Early retirees - Trends and their use of superannuation benefits and social security payments

Bruce Bacon and Phil Gallagher
Publication type


Conference Paper 95/6

Paper presented to the DSS Seminar on Early Retirement, December 1995.

This paper draws on the RIM parameter research to provide some insight into early retirement and the use of superannuation benefits and social security payments at retirement.

On the basis of the best evidence currently available, we can currently conclude that:

  • early retirement is an increasing phenomena for men and women;
  • rates of early retirement increase dramatically at the superannuation preservation age of 55;
  • involuntary and family retirements outnumber voluntary retirements by more than 3 to 1;
  • early retirement leads to substantial use of social security payments;
  • more than a third of superannuation benefits being received by retirees are large enough to affect social security payments;
  • those with larger benefits tend to invest them and not to have social security as a main income source;
  • there is not much evidence for significant non-investment use of large lump sums.