How to calculate your super estimate30 May 2022 5 min read
If you’re thinking about your retirement, an estimate of your retirement super balance is a good place to start your planning. Calculating your super estimate is easy with the right knowledge and tools.
There are several components that will affect your eventual retirement super balance, including your:
- super contributions
- super investment returns
- retirement age
- super fees and any insurance premiums you may be paying
- future salary
- plans to have a career break at any stage.
But don’t let this list overwhelm you — a calculator can make estimating your future super balance simple. We have a calculator to help get you started. Keep reading to find out the questions you should ask yourself before calculating your super estimate so you can prepare for a great retirement.
First things first: How much super will you need?
The amount of super needed for a comfortable retirement will vary for everyone, because it depends on things like your:
- retirement goals
- retirement age
- existing debt
- life expectancy
- eligibility for the government age pension.
It can feel like a lot to think about, and things may change before you reach retirement. Still, these factors are worth reflecting on to get an idea of how much you’ll need in super to fund your retirement. You can read more about working out how much super you’ll need, and take our quiz to see what kind of retirement may suit you.
Using our super calculator
You can estimate your projected super balance — and, importantly, how long it may last you in retirement — using the NGS Super retirement calculator.
The NGS Super retirement calculator will consider your current super balance, salary and overall super contributions (super guarantee contributions plus voluntary personal contributions) while using assumptions about future investment returns and inflation.
The NGS Super retirement calculator is a great tool to help you understand your future financial position and prepare you for your retirement. But it’s important to remember that results provided by the calculator are a guide only. The calculator cannot take your entire financial situation into account or determine your actual final super benefit. If you’re thinking about making any decisions around your super, it may be a good idea to speak to a financial planner.
How to use the NGS Super retirement calculator
The NGS Super retirement calculator will ask you to enter your current annual salary, super balance and age so it can forecast your super contributions until retirement.
Based on the additional details you provide — like any voluntary super contributions, whether or not you are self-employed, and any career changes you might make — the calculator will estimate how much you’ll accumulate in super, and how long it’ll last you during retirement.
You’ll receive personalised results, including a visual graph with detailed depictions of the factors influencing your projected retirement income.
Your summary will be split into 3 sections:
- NOW — your age, net income, amount saved in super, and contributions
- RETIREMENT — the estimated amount you’ll retire with and live on
- BEYOND — how long your super is estimated to last, and your chance of outliving your super.
Ways to boost your super balance
In most cases, the more you have saved in super, the more choices and flexibility you’ll enjoy in retirement. If you’re working, your employer must make compulsory payments — known as superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions — to your super on your behalf. These are currently set at 11% of your ordinary time earnings, and is planned to gradually increase to 12% by 1 July 2025.
If you want to get further ahead in securing your retirement, you can make personal voluntary contributions in addition to your employer contributions. There are a variety of ways you can do this, including:
- salary sacrifice contributions, which have the potential to save you money on tax
- personal after-tax contributions, which may make you eligible for a bonus top-up from the government
- spouse contributions, which could make you eligible for a tax offset.
There are eligibility rules and limits around each type of contribution you can make to super, so it’s a good idea to read our fact sheet Opportunities and limits for super contributions, or speak to our team first.
Investment returns on your super
How your super is invested will affect your eventual balance at retirement. We have a range of investment options for you to choose from. The options that suit you will depend on how long you have till retirement (that is, your investment timeframe), how much super you’re aiming for (your goals) and how much risk you’re comfortable with (your risk tolerance).