Retirement future grim for low income earners

KINGAROY'S Kristian Harper may only be 18 years old, but he's already started to think about retirement.

Although he has yet to enter the workforce, the Macquarie University history and politics student still has funding his post-work life years in the forefront of his mind.

"It's probably safe to say that everyone I know has no money and faces monumental hardships every day, all to do with money," he said.

"We are told we must put money away, but the sad reality is many people will not be enjoying it simply because we won't have that right to kick back after 65 or 70 because of the lack of money."

A report from the Actuaries Institute said that Australia's low-income earners will remain entirely dependent on the age pension after retirement, with single women affected the most.

The For Richer, For Poorer report found that a couple of middle-aged income earners who earn $54,750 each can expect to have $1.34 million in accumulated wealth by the time they reach 60, but a single woman in similar circumstances would have a retirement income of $38,000 per year.

Mr Harper said he was concerned for those on a lower income.

"For places like the South Burnett, it certainly doesn't help when most people have an average income strikingly similar to that of a welfare income," he said.

Mr Harper believed high levels of unemployment would also lead young Australians to suffer in the future.

"In order to have a retirement plan I must find stable long-term employment, which is as rare even after university," he said.

"Even locally it's hard to find a job and even school I found extremely difficult - it's a mission-and-a-half everyday.

"If we can't find even basic employment as young adults, let alone stable careers after our education, then we are clearly no better off than our parents."

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