Australian Retirement Trust Pty Ltd has put together these calculators to give you some examples of different financial scenarios, based on stated assumptions and the figures you input. The calculations are intended as estimates only; and they’re not meant to be kept or used for any practical purpose, or as a substitute for professional financial advice. While we’ve based the information on sources that we believe are reliable and accurate, your actual outcomes will depend on a range of factors outside of our control. So you shouldn’t rely on this calculator when you’re making decisions about a financial product, fund or strategy. Instead, you should consider getting advice from a qualified financial adviser.

Australian Retirement Trust Pty Ltd expressly disclaim all liability and responsibility to any person who relies, or partially relies, on anything done or omitted to be done by this calculator.

Assumptions and limitations for the Super Projection Calculator

The projected figures generated by this calculator aren’t guaranteed, are provided as an illustration only, and may vary from actual results. The calculator isn’t intended to be and shouldn’t be relied on when making a decision about a particular financial product. Before making any financial decisions you should consider getting some personal financial advice from an Australian Financial Service licensee.

The purpose of the Super Projection Calculator is to let you test, or model, how your choices may affect your super over the long term. Factors such as investment earnings, wage inflation, price inflation and contributions are assumed to grow in a steady, predictable fashion as described in these notes. So these figures are indicative only, and changes to any one of the assumptions may have a significant effect on your projected outcomes. You can edit assumptions, including wage inflation, price inflation and fees charged, to get an idea of the impact of the potential outcomes.

Actual outcomes will vary depending on a range of factors, including actual contributions, salary increases, investment returns, insurance premiums, fees, tax and external factors like inflation and future legislative changes. For this reason, we recommend you regularly re-visit your super arrangements. 

We also note that use of the calculator is subject to the terms of our disclaimer.

If you want to know more about the way your estimate has been calculated, or the assumptions used, please contact us. And please note, the projected figures are based on current tax and legislation remaining unchanged.


The projections generated in the calculator are based on the following assumptions.


Where you provide an ‘Accumulation account’ balance and/or ‘Other super fund’ balance, the calculator will assume investment growth based on your selected investment mix.

Investment earnings

The calculator assumes the following rates of return for each investment mix, which are net of fees and taxes. The medium/high risk has been used as a default. The projection assumes that in retirement, your funds will be placed in an account-based income stream. In the retirement phase the returns are higher as the investment earnings are tax-free.

Investment risk Before retirement In retirement
Lowest Risk Expected return of 2.20% p.a.
Expected return of 2.60% p.a.
Low/Medium Risk Expected return of 3.20% p.a.
Expected return of 3.60% p.a.
Medium/High Risk Expected return of 4.30% p.a.
Expected return of 4.60% p.a.
High Risk Expected return of 4.40% p.a.
Expected return of 4.70% p.a.
Highest Risk Expected return of 5.00% p.a.
Expected return of 5.20% p.a.

The investment returns listed above and those used in the calculator are illustrative only, and shouldn’t be used to provide an estimate of the amount of investment earnings you may receive. Past performance isn’t a reliable indicator of future performance. These investment returns are averages over rolling periods that incorporate expected losses and are assumed to remain constant over the projection period.

Where a Defined Benefit account balance is supplied, the assumed growth in the account balance depends on:

  • salary growth, in line with assumed wage inflation as below
  • the growth in your defined benefit multiple, which depends on the rate of your member contribution.

Voluntary contributions are projected as part of the Accumulation account.

Where a deferred retirement benefit balance is supplied, it’s assumed to grow with wage inflation to age 55, then with the investment return for the relevant investment mix for an Accumulation account from age 55 to retirement.


Wage inflation of 3.2% p.a. has been assumed.

Price inflation of 2.0% p.a. has been assumed.

Results are presented in today's dollars. Target income is assumed to increase at this rate, and future account balances are discounted to present values at this rate. This is intended to reflect both CPI increases and general standard-of-living increases. This has the effect of preserving an individual's relative standard of living.

Other investments (the investments identified by you other than your home and super) used for calculating Age Pension entitlements are assumed to increase in line with wage inflation.

Personal income

Salaries are assumed to increase in line with wage inflation. In any future periods of part-time employment, your salary is reduced pro-rata.

Tax calculations allow for personal income tax rates, the Medicare levy, the low income tax offset and the Seniors and Pensioners tax offset at the rates at 1 July 2021. Threshold and offset amounts in the first year are based on 1 July 2021 rates. Thereafter they’re indexed in line with wage inflation and any additional levies aren’t included.

Employer Type

Your chosen employer type is assumed to be continuous to retirement, and inputs and results are based on whole number of years from date of calculation.


Employer contributions, regular before-tax (salary sacrifice) contributions (which are concessional) and after-tax contributions (which are non-concessional) entered are assumed to increase each year in line with your salary, which has been assumed to increase in line with wage inflation. In any periods of part-time work, contributions are assumed to decrease pro-rata.

Employer contributions are dependent on your chosen employer type.

  • If you’re self-employed or not working they’re assumed to be 0%
  • If you work for a non-Queensland Government employer the following assumptions are made:
Income year Employer contribution
2021/2022 10%
2022/2023 10.5%
2023/2024 11%
2024/2025 11.5%
2025/2026 12%

If you work for the Queensland Government, your employer contributions are dependent on your selected member contributions (between 2-5%).

The amount of a one-off (non-concessional) contribution entered is assumed to be fixed (at the time the contribution is identified to be made), and isn’t indexed.

All employer and employee before-tax (concessional) contributions are taxed at 15% up to the concessional contribution threshold as at 1 July 2021. Where a concessional or non-concessional contribution exceeds the relevant legislated contribution limit, the contributions are taxed according to legislation as at 1 July 2021 (the current proposals for treatment of excess concessional contributions is not included). The model allows for the bring-forward of after-tax contributions. The contribution limits are indexed in line with the assumed rate of wage inflation.

If you’ve selected a before-tax member contribution % and Defined Benefit value, it’s assumed you have ‘grossed up’ these contributions to cover the contribution tax.

Contributions are assumed to be spread evenly across the year.

And finally, it's assumed you and your partner have provided your tax file number to your super fund.


In each projection year, the eligibility for a Government co-contribution is assessed based on your salary and after-tax (non-concessional) contributions. If you’re eligible, it’s assumed a co-contribution payment will be made to your super account.

The co-contribution thresholds and maximum amount are based on current legislation as at 1 July 2021 and then indexed in line with wage inflation. More info is available on the website.

Low income superannuation tax offset (LISTO)

In each projection year, the eligibility for LISTO is assessed based on your salary and concessional contributions. If you’re eligible, it’s assumed a LISTO will be contributed annually to your super account.

The salary thresholds and maximum amount are based on current legislation as at 1 July 2021.

Insurance premiums

Please note that this calculator uses QSuper's insurance arrangements as at 1 January 2021.

The cost of death and total and permanent disability (TPD) premiums is based on 3 units of death cover and 3 units of TPD cover for Queensland Government employees and 2 units of death cover and 2 units of TPD cover for all other members. The cost of each unit is based on the member’s age and the default premium rate. TPD cover is available until age 65, except for police officers where it is available to age 60. Over age 65 (age 60 for police officers), the cover is death only. There is no cover over age 70.

For Queensland Government employees in an Accumulation account, age based default rate salary-based income protection premiums ranging from 0.234% to 2.328% will be used. The calculator does not include income protection cover for other members. All income protection cover ceases at age 65 (age 60 for police officers).

If 6% is selected for the standard contribution, default police rate death and TPD cover premiums and default police rate salary-based income protection premiums will be used.

Death and total and permanent disability premiums are indexed each year in line with wage inflation.

No insurance premiums have been included if you’ve indicated that you’re not working or self-employed.

Retirement age

The calculator assumes you and your partner start drawing from your respective super when each of you reaches your retirement age – we’ve used 65 as the default retirement age.

Methods you can use to estimate the income you will need in retirement

  1. Two-thirds rule
    The two-third rule is the method we have used as default for the calculator ASIC suggests that to  maintain your current lifestyle, you’ll need about two-thirds of your current income if you’ve been living on an above average income and you’ve paid off your home loan.
  2. Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) Retirement Standard
    The AFSA retirement standard benchmarks the budget needed to fund either a comfortable or modest retirement lifestyle. A comfortable retirement lifestyle assumes home ownership and includes a broad range of leisure and recreational activities, health insurance and occasional overseas holidays. Information about AFSA’s retirement standard can be found on their website.
  3. Set your own budget
    Set your own budget by looking at your expected expenses in retirement.

Life expectancy

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Population Projections for 2006-2101 report, our average lifespan is expected to improve, and we factor these improvements into our assumptions.

Age Pension

Age Pension rates and thresholds (current at September 2021) of payment are allowed for, based on your homeowner status and whether you have a spouse. Thresholds and rates of payment are indexed in line with wage inflation.

The Age Pension is subject to an asset test and an income test, and the lowest result is applied. Other assets (investments) are entered into the calculator by you. Those other assets are used by the calculator for the Age Pension asset test as at 20 September 2021. Where an individual is still working, and has reached the qualifying age for the Age Pension, the Age Pension income test is based on deemed income. The projection assumes that in retirement, funds are placed in an account-based income stream, and the income test is calculated based on 20 September 2021 rates and thresholds. Actual payments will depend on individual circumstances and are subject to eligibility.

One- off purchase when you retire

The calculator assumes a couple will each take 50% of the one-off purchase value at their retirement age, if one party's account balance is depleted the remaining value will be taken from the partner. If the selected amount of a one-off purchase at retirement exceeds your balance at retirement it is assumed you will take your entire superannuation account as a one-off lump sum.


Where both individuals have retired: superannuation drawings are assumed to be at a level sufficient to meet the desired total target income, allowing for other income and Age Pension income:
total drawings = total target income - other income - Age Pension income

The total drawings are then deducted from each superannuation fund in proportion to the balance of each account.

Where one individual has retired, and the other has not:
drawings = target income - other income - Age Pension income - salary of the working individual.

Minimum drawings

There’s a legislated minimum annual income amount that you must draw from an account-based income stream. For the purpose of these calculations, these minimums have been ignored. These assumptions have been reviewed by an actuary who is of the opinion that they’re appropriate.

Further information can be found in our guides.

Limitations of calculator

As a result of the limitations listed below, the estimates generated by the calculator may be different to actual future outcomes. The estimate of future super benefit produced by the calculator is illustrative only and doesn’t accurately predict your future super and actual Centrelink Age Pension payments.

No provision has been made for any existing surcharge debt. As a result of this, the estimate generated may be higher than actual future outcomes (because repaying the debt hasn’t been factored into the calculator).

This calculator doesn’t cater for members in a QSuper Defined Benefit account who’ve had a salary reduction or are paying ‘catch-up’ member contributions, and as a result the benefits generated by the calculator may be underestimated.

The calculator isn’t designed for comparing Defined Benefit and Accumulation accounts.

This calculator may underestimate benefits for:

  • Police officers contributing less than 6% and Queensland Rail staff contributing less than 2%, as the employer contributions in these instances are different to those used by the calculator
  • Defined Benefit account members accruing multiples higher than 0.21 (additional transfer multiple from State Super).

The amount that these benefits are underestimated by could be significant over longer periods.

The costs of insurance premiums aren’t able to be altered by the user. Insurance premiums are calculated at the default rate only for insurance provided to QSuper members as at 1 January 2021. As a result, the calculator may overestimate if actual costs are higher, or underestimate if actual costs are lower. If you’ve purchased additional cover or your actual insurance premiums costs are different, it’s important to know that these premiums haven’t been taken into account. Further information can be found in the Accumulation Account Insurance Guide (pdf).

The legislated minimum annual income amount that you must draw from an account-based income stream has been ignored for the purpose of these calculations. You may have to draw a higher level of annual income than the amount calculated and as a result your money could run out sooner.

Investment returns have been applied net of fees and taxes. Your actual fees may be higher or lower than the assumed cost and this may impact on your retirement benefit. As a result, the calculator may provide an overestimate (if actual fees and taxes are higher) or an underestimate (if actual fees and taxes are lower). We have given you the ability to adjust the fees to give you an indication of the impact.

The rate of wage and price inflation are editable assumptions. Any future super benefit estimates produced by the calculator are illustrative only, and doesn’t accurately predict your future super benefit.

Changing price inflation in the modeller only affects:

  • the $1.7 million cap
  • Age Pension asset test thresholds
  • Age Pension income thresholds
  • Age Pension deeming threshold
  • other income/assets

The calculator doesn’t cater for members with a State account, Police account or Parliamentary account. If you’re unsure what type of account you hold, check your latest annual statement.

No provision has been made for the reinvestment of any tax savings that may be made as a result of changing your contributions from after tax to before tax.