The research – compiled from an online survey of 1,500 Australian “sole or joint household finance decision makers” – found that a growing number of retirees are not in control of when they retire, with 40 per cent forced into retirement prematurely due to illness or redundancy.
According to the survey, only 36 per cent of Australians retired because they had sufficient savings, while less than one third of respondents (28 per cent) aged 50-80 anticipate they will have enough savings to retire when they choose.
“Despite most of us believing we’ll work and save for our retirement well into our 60s, the reality is that uncontrollable triggers can derail the best laid plans for retirement,” said Mercer’s managing director and Pacific market leader, David Anderson.
“People understand we’re living longer, which means we need more money to last the distance, but expectations are disconnected to the reality of how to manage savings through retirement to ensure there’s enough to the very end, particularly if retirement happens earlier than expected,” he said.
The research indicated that nearly half of all workers aged 50-80 are “seriously concerned about longevity risk” but do not have a formal strategy in place to combat it.
In addition, the survey found a “fair degree of uncertainty” as to whether they will remain with their current super fund, with one in five "not sure what they will do”.