Super drawdown rate doubles: What you need to know

the super drawdown limit has doubled

The first day of July each year usually brings about changes of some description for Australians and their finances. Rarely a financial year goes by with the federal government of the day altering a rule here and a rate there.

Prior to 1 July, the federal government halved the minimum amount retirees must withdraw from super each year. As of 1 July, that minimum drawdown rate has doubled.

That means retired Australians must now draw down twice as much from their super or face significant tax penalties. It’s a hefty jump, even though it is a reversion to the mandated minimum pre-pandemic drawdown amounts.

The concessional period helped many retirees during the pandemic. But now, despite continuing market uncertainty, these concessions have ceased.

What does that mean for you?

If you are retired and your super is now in the income phase, you’ll need to check how much you’re drawing down each year. If you’re one of the many who took advantage of the reduced drawdown rate to leave more super in your account, it’s recommended you seek advice from a financial professional, to ensure you’re getting the appropriate tax concessions.

Retirees under the age of 65 must now withdraw at least four per cent of their account balance each year – double the rate of the previous four financial years. The drawdown rate increases with age. For each age group the figure has doubled, reverting back to its pre-pandemic rate.

Age at 1 JulyNew (standard) minimum drawdown rates from 1 July 2023Previous (temporary 50%) drawdown rates until 30 June 2023
60-644%2%
65-745%2.50%
75-796%3%
80-847%3.50%
85-899%4.50%
90-9411%5.50%
95 or over14%7%

If you’re a retiree who hasn’t changed your withdrawal rates during the past four years, you won’t be affected. That’s assuming you were meeting the minimum drawdown rate before the pandemic.

Those who have taken advantage of the reduced drawdown rates risk missing out on tax breaks if they don’t revert.

What happens if I don’t meet the minimum drawdown rate?

Failure to comply with the minimum drawdown rate could result in your super pension losing its tax-free status.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) deems that the income stream has stopped, and all payments made during that financial year are treated as super lump sums for income tax purposes. This means you could be paying 15 per cent tax rather no tax at all.

However, if your super is with a large fund, your minimum payments may be adjusted automatically each year. It’s best to check with your fund.

Some large super funds, such as AustralianSuper, will provide clients with an appropriate explanation on their websites.

Are there mitigation strategies available?

The pandemic is receding from mainstream consciousness, leaving more than half of Australians aged 65 and over (59%) more worried about debt than health, according to one survey.

A National Seniors report suggests fixed-income investments as one strategy to ease money worries among older people.

“Clients … can invest as little as $10,000 into fixed income securities,” according to the report’s sponsor, Australian Bond Exchange.

This will allow them ‘to generate an additional stream of predictable income throughout retirement’.

There may be other strategies available for retirees worried returning to a higher drawdown rate. As always, the best advice is to seek the help of a registered financial planner.

Were you aware the drawdown rate was reverting to its pre-pandemic level? Will this have an impact on you?

Also read: The word is out: 10 best-performing super funds named

Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for the ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.

Written by Andrew Gigacz

Andrew has developed knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income and government entitlements, as well as issues affecting older Australians moving into or living in retirement. He's an accomplished writer with a passion for health and human stories.

6 Comments

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  1. Does the minimum drawdown apply if you don’t have an income stream from super? I have very little in super and only withdraw if I need it. It’s been up and down, mostly down, in recent years and I don’t want to withdraw unless it’s absolutely necessary.

  2. I object to being MADE to take money out of my super. At age 70, I have a small casual job, salary sacrifice all except $100 a week to super, and can easily manage on this and my pension (note – all declarable). I am single, and budget very strictly, and don’t need the amount I am forced to take out of super. My only saving grace is that until I am 74, what ever amount I am forced to take out, I put straight back into super as a voluntary contribution. I can do this for the next 4 years, and will do so.

  3. Fluffy duck, you and I are in the same boat, and I don’t want to take money out of my super, that is there for funeral arrangments mostly. I had that very same question in mind while reading the above. I do not have an income stream.

  4. This is poorly written – in my opinion. It makes it sound as though the gvt has doubled the amount retirees must withdraw. That is not true. The amount was halved & now it is returning to the initial percentage. For people with an industry fund, they will automatically be paid that minimum amount (either weekly, monthly, annually . . . what ever they nominate). Only people who must make certain they withdraw the correct minimum amount are people with SMSF.

  5. Suzy Q, what you are doing is good … i.e. putting funds back into your super as non-concessional contributions. By doing this you have put your super in to pension phase rather than leaving it is accumulation phase. In pension phase all earnings are tax free rather than taxed at 15%, so a good move. 🙂

  6. FrankC, by leaving your money in super in accumulation phase, you don’t have to make withdrawals, but the earnings will be taxed at 15%. If you were to put your funds into pension phase, then the earnings would be tax free. You could put those withdrawn funds back into your super if you work 40 hours in any month during the financial year & are under 75.

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