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New research tackles SMSF retirement adequacy

Katarina Taurian
28 October 2014 — 1 minute read

While SMSF members are generally well placed for a comfortable retirement, “big spending” SMSFs have been cautioned about overconfidence, following fresh research into SMSF retirement adequacy.

A research paper from Accurium, formerly Bendzulla Actuarial, analysing data from 60,000 SMSFs in Australia indicates most SMSF members “stand a very good chance” of enjoying a ‘comfortable’ retirement.

The annual budget for a ‘comfortable’ retirement standard for a couple is $58,128, according to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia.


Accurium's ‘Retirement Adequacy’ paper indicates that a typical 65-year-old SMSF couple can spend up to this budget per annum, with a high degree of confidence that they will not run out of funds.


“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”, said Accurium’s chief executive Tracy Williams.

However, Accurium cautioned SMSF retirees who draw much more than the ‘comfortable’ level of income face a lower chance of sustaining this spending throughout retirement.

Over half of 65-year-old SMSF couples do not have a big enough pot to confidently spend $70,000 each year for life, and 75 per cent do not have enough capital to confidently spend $100,000, Accurium found.

“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.

New research tackles SMSF retirement adequacy
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