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February 21 2013, 11:47AM

Australians expect to survive an average of just 11 years on their retirement savings, including superannuation, before they are forced to rely on a government pension.

A survey of 1,000 Australians, conducted by banking giant HSBC, found respondents expected their superannuation to run out, on average, just over halfway through their retirement.

Australians expect 30 per cent of their retirement income to come from the pension, 20 per cent from superannuation, 14 per cent from cash savings, 11 per cent from property and eight per cent from shares and investments.

The survey results come amid speculation about possible changes to the superannuation system in the federal government's budget in May.

HSBC head of retail banking and wealth management Graham Heunis said many were financially unprepared for retirement.

"Whether it is the culturally relaxed Australian attitude towards saving, our high cost of living, or an expectation that our super and pension will cover us in retirement, the reality is many Australians are at risk of getting caught very short, financially, towards the end of their life," he said.

"Australians believe they can live a more modest life in retirement. However, this attitude fails to take into account how they will cope with the likely increase in the health and aged care costs of a frail retirement."

Mr Heunis said Australians tended to focus on short-term savings goals, with 53 per cent prioritising on saving for things like a holiday over retirement.

But, he said, younger Australians expected to be less reliant than those currently closer to retirement.

Respondents aged between 45 and 54 expect 45 per cent of their retirement income to come from the pension, while those aged between 25 and 34 expected the pension to account for just 19 per cent of their income.