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Barbara is a mum of four grown up children and a grandmother to seven. As well as raising her children she juggled part-time work as an administration assistant, picking up more hours as her kids grew older.

She separated from her partner years ago and now lives by herself in a rented unit near the beach. Now 70, she's been enjoying retirement for the past five years. Due to being in and out of the workforce, her super balance at 65 was $50,000 and she knew she would need to rely on the Government Age Pension to fund her retirement.

Before retiring, she spoke with her Industry SuperFund about how to make the most of her $50,000. They advised her to draw down on her super through an income stream to top up her Age Pension. That would maximise the amount of Age Pension she would receive and allow her $50,000 to continue to grow a little in the early years of retirement, before she gradually draws down on all of it.

Here's what that looked like:

  • Her super balance was $50,000 when she retired, which she converted into an income stream account with her Industry SuperFund.
  • Over the past five years she withdrew on average around $2,569 each year to top up her Age Pension. For Barbara, that extra $2,569 comes in handy for the grandkids at Christmas time and to fund a holiday every year.
  • Her annual income over the past five years (from her super and the Age Pension) has been about $30,735.
  • Barbara experienced an average five-year Industry SuperFund investment return of 6.91% (2018 - 2023).
  • Today, her Industry SuperFund balance has grown to $53,977.
  • If Barbara had switched to a retail super fund at retirement, her balance would only be $50,792.

That’s a difference of $3,185, simply because she stuck with her Industry SuperFund.

Barbara's numbers

Closing Balance $53,977      
  Account balance
invested after income taken
Income stream payments Age Pension payments Total income
2018/19 $50,000 $2,500 $27,102 $29,602
2019/20 $51,264 $2,563 $27,648 $30,212
2020/21 $48,391 $2,420 $28,181 $30,601
2021/22 $55,574 $2,779 $28,431 $31,210
2022/23 $51,639 $2,582 $29,468 $32,050

Barbara is not an actual member. Her story has been created for illustrative purposes.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance and should never be the sole factor considered when selecting a fund. Comparisons and modelling by SuperRatings, commissioned by ISA, and show average difference in pension net benefit results after the first 5 years of retirement of the main balanced investment options of 8 Industry SuperFund pension products and a sample set of retail pension products tracked by SuperRatings with a 5 year performance history to 30 June 2023 (23 funds), taking into account historical earnings and fees. The model assumes a drawdown amount of 5% per annum, which is deducted monthly. Outcomes vary between individual funds. Modelling performed on 6 October 2023 using data as at 30 June 2023. See the Assumptions page for more details about modelling calculations and assumptions. General advice only. Consider a fund's Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and your personal financial situation, needs and objectives, which are not accounted for in this information, before making an investment decision. ISA Pty Ltd ABN 72 158 563 270 Corporate Authorised Representative No. 426006 of Industry Fund Services Ltd ABN 54 007 016 195 AFSL 232514.

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