Most retirees do not underspend or bequeath super: ASFA

Most Australians use up their superannuation in retirement, contrary to claims that retirees underspend, according to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA).

The association’s chief executive, Martin Fahy, said the majority of Australian retirees ran out of super well before the end of their lives and there was not a systemic problem with retirees underspending or bequeathing their super.

ASFA’s latest research found:

  • The proportion of the population with superannuation drops sharply with increased age;
  • 80% of people aged 60 and over who died in the period 2014 to 2018 had no super at all in the period of up to four years before their death;
  • For those aged 80 plus, over 90% had no super in the four-year period before their death;
  • For the age 80 plus group, only 5% had more than $110,000 in superannuation in the period of up to four years before their death;
  • Even in the case of those who died aged 60 to 69, less than half had any super at all; and
  • Men were more likely to have superannuation than women. For those who died in the period 2014 to 2018 only 15% of females aged 60 plus at death had any superannuation compared to around 25% of men.
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“The main challenge for the Australian superannuation system is to deliver higher superannuation balances at retirement,” Fahy said.

“The solution for ensuring adequacy of retirement incomes is moving the superannuation guarantee to 12%.”

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