The only Australian index to track retirement confidence

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Qantas Super CSBA Retirement Confidence Index

We asked Australians how confident they are that they’ll be able to retire comfortably.
They told us that rising cost of living, unemployment, and a perceived lack of funds in superannuation are to blame for lack of confidence in affording a comfortable retirement.

Retirement confidence index
December 2017

Breaking it down

How confident are Australians that they’ll be able to retire comfortably?

Little to no
Higher levels of confidence

Most confident

70+ years

More confident

60+ years
Home owner

Tertiary Qualified

Higher income

$78k and above


$20k+ outside of super


Professional / managerial

Least confident

40-59 years

Lower Education


Or living with others


No other investments

What the numbers tell us


Say external factors like cost of living, inflation, the US economy and regulation changes make it difficult to prepare for retirement.


Are actively involved in making decisions about their super and other financial affairs to prepare for retirement.


Know how much money they need for a comfortable retirement. And only 1 in 4 Australians without other investments (excluding super) know how much money they need to retire comfortably.


Can rely on superannuation and other investments for financial wellbeing in retirement.

Index insights

Confidence around a financially comfortable retirement was markedly low across most demographic segments. Only 12% of the population had a very high degree of confidence.

The proportion of Australians with very high confidence was significantly low for people aged 18-39 and 40-59, both at just 8%. In addition, a notable 43% in the 40-59 age bracket feel little to no confidence, indicating that even when approaching retirement age and having accumulated superannuation throughout working life, confidence does not necessarily increase.

Having other investments outside of superannuation made some difference to retirement confidence levels. Interestingly, for those with investments of between $300K and $499K the proportion who did not feel overly confident remained a notable 50% while those exceeding $500K in investments returned even proportions of 30%-31% across the mid to higher confidence groups.

Looking at older Australians who in general felt more confident, there remained a notable difference in confidence between those with no other investments for retirement (49% with little to no confidence) and those who reported at least $100K in investments where 67% felt higher confidence.

Key themes for people with less confidence are knowing they don't have enough funds in their super for retirement; the inability to work full time to accumulate super due to illness, part time work or carer duty; increases to the cost of living.

About the survey

The Retirement Confidence Index (RCI) was determined from an online survey conducted by CSBA, on behalf of Qantas Super. The survey was conducted from 17 to 25 November 2017 with 1,025 respondents participating.

Survey participants were selected from an online panel and had to meet the following requirements: be at least 18 years old, reside in Australia (either citizen or permanent resident) and have superannuation.

To establish sufficient representation of the Australian population, quotas for gender, age, state and residential status were established according to the latest ABS census (2016).

The sample of 1,025 yields a statistical precision of plus or minus 3 percentage points with 95% confidence the results would reflect the entire Australian adult population (aged 18 and above) if surveyed in its entirety.