, and do not constitute tax advice. Superannuation is a means of saving for retirement, which is, in part, compulsory. The government has placed restrictions on when you can access your investment held in superannuation. The Government has set caps on the amount of money that you can add to superannuation each year on both a concessional and non-concessional tax basis. There will be tax consequences if you breach these caps. For more detail, speak with a financial adviser or visit the ATO website.