New joint research, conducted by Willis Towers Watson in conjunction with The University of Melbourne, used the most recent HILDA data (released in late 2015) to assess what proportion of Australian couples and singles are on track to have a “comfortable” level of retirement income, according to the ASFA Retirement Standard.

Since our previous research, the proportion of surveyed couples expected to reach a comfortable retirement income has decreased from 53% to 51%, while for singles this has increased from 23% to 37%.

In this View, we consider the factors contributing to this mixed outcome, including relatively strong investment returns and age pension increases experienced between 2010 and 2014 , which provided a positive influence, and upcoming changes to the assets test applying to age pension payments, which provided a significant negative impact, particularly for couples.