What's the average superannuation balance based on where you live?

Are you keeping up with the Joneses in your super balance?

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When planning for retirement, the first step is determining your expected expenses. While living costs vary based on lifestyle and location, where you live significantly impacts your spending.

In this article, let's explore the average superannuation balances across various states in Australia.

Superannuation balances by state and gender

Recent data from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) reveals intriguing patterns in superannuation balances across Australia. The ATO's FY22 statistics, which are the latest set, show:

State /
territory
Average
male
Average
female
Median
male
Median
female
ACT235,460207,95986,26480,018
VIC189,380150,54364,88352,527
NSW187,389151,84864,26752,623
WA176,864127,12172,38047,558
QLD176,289142,76468,02651,990
SA175,864147,26969,77858,995
TAS166,372136,29466,64354,891
NT133,291111,39748,30938,724

In the ACT, the average superannuation balance is the highest for both men and women, at $235,460 and $207,959, respectively, with median balances showing a similar trend.

Interestingly, the ACT has the lowest gender gap, with women's super balances reaching approximately 90% of men's. In other states and districts, the average super balances for women tend to be between 72% to 84% of their male counterparts.

As expected, New South Wales and Victoria boast higher average super balances, reflecting stronger wage growth and higher cost of living, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne.

Conversely, states like Tasmania and the Northern Territory tend to have lower averages, which can be attributed to lower average wages and employment rates.

Here's a brief overview of each state and territory:

  • Australian Capital Territory: Home to high-paying jobs in government agencies and academia, the ACT tops the list with the highest average super balances due to its higher salaries.
  • New South Wales: NSW residents enjoy some of the highest super balances, reflecting Sydney's robust employment sector and higher wages.
  • Victoria: Similar to NSW, Victorians benefit from strong job markets, particularly in Melbourne, contributing to healthy super balances.
  • Queensland: With a diverse economy, Queensland's super balances are competitive, with areas like Brisbane leading the charge.
  • Western Australia: Thanks to the mining boom, WA residents typically have higher super balances, though this depends on the fluctuation of the mining sector.
  • South Australia: SA tends to have lower super balances, aligning with the state's lower average incomes and employment opportunities.
  • Tasmania: The island state, with its lower cost of living and wages, also sees lower average super balances.
  • Northern Territory: Similarly, NT residents tend to have lower super balances due to lower living costs and salaries.

Steps to boost your superannuation

Superannuation is more than just a retirement fund. It is a long-term, tax-effective savings plan designed to provide Australians with a comfortable and secure retirement.

With the government now requiring employers to contribute 11.5% of your salary into your super fund, up from 11% in FY23, it's vital to maximise these contributions to secure your financial future.

Regardless of your state, there are strategies to enhance your super balance:

  1. Consolidate your super accounts: Multiple accounts mean multiple fees. Consolidating can save you hundreds of dollars.
  2. Make personal contributions: If you can, making extra contributions will significantly impact your super balance over time.
  3. Review your investment options: Ensure your super is invested in a way that aligns with your risk tolerance and retirement goals.
  4. Keep an eye on fees: High fees can eat away at your super balance. Shop around and choose a fund that offers competitive fees and strong performance.

Knowing how superannuation balances vary across states can help you see where you stand and find ways to improve.

But, what's more important is this. By taking simple steps to boost your super, you can work towards a secure and comfortable retirement, no matter where you live.

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