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When it comes to working out just how much is enough super for your retirement, there isn’t just one magic formula or number that works for everyone. We all have a different experience in retirement and lifestyle preferences and choices will have a big impact on how much you need to save. Your health and how long you live will also be a major factor in working out your retirement savings and income needs.
In this article we look at:

  • Why it helps to plan for how much income you’ll need to live on in retirement.
  • Where your income in retirement could come from
  • How to make the most of your super savings as a source of income
  • How Aware Super can help you invest your super for income in retirement.

Retirement savings vs. income

At Aware Super we encourage members to think in terms of how much you’ll be spending instead of how much you’ll need in savings. Once you understand how much you want to spend, you can start to plan for the retirement income you’ll need.

There isn’t one simple equation for calculating your income needs in retirement. According to our latest poll, nearly half of SASS members (44 per cent) are expecting to need between 60-70 per cent of their current salary in retirement to maintain their lifestyle. To get a better idea of your own income needs in retirement, the Aware Super Explorer calculator can show you how much your super savings may be worth as an annual income.

Where your income will come from

While you’re working, your income usually comes from one place – your salary from your employer. But when you retire, your income could come from a number of different sources:

  1. SASS defined benefit pension (if you’re eligible)1
  2. Your super savings
  3. The Government Age Pension
  4. Your personal savings
  5. Other investments outside of your super, and
  6. Any salary you receive if you choose to work in retirement

Before you exit SASS, it's important to check if you have a defined benefit pension option as a feature of your account. If you have this feature of your SASS account, it’s worth considering this an option first.

Getting a complete view of where your income will come from can help you feel confident about having enough money in retirement. Our superannuation experts2 can help you understand how much income you’ll need for retirement, how the Age Pension works with your super and prepare for the next step when it comes to your retirement plan.

1 Some SASS members have a defined benefit pension option as a feature of their account. These members have the option to take part of their benefit as a lifetime pension.
2 Financial planning services are provided by our financial planning business, Aware Financial Services Australia Limited, ABN 86 003 742 756 AFSL No. 238430

Making the most of your SASS benefit with a retirement income account

Super is one part of a bigger income mix in retirement. For many Australians it’s the biggest part, so deciding what to do with it is important. The decisions you make now could mean more income for your retirement.

Many super funds offer products that are designed to help members make the most of their super once they’re retired. But people in retirement often aren’t aware that these options exist and what the benefits are. According to Investment Trends Research, 75 per cent of retirees surveyed3 said they were unaware of the retirement income products offered by their superannuation fund or whether they were suitable for their use.

The SASS scheme doesn’t offer retirement income products so it’s worth looking at potential options with another super fund for when you retire. These products - such as an account-based pension (also called a retirement income account) - are designed to provide you with regular income. This works as a retirement account for your super that keeps your savings invested in the market. This can boost your income in retirement and help your savings and income from super last longer. By staying in super for retirement you also continue to benefit from the tax-friendly super environment in retirement. You’ll also have access to a range of flexible investment options designed to suit your retirement needs and the level of risk you’re comfortable taking.

Moving your super to a retirement income account could mean you have more income each year than if you take your money as a lump sum.

3 Self-managed Super, Pre-retirees unaware of income options, 9 November 2022

Benefits of a retirement income account (account-based pension)

To start withdrawing regular income from your super, simply open a retirement income account and transfer all or some of your SASS retirement benefit and cash out the rest as a lump sum.

  • Income payments are 100% tax-free if you’re 60 or over.
  • All investment earnings are 100% tax-free.
  • How much and when you get paid each year is entirely up to you, providing you withdraw at least the minimum amount, which is currently 2% of your account balance for 2022/23 4.
  • You’re not locked into the decisions you make when you set up your account.

Learn more about a retirement income account

4 The minimum amount required to be withdrawn from your retirement income account each year is currently 2% for 2022/23. This is expected to return to 4% from 2023/24.

Investing for retirement income with Aware Super

At Aware Super we have the experience and expertise to safeguard the retirement savings of our members. Our investment approach is designed to give members the confidence to enjoy their retirement and know their income will last the distance.

Aware Super has a large and well-resourced team of over 100 investment professionals managing the risks and opportunities in the market. In fact, we are one of the largest and longest-standing providers of dedicated retirement investments in Australia. Our focus is to ensure our investment portfolio is robust to short-term impacts, but is also best-placed to take opportunities and deliver long-term outcomes, to help our members retire with more.

When you start a retirement income account with Aware Super you have a range of investment options to choose from. Our Balanced Growth investment option has been designed by our team with the needs of retirees in mind. It aims to:

  • generate strong, consistent returns with competitive fees5
  • protect against the effects of inflation, and
  • reduce the impact of large market falls on investment returns.

Our investment approach is designed to give our members the confidence to enjoy their retirement, and to stick to their long-term plan.

5 Chant West Pension Fee Survey 30 September 2022, Balanced [41-60% in growth assets] investment option index and $100,000 account balance. Total fee includes combined administration, investment fees and costs. Aware Super Balanced Growth option total fee is 0.85% p.a compared to 1.10% p.a. (overall average - approximately 72 funds). Fees and comparisons may differ for other investment options and account balances.

Retirement support and advice

Retirement support and advice is part of the service for Aware Super members. We’re here to help you create your next chapter with confidence and guide you throughout your retirement.

How we support members

Join Aware Super today

The right choice today could mean a big difference to your future.

Attend a free webinar

Join our experienced superannuation experts as they break down superannuation and finances into easy-to-understand topics through live webinars.

Book an appointment

At Aware Super, we are experts in your State Super scheme and know the ins and outs of planning for a successful retirement. 

To help you make better decisions for your retirement, book today for a no cost, obligation free appointment with an Aware Super financial planner.


The information contained in this article is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. No warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of this information is given and no responsibility is accepted by Aware Super Pty Ltd or its employees for any loss or damage arising from reliance on the information provided.

Personal advice requires the provider to act in the client’s best interests and take into account the client’s circumstances. These rules do not apply to general advice. This communication contains general advice only and no personal advice. We have not taken into consideration any of your objectives, financial situation or needs or any information we hold about you when providing this general advice. Further this communication does not contain, and should not be read as containing, any recommendations to you in relation to your product. Before taking any action, you should consider whether the general advice contained in this communication is appropriate to you having regard to your circumstances and needs, and seek appropriate professional advice if you think you need it. Contact us to make an appointment to see one of our representatives. You should also read our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination (TMD) before making a decision about Aware Super. These documents are available on our website at Product Disclosure Statements (PDS) and Target Market Determination (TMD) | Aware Super or call us and we’ll send you a copy. Issued by Aware Super Pty Ltd ABN 11 118 202 672, AFSL 293340, the trustee of Aware Super ABN 53 226 460 365. Financial planning services are provided by our wholly owned financial planning business Aware Financial Services Australia Limited, ABN 86 003 742 756, AFSL No. 238430. You should read their Financial Services Guide before making a decision. View the general advice warning and conditions of use for this website.