Retiring early is a thing of the past

Retiring early was an option in the boom years of double-digit returns on superannuation. That all halted in 2008, when the financial crisis hit. That meant people in their 50s and 60s were rewriting their life plans to include a lot more work and lots less retirement.

Super bounced back a lot in 2009, but people are still not retiring in the same numbers as in the past, says Rob Brooks, chief executive of big industry super fund Vision Super.

"The global financial crisis has had a real impact on confidence, two consecutive years of losses, but members are now starting to see their accounts come back. One thing that has happened is benefit payments to members are right down. You can talk to any super fund and I think they will say the same thing – benefit payments are right down because people just aren't retiring."

Not only are members of super funds not retiring and withdrawing money from super, they are not putting money in either. "Over 2009, we did also see a lot of people cutting back on voluntary contributions, but that is starting to come back now," Mr Brooks says.

Source: Courier Mail