Self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) specialist, Accurium's report, Bridging the gap, found that the median SMSF balance increased by 5.2 per cent after pension drawdowns, rising to $1.091 million over the last financial year, with investment returns at 8.2 per cent before tax.
Accurium chief executive, Tracy Williams, attributed the result to strong investment markets, noting this was one of the best performances by SMSFs in recent years.
"The good news is that strong investment returns in the past two years have produced relatively large increases in balances," Williams said.
"SMSFs are in the comfort zone for retirement, however, for most, a more prosperous retirement lifestyle remains out of reach."
Williams noted that SMSF trustees are prepared to work longer and retire later to achieve financial security.
"There are around 31,000 trustees in our database who are still contributing to and growing their retirement savings beyond the age of 65," Williams said.
According to the report, the "comfortable retirement age" for trustees has dropped to 60 for couples with a median balance, down from 62 in 2013.
The research also shows that a 65-year-old couple would need approximately $900,000 to have a reasonable degree of confidence (80 per cent per cent probability) that they would achieve the "comfortable standard" of $58,784 income per year for life, set by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA).
However, the findings show that SMSF trustees who aspire to a more prosperous retirement lifestyle would struggle even with reduced spending later in life, as only 28 per cent of couples aged between 55 and 70 feeling "reasonably confident" of affording a lifestyle costing $100,000 per year if they retired today.
Accurium's report surveyed over 65,000 SMSFs and represents SMSF households who are phasing into retirement, showing how ready they are of achieving financial stability when retiring.
The report comes ahead of the Australian Tax Office's Statistical Overview for 2014, which is expected to become available in December this year.