Big-drawing SMSFs warned against complacency

Self-managed super fund retirees (SMSF) drawing substantially more than the ‘comfortable' income level should not become over-confident, an SMSF research paper warned.

The Retirement Adequacy paper from specialist SMSF provider Accurium (formerly Bendzulla Acturial) said more than half of 65-year-old SMSF couples do not have enough saved to confidently spend $70,000 a year for life.

Furthermore 75 per cent do not have enough to spend $100,000.

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"Of course, the level of retirement spending which can be confidently maintained by typical 65 year old SMSF couples will increase if they also hold significant financial assets outside of their fund, a not uncommon situation given that compulsory superannuation only commenced 22 years ago in 1992," Accurium said.

On the other hand a 65-year-old SMSF couple can spend up to $58,128 per annum without having to worry about running out of money.

This is based on the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (AFSA) comfortable retirement standard for a couple.

"The really good news is that they can safely increase this ‘comfortable' spend in line with inflation and maintain their purchasing power over a long retirement that could last 20 or 30 years or more", Accurium chief executive Tracy Williams said.

Williams warned that it is a different story for those with balances less than the median, those who want to retire earlier, or spend more than $58,128 per annum, or leave behind an inheritance, and said they should seek advice.

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