There are a lot of benefits to having an account based pension but there are also some rules that you need to follow. Once of those rules relates to the amount of income that you need to draw down each year.
If you’ve chosen to open an account-based pension rather than leaving your super untouched, then you must withdraw between 4-14% each year. How much you must withdraw each year depends on your age:
(% of account balance)
|Source: ASIC (MoneySmart)|
How much you draw down will affect how much you are eligible to receive from the government Age Pension as since 1 January 2015, the social security deeming rules have been extended to include account-based income streams.You can make these income payments happen as often as you want (monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or annually) but you must continue drawing down money until the account balance is exhausted.
— Canstar (@CANSTAR) December 5, 2016
You can withdraw some or all of your pension account in a larger lump sum, but again, this will then be taxed if you invest it elsewhere, and it will affect your eligibility for the Age Pension. If you want to, you can roll over the lump sum back into a super accumulation account like you used to have before opening the account-based pension account.
Your fund is responsible for ensuring you draw down the minimum amount each year – but if you have an SMSF type super fund, that means you are responsible for making sure you get it right. Canstar would always advise that SMSF Trustees get qualified financial advice about how much to withdraw in a given year.