Retiring comfortably at a time you choose

Here's what we are doing to help ensure you receive a ‘comfortable retirement standard’ by the time you turn 65.

03 Dec 2020

As your retirement benefit provider and trusted guide, we believe it’s extremely important to cut through the noise and make sure you understand what will ultimately impact your retirement outcomes.

That’s why we’d like to take you through what we’re doing to help you achieve as comfortable a retirement as we can.

Our investment purpose: your comfortable retirement

We’ve set ourselves a goal to help you reach a comfortable retirement by the age of 65, regardless of the market environment at that time. To estimate and quantify the amount of retirement savings needed to retire comfortably, we’ve used the Association of Super Funds Australia (ASFA) Retirement Standard.

What is the ASFA Retirement Standard?

The ASFA standard gives you an idea of how much you need to budget to achieve either a comfortable or modest retirement including things like health, communication, clothing, travel and household goods. The figures are updated four times a year to take into consideration the rising price of items like food and utilities.

Current ASFA Retirement Standard

The most recent benchmarks were updated in September 2020 and assume that you’ll own your own home and have limited health issues. Here’s an illustrative guide between these standards and the current Age Pension:


Comfortable lifestyle

Modest lifestyle

Age Pension


$43,901 p.a.

$27,987 p.a.

$21,222 p.a. *


$62,083 p.a.

$40,440 p.a.

$31,995 p.a. *

Replace kitchen and bathroom over 20 years

No budget for home improvements. Can do repairs, but can’t replace kitchen or bathroom

No budget to fix home problems like a leaky roof


Better quality and larger number of household items and appliances and higher cost hairdressing

Limited number of household items and appliances and budget haircuts

Less frequent haircuts or getting a friend to cut your hair


Can run air conditioning

Need to watch utility costs

Less heating in winter


Restaurant dining, good range & quality of food

Take out and occasional cheap restaurants

Only club special meals or inexpensive takeaway


Fast internet connection, big data allowance and large talk and text allowance

Limited talk and text, modest internet data allowance

Very basic phone and internet package


Good clothes

Reasonable clothes

Basic clothes


Domestic and occasional overseas holidays

One holiday in Australia or a few short breaks

Even shorter breaks or day trips in your own city


Top level private health insurance

Basic private health insurance, limited gap payments

No private health insurance


Owning a reasonable car

Owning a cheaper more basic car

No car or, if you have a car, it will be a struggle to afford repairs


Take part in a range of regular leisure activities

One leisure activity infrequently, some trips to the cinema or the like

Only taking part in no cost or very low cost leisure activities. Rare trips to the cinema

*Base rate before payment of supplements. Figures from September quarter 2020. From

What does the ASFA retirement standard mean for me?

This standard provides you with an idea of how much you’ll need to live the retirement of your dreams, whether that be regular holidays, spending time with the grandkids, downsizing or finally renovating your dream home. It can be one of many factors that guide how you approach retirement saving and your superannuation.

How are we tracking on our goal to fund you to a comfortable standard?

Our MySuper Default fund performance against this objective is strong. At least 72% of our full time defined contribution (PSSap and ADF Super) customers are on track to meet or exceed the comfortable retirement standard—the rate is over 90% for our PSS, CSS and MilitarySuper customers. For reference, the proportion of the general Australian population estimated to be on track to reach this standard is currently around 25% and projected to increase to 50% by 2050.

If you have not made an active choice, we encourage you to seek financial advice to actively consider the most appropriate strategy for your specific circumstances and life-stage*. For example,

  • Our Aggressive option focuses on generating high real returns over the long term and is aimed at younger customers early in their working life cycle.
  • Our Income-focused option focuses on generating a sustainable income with continued moderate capital growth and is aimed at older customers who have achieved retirement income adequacy and want to continue to grow their savings but with less risk of any capital drawdown. 
  • Our Balanced option focuses on growing your savings by looking for investments that deliver strong risk-adjusted returns over the long-term to generate sustainable income over the time you have to retirement (rather than focusing on the short term).

All of these options are explicitly designed to work together or separately to allow tailored risk-taking appropriate to different stages of the working life cycle and individual circumstances. 

The one thing in common for all our investment options is the strength of our investment risk management. It enables us to consistently generate some of the highest net real returns to investment risk-taking in the industry (Source: SuperRatings). This means that you can choose between our options with confidence.

Our approach has been recognised as best practice because it focuses on your best interests – a comfortable retirement for you.

It’s all part of our investment philosophy. We’re passionate about ensuring that our customers have a comfortable standard of living in their retirement, because all of our customers are super appreciated.

Advice on contribution levels, insurance needs and investment choice is available to members with no direct charge (this is known as ‘simple advice’). The cost of providing simple advice is paid out of the Fund and is reflected in the indirect cost ratio. If you obtain personal financial advice, you may be charged a ‘fee for service’ by your financial planner. Refer to the Fees and other costs booklet available in the relevant Product Disclosure Statement

The information provided in this article is general advice only and has been prepared without taking account of your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any such general advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. You may wish to consult a licensed financial advisor. Before making any decision in relation to a scheme or product, you should obtain a copy of the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for that scheme or product.

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