Income Streams Popular In Retirement

Superannuation is the most important financial asset for many Australians, particularly those approaching retirement age. ABS research has found that income streams are an increasingly popular form of retirement cash flow.

In August the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its Superannuation in Australia, 2003-04 to 2013-14 report, documenting the changing superannuation investment and draw-down habits of Australian workers.
Overall, and not surprisingly, superannuation coverage rates have increased over the past decade, as follows:

People with superannuation coverage

 Source: ABS Superannuation in Australia, 2003-04 to 2013-14

The value of superannuation account balances has also increased significantly over the past decade, particularly among workers closer to retirement.

Value of superannuation accounts

Source: ABS Superannuation in Australia, 2003-04 to 2013-14

Australians more likely to take income stream

The ABS research has also found that an increasing number of retirees/workers eligible to take an income stream are doing so, with account based pensions the most common type of superannuation income received in 2013–14, followed by guaranteed pensions (70% and 21%, respectively). Overall it equates to just over one in four people 65 years and over. Interestingly though, in the ten year period to 2013–14, there was no significant change in the proportion of superannuants 65 years and over receiving 50% or more of their personal income from government pensions or allowances.

In terms of cost, CANSTAR’s research this year found the following range in and average of account based pension fees:

Year Fees $100,000 Balance $400,000 Balance $750,000 Balance
2016 Minimum $550 $2,000 $2,875
Average $1,140 $4,131 $7,268
Maximum $2,457 $9,095 $16,974
Source: CANSTAR, 2016. Estimated annual fees based on products assessed for CANSTAR 2016 Account Based Pension Star Ratings

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