Retirement Income Streams. Information from the Australian Government Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA) 2007







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Retirement Income


Information from the Australian

Government Department of Families,

Community Services and Indigenous

Affairs (FaCSIA)



Disclaimer of liability iv

Retirement Income Streams... 1

What are Retirement Income Streams?... 1

Is a retirement income stream suitable for you? ... 2

How can you benefit from reading this?... 3

Income Streams – What types are there? ... 3

Who provides them? ... 6

Matching Income Stream features to your needs... 7

What are the risks?... 8

Budgeting for Retirement... 9

Developing a retirement income budget ... 9

How long will you need an income stream for? ... 11

Will your needs change?... 12

How long will your money last?... 13

Other income sources... 15

Types of Income Streams – Account Based... 15

Access to your money ... 16

Income Payment Rules ... 16

How does my investment account value change?... 18

Investment choices... 19

Account Based Market Linked Income Streams... 22

Selecting the term for your income... 22

Access to your money ... 23

Income Payment Rules ... 24

What happens each year?... 25

How does my investment account value change?... 25

Are there fees and charges? ... 27

What happens when you die with an account based income stream?... 27

Reversionary Income ... 27

Lump Sum... 28

Flexible Option ... 28

Advantages and disadvantages ... 28

Types of Income Streams – Non Account Based... 28

Lifetime Income Streams... 29

Fixed Term Income Streams ... 32

Comparison of different types of income stream products... 36

What are the Tax Rules?... 38

Usually Tax Free... 38

Payments under Age 60 ... 38

Will I get a tax offset?... 39

Excess Offset Usage ... 40

Working out tax (untaxed funds) ... 40

Working out tax (non-super funds)... 41


What are the means testing rules?... 46 How to work out the income and assets test values... 47


Disclaimer of liability

The Commonwealth accepts no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any

material contained in this information. Additionally, the Commonwealth disclaims all liability to any person in respect of anything, and of the consequences of anything, done or omitted to be done by any such person in reliance, whether wholly or partially, upon any information presented here. The situations and names appearing in this information are used to illustrate real life situations and do not refer to actual individuals.

Caution: Material in this information is made available on the understanding that the

Commonwealth is not providing professional advice. Before relying on any of the material in this information, readers should obtain appropriate professional advice. Views and

recommendations of third parties that may be included in this information, do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commonwealth, or indicate a commitment to a particular course of action.

The Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs wish to

acknowledge the contribution of John McIlroy in writing this. John has been involved with the retirement income stream industry over many years and is a director of financial services training company, Financial Essentials.


Retirement Income Streams

Information to help you plan your retirement years

Having an adequate income throughout your retirement years is a fundamental part of enjoying retirement. Retirement income streams are a popular investment choice for retirees as a way of producing regular income payments throughout retirement. Gaining a good knowledge of retirement income streams involves understanding:

• what they are; • how they work; • what types there are; • who provides them; • what the risks are; • how they are taxed; and

• how they are counted for the social security means tests.

You can then work out what retirement income stream suits your needs.

On 9 May 2006, in the context of the 2006 Budget, the Australian Government

announced its intention to streamline and simplify the current arrangements that apply to peoples’ superannuation benefits. These were very significant changes for retirees and retirement income streams and this information incorporates those changes.

What are Retirement Income Streams?

During working life, and certainly well before retirement, we become used to earning a regular income. For most people the regular income comes in the form of a salary or wage which is paid at least monthly.

Because of the regularity of income during our working life, we usually adapt our spending to fit in with our income patterns. We might for example, buy the groceries on payday, or pay our major bills monthly.

And for most of us, managing our tax is not a big issue as our employer will have deducted income tax instalments from our pay before we receive the net amount. At the end of the year we receive a tax summary and lodge this with our personal tax return. All in all, this is a relatively straightforward process – we get a regular income and we don’t have to budget for large tax bills at the end of the year.

By the time retirement comes around we usually have our income and spending patterns well practised, although these may change a little in retirement. At retirement, or at some stage before, we also need to plan what we are going to do with our retirement savings. Usually this will involve looking at what to do with our superannuation money and any other savings that we may have accumulated along the way.


One of the things you can do with some or all of your superannuation and/or other money is to invest it in a retirement income stream. When dealing with superannuation money, this may mean nothing more than receiving an income (instead of a lump sum) from your current superannuation fund, or it may mean using that money to purchase an income stream from a new fund.

Using a retirement income stream is simply a way of dealing with many of the financial issues to which you have become accustomed before retirement.

Retirement income streams are simply investments which allow you to obtain regular income and capital payments, and thereby provide you with a basis for managing ongoing income and spending patterns. And with most income streams, they are tax exempt thereby your gross amount equals your ‘take home pay’.

Retiring does not mean that your need for regular income payments suddenly stops, so it’s wise to consider this form of retirement income as part of your options in retirement. There are various types of retirement income streams that we will examine, some of which may suit you and others may not. However, the basic principle is the same – investing to obtain a regular tax paid income stream.

Is a retirement income stream suitable for you?

There are lots of things to consider in planning for retirement. The number of years we spend in retirement is increasing and this part of our life will generally be a very long period of time.

Planning anything for such a long period of time is quite difficult as many things can change along the way. Planning retirement is no different, particularly when you consider what might change in future years.

For example, there is a fair chance that the house you live in at the start of retirement will not be your place of abode in 10 to 15 years time. You may decide at a future point in time to perhaps move to a smaller residence or move to another location. And further on you may consider other types of accommodation with access to medical care.

With properties there are always ongoing maintenance costs. The property will need painting, plumbing, electrical or other repairs at some point in time. Or you may decide to do some renovations.

You may also have the prospect of receiving an inheritance at some point in time and this may impact on how you plan your retirement. And of course there are always the


So while having a regular income in retirement is a fundamental part of retirement planning, there are lots of other things to consider also. Having access to some cash is very important to meet special needs and having some flexibility in your financial affairs is usually sound planning.

Retirement income streams are not the only option you have for investing your retirement savings, however they can cater for many retirement needs, primarily the regular income need. We have identified just a few of the things that can change throughout the

retirement phase of life and having the flexibility to alter your plans may be very

important. Some retirement income streams are not very flexible and you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of each type of income stream carefully. After

becoming more familiar with them you may decide that other options best suit your needs.

How can you benefit from reading this?

By taking a little time to read this you should be able to:

• understand the role of retirement income streams as an option for investing accumulated retirement savings

• see that there are numerous types of income streams which cater for varying needs in retirement

• be able to compare this type of retirement investment option with other investments • take greater control of your retirement plans

• work with case studies of similar retirement situations to yours

• see how you don’t need to have a fortune to make use of income streams • get valuable tips on retirement budgeting

• learn about taxation and social security rules which may affect you

The retirement income stream concept is not difficult – as with any investment it just takes a little time to become familiar with all the terms and understand how the products work in practice.

Income Streams – What types are there?

There are two main types of retirement income streams – pensions and annuities.

“There are two types of retirement income streams – pensions and annuities, but for the investor there is not much difference between the two types.”



A pension is the name given to income streams which are payable from superannuation funds, whereas an annuity is the name given to income streams which are generally payable from life insurance companies. There are many similarities between these two types of income streams.

There are a number of different superannuation funds which may provide pensions. For example, a public sector superannuation fund (such as for Commonwealth public servants), provides pensions to retired employees.

There are also publicly offered superannuation funds (often referred to as retail funds) which offer pensions. Usually, a person would ‘rollover’ their money from their superannuation fund to one of these funds and then commence to receive an income stream which happens to be called a pension.

While the funds providing the pension payments may differ, and indeed the type of pension payments may differ, their objective is still the same – to provide a regular income to people in retirement from their superannuation savings.


An annuity is a little different in that it is purchased from a limited range of

organisations, mainly life insurance companies. Traditionally, the word annuity has referred to situations where a person exchanges a sum of money for a guaranteed series of income payments. However, in more recent times there has been more flexibility incorporated into arrangements involving annuities.

If you invest in an annuity with a life insurance company you enter into a ‘contract of insurance’ with that company that covers the terms of the regular annuity payments. With a pension, you become entitled to receive pension payments by virtue of being a member of the superannuation fund. So legally there is a difference, but from a practical

viewpoint, annuities and pensions operate in a similar way.

Pensions and annuities can have a lot of different product features and not all products offer the same features. There are two main groups of income stream products to learn about in terms of features and benefits. Some of these may be called pensions or annuities or you may find examples of both being offered by the one company. The key point to focus on first is what type of features do you want from your income stream?

Apart from the distinction between pensions and annuities, income streams also fall into two other categories, being those that are account based and those that are not account based.


Account Based Income Streams

The ‘account based’ variety is the most flexible type of income stream.

When you invest in an account based income stream, you have an investment account within the relevant fund.

Your investment account balance will increase as investment earnings are added to your account and decrease as you draw down regular income payments. For as long as the income stream lasts, you will have an account balance.

The most common type of account based income stream has been referred to as an allocated pension. Around 80% of all income streams are allocated pensions. More recently, market linked pensions (also called term allocated pensions) have become popular.

Non Account Based Income Streams

These are income streams which do not have an account balance. They generally have a purchase price and you exchange a lump sum of money for an income stream over either a fixed period of years, or for your lifetime. These payments are guaranteed to be payable by the organisation providing the product.

These are also referred to as fixed term pensions and annuities or lifetime pensions or annuities.

Terminology Used

There is a mix of terminology used to describe the various types of income streams.

Type of Income Stream

Pensions Pensions Annuities Annuities

Category Account Based

Non Account Based

Account Based Non Account Based Common product names used Allocated pensions Market linked pensions (also called term allocated pensions) Lifetime pensions Fixed Term pensions Allocated annuities Market linked annuities Lifetime annuities Fixed Term annuities


Who provides them?

Retirement income streams are provided by many different organisations and superannuation funds.

As mentioned earlier, annuities are incomes primarily provided by life insurance companies. These include allocated, lifetime and fixed term income streams. However not all life insurance companies provide all varieties.

Life insurance companies offering income streams (ie everything except allocated and market linked income streams) are subject to certain government regulations. To support the guarantees that they offer, these companies must carry a prudent level of ‘capital reserves’ so that they are able to withstand substantial fluctuations in investment markets without affecting the guarantees they have provided. These regulations are administered by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA).

On the other hand, pensions are incomes paid from superannuation funds. APRA also applies prudential controls to superannuation funds offering lifetime, life expectancy or fixed term pensions. Life insurance companies are subject to stricter requirements in terms of reserving assets to meet their payment obligations than superannuation funds. The most common types of funds providing income streams are:

Public Offer funds – the name merely indicates that the general public (subject to

meeting certain conditions) are able to join the fund. Most public offer funds are operated by large institutions including banks, life insurance companies, credit unions, investment managers and financial advisory groups.

While there is a concentration towards account based income streams (allocated and market linked income streams) by this group of income providers they are also able to provide non account based income streams (lifetime and fixed term income streams).

Defined Benefit funds – these funds usually provide pension benefits to people who have been members of the fund for numerous years. The pension benefits are usually a percentage of the member’s pre-retirement salary or wage and are usually payable for (at least) the lifetime of the member.

The most common examples of defined benefit funds paying pensions are funds established for State Government and Commonwealth employees.

Industry funds – a number of industry funds provide pension benefits to members. Those that pay pension benefits generally restrict their activities to allocated pensions. These funds first became popular when superannuation became part of various industry awards. Management of the fund includes employer and employee (often union) trustees.


Many of the large industry funds now have (limited) public offer status and are available to a wide range of workers.

There are many industry funds in Australia – some of the largest ones are Retail Employees Superannuation Trust (REST), Aust Super, and Health Employees Superannuation Trust of Australia (HESTA) amongst others.

Self Managed funds – these funds (which are also often referred to as DIY funds) make up

a significant part of the Australian superannuation scene. Self Managed funds will have four or less members and more commonly one or two members only. While most are used by people in the pre-retirement phase of life, an increasing number are being used to provide retirement income streams.

Self managed funds can be used for the delivery of most varieties of pensions, but the vast majority are used to provide account based allocated pensions. These types of funds are subject to the same income stream rules as other types of superannuation funds, except in relation to lifetime, life expectancy and fixed term pensions where there are a few special rules.

Matching Income Stream features to your needs

There are many different income streams from which to choose; some are guaranteed, some are not, some are payable for life and others are payable for fixed terms (short, medium or long terms).

What you need to do is to match the most appropriate income stream (or streams) to your own specific circumstances.

If you want to retain the most flexibility with your financial affairs, then it is likely that an account based income stream will be the most suitable option. Alternatively, if you seek a high level of security and flexibility is not a major issue then a lifetime or life expectancy income stream may be more appropriate.

Of course, it may be that you want a bit of both – a high level of security and certainty of income for part of your money and a high degree of flexibility with the balance.

If this suits your needs then investing in more than one income stream may be the best option.

There is no limit on the number of income streams you may invest in. In fact, you may choose to invest in more than one income stream simply to spread your risk.

You should also consider how much of your available money to invest in income


some money for emergencies or other irregular expenses such as home maintenance costs.

What are the risks?

As with any investment, retirement income streams involve some degree of risk. Everyone views risks differently, however with income streams there are 3 main dimensions to risk:

Security – means how much risk is involved in the investments underlying the income stream.

Certainty – means how predictable the amount of the payments is from the income stream.

Outliving – means the risk that you will outlive your income stream payments. Only lifetime income streams do not have this risk.

However, within the range of income streams available there are ways in which you can reduce risks to a low level. Here are 8 key tips to get you started:

Tip 1

You can always invest in more than one income stream and they may be offered by more than one institution or fund – a tried and true way of not putting all your eggs in the one basket. Remember that there is no limit on the number of income streams you can invest in. However having too many may start to increase the costs of investing, particularly if your affairs get too complicated.

Tip 2

Be aware that there are very low risk income streams – such as those payable for lifetime and fixed terms – where an institution has usually provided a guarantee that they will continue to pay you an income at a specified level for a fixed number of years or for life.

Tip 3

With most income streams, particularly the guaranteed income streams, you may elect to have your annual income payments indexed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or some other set annual increase. By doing this you have some protection against losing the purchasing power of your money.

Tip 4

Within the income streams that carry the most risk (the account based varieties) there are usually numerous investment choices available. Some of them are quite low risk, and some products may even provide a guaranteed investment return for set periods of time.

Tip 5

When evaluating investment choices within account based income streams (allocated and market linked income streams), remember that there are choices available from quite low risk through to those that have higher risk. It is a case of matching the investment choices to the risk you are prepared to take (ie. how averse are you to receiving variable or even negative investment returns in short term periods?).


Tip 6

When considering the risk in account based income streams you should be aware that options offering some exposure to sharemarkets and property markets will generally, over the long term, produce higher investment returns than those that simply invest in fixed interest and cash.

Tip 7

Be aware that some income streams (the ‘allocated’ variety) allow you access to your capital, whereas other types of income streams either do not allow access or have restrictions on doing so. Capital needs must be considered carefully.

Tip 8

When considering investments in income streams, consider the risks that you may be taking in the context of all of your investments. For example, if you are

investing only 25% of your money in an income stream which carries some investment risk, this may be quite appropriate if your other investments are invested securely (eg. term deposits).

Budgeting for Retirement

Developing a retirement income budget

To successfully plan your financial future, start by doing a stocktake of your current position. This involves documenting your current assets and debts. It also involves working out a budget of expenses, so that you can clearly see how much income you need to meet essential living expenses and optional expenses.

A simple worksheet for documenting your financial position and your income needs follows. Take time to complete this as it will make your planning so much easier.

Calculation of your Net Worth

Your Assets $ Value

Home Car House contents

Jewellery and other valuables Investment property


Investments in managed funds

Bank, Building Society or Credit Union accounts Term deposits

Government bonds Superannuation benefits

Payment for unused annual leave Payment for unused long service leave Insurance policies


Total Assets (A)

Your Debts $ Value

Home mortgage Car loan

Home improvement loan

Personal loan for other purposes Credit card balance

Store charge accounts Investment property loan Taxation owing


Total Debts (B)

Your Net Worth (A–B)

Your Income Stream Budget

Weekly Living Expenses $ per week Other Expenses $ per annum

Food Council rates

Clothing Water rates

Entertainment Car registration

Petrol Car insurance

Fares Gifts

Telephone Donations

Electricity Education costs

Gas Gardening

Rent House maintenance

Health insurance Travel costs

Medical expenses Life insurance

Chemist Mortgage expenses

Newspapers and magazines Other loan expenses

Hobbies Membership fees

Other Other

Total Weekly Expenses

Multiply by 52

Annual Living Costs (C) Total Other Expenses (D)

If you add columns C and D together you will have your annual income stream budget. This budget may vary a little from year to year as your circumstances and needs change. Retain this version, so you can simply review it and update it from year to year.


Now that you have worked out your essential living expenses, prepare a short list of the items of expenditure that are not essential, but which you would like to do or feel you will have to do, either now or at some time over the next few years.

Optional Expenditure or Capital items

Your Optional Expenditure $

Total Optional Expenditure

Armed with your ‘financial stocktake’, we can now move on to resolving some of the other key financial questions.

How long will you need an income stream for?

It would make planning our finances so much easier if we knew exactly how long we were going to live. So how can we estimate how long we need our money to last? The best way is to work from average life expectancies. The Government produces details of average life expectancies based on historical information. These are updated from time to time, and the good news is that average life expectancies are getting longer. While this is great news in one sense, it also means that our retirement money generally needs to last longer.

A selection of the average life expectancy factors are shown in the following table:

Age Male Female

55 25.92 29.91 56 25.05 29.00 57 24.19 28.10 58 23.34 27.21 59 22.49 26.32 60 21.66 25.44 61 20.84 24.57 62 20.04 23.71 63 19.24 22.85 64 18.46 22.00 65 17.70 21.15 66 16.95 20.32 67 16.21 19.49 68 15.48 18.67


Age Male Female 69 14.78 17.87 70 14.08 17.08 71 13.41 16.29 72 12.75 15.53 73 12.11 14.78 74 11.50 14.05 75 10.90 13.33 76 10.32 12.63 77 9.77 11.94 78 9.24 11.27 79 8.73 10.61 80 8.24 9.98 81 7.77 9.38 82 7.32 8.81 83 6.89 8.27 84 6.48 7.76 85 6.11 7.28 86 5.77 6.83 Australian Life Tables, 2000-2002, Government Actuary

By way of example, a male and female who are both age 65, would be expected to live over 17 and 21 years respectively. Life expectancies in 5 to 10 years time may be

significantly longer, but this should provide some guide for planning your income stream needs into the future.

Will your needs change?

There is a very high probability that your financial needs will change over time. It is very unlikely that you will need the same amount of income over a long period of time for a variety of reasons:

Inflation – while Australia has been experiencing comparatively low levels of inflation for a number of years, there is still some inflation and there is always the possibility that it could increase. Inflation is an important factor to consider, and some income streams allow you to select an indexation option, where your income level increases with movements in the Consumer Price Index. Alternatively you can have it indexed by a certain percentage each year. For example, you could have your income increased by 3% per annum, to cope with increasing costs.

Spending changes – at various stages in retirement our income needs will change simply because our spending patterns change. This might include specific holiday costs which may not be part of our normal budget. There may be other items of expenditure such as house maintenance costs which are unforeseen. There are lots of reasons why our income needs will change from time to time.


Capital needs – similarly the need to have access to capital may change over time. There is a strong chance that at some stage in retirement there will be issues such as major car repairs, upgrading a car or moving house to deal with. There may also be significant costs later in life associated with health matters, nursing care and using other services as we become less capable of doing all the things we used to do. Having access to money for key larger items of expense is sound planning.

As such it is necessary to consider these aspects when you invest in an income stream. If you refer to the detailed information on the different types of income streams you will be able to see that these needs can be catered for in different ways.

How long will your money last?

This is the big question. How long your retirement savings will last depends on many things.

If you decide to invest money in a lifetime income stream you will know that the income will continue for life. So it is not a case of how long it will last but rather, will the income you receive be enough? You should consider whether or not you will be entitled to any age pension or social security allowance, and any other investment or employment income you may receive. We examine the age pension issue in more detail later.

Where you invest in an income stream which is payable for a fixed number of years you have the comfort of knowing that the income payments will continue for the period of years you select.

With an account based income stream, your income payments stop when your investment account runs out. So the key with these type of income streams is to maximise the

investment return on your account to make your money last longer. This doesn’t mean that you should take big risks with your investments – it’s just that the better you manage your money, the longer it will be able to provide you with an income.

We’ll look at this issue in more depth later, but consider the following example. in Real life...

Charlie and Grace invested $150,000 in an account based income stream. When they chose the fund they were given some investment choices. They were both aged 64 and knew that their average life expectancies were over 18 and 22 years respectively. They were both enjoying good health and they decided that they should think of this as a very long term investment. They chose the ‘Managed’ option, which meant that indirectly they had about 50% of their money invested in the share and property markets. Over the 20 years, they were able to earn 7% per annum on their money.

When they first invested in the account based income stream, they needed to draw $10,000 of income per annum. Each year they increased their income payments by 3% per annum.


With this level of income payments and the 7% per annum investment earnings their money lasted for 24 years.

*Note that in this example we assume that the investment earnings rate is the same for each of the 24 years. This is unlikely to occur as investment earnings will vary from year to year.

The following table provides you with some idea about how long your money will last. The table shows different investment earning rates, ranging from 4% to 8% per annum. The table also shows the level of income that may be drawn, expressed as a percentage of the starting capital. In each case these income figures are assumed to increase each year with inflation, which is assumed to be 3% per annum.

To help you use this table – consider 6% per annum investment earnings and an income rate which is also 6%. This means in the first year, your investment account would remain constant, because the money coming out of the account is the same as the earnings. In the second year, the income payments go up by 3% and as such the investment account balance will start to reduce. The table shows that the investment account will be exhausted after 25 years.

The table is designed as a guide only to how long your money may last and does not represent an actual allocated pension or allocated annuity account. Later on there is an actual example of an account based pension.

Table showing the number of years savings will last in an Account Based Income Stream Income Payment Level (% of Capital) Investment Earnings - 4% per annum Investment Earnings - 6% per annum Investment Earnings - 8% per annum

5% 24 years 32 years 35+ years

6% 19 years 25 years 35 years

7% 16 years 20 years 27 years

8% 14 years 17 years 21 years

In the above table it is assumed for simplicity that income payments are drawn annually in arrears and that investment earnings are added to the account annually in arrears also. The investment earnings are net of any fees which may be charged. The income levels do not take into account the minimum payments each year that may apply for an account based income stream. This means that the actual income from an allocated pension or allocated annuity may vary from that calculated in the above table.


Other income sources

How long your money will last depends on many things, as can be seen from the above example. The impact of income from other sources will be very important. If for example, you earn some money from part-time employment in your early retirement years, you will be able to keep more of your capital intact, or perhaps actually build on it for a while.

If you are entitled to a full or part age pension then this will assist in providing for your income needs. If you are entitled to a part age pension, you may not need to draw down your retirement capital as quickly and be able to spread your retirement savings out over a longer time frame.

Types of Income Streams – Account Based

Account based income streams are the most flexible type of income stream.

When you invest in an account based income stream you have an investment account within the relevant fund. Your investment account balance will increase as investment earnings are added to your account and decrease as you draw down regular income payments. For as long as the income stream lasts, you will have an account balance. The most popular types of account based income streams have been referred to as

allocated pensions and allocated annuities. An allocated pension is provided from a superannuation fund, whereas an allocated annuity is an annuity contract issued by a life insurance company. Apart from this difference they are almost identical.

When you are considering account based income streams, you should be aware that you can only use ‘superannuation money’ to invest in them. ‘Superannuation money’ means any money that is within a superannuation fund and certain types of superannuation lump sum payments.

So any savings that you have outside superannuation would need to be contributed to a superannuation fund prior to investing in an account based income stream. Anyone can contribute to superannuation prior to age 65 without satisfying eligibility rules. After age 65, eligibility conditions need to be met. To contribute to a fund you need to have worked at least 40 hours within a consecutive 30 day period in the financial year in which the contribution is made.


Access to your money

Account based income streams offer you the most flexible option as far as having access to your money is concerned. You are generally able to withdraw all or part of your money at any time.

For example, if an unforeseen expense arose a few years after your account based income stream commenced you would be normally able to access money from your investment account. Generally, there are no limits placed on how often you may make these types of withdrawals. You are also able to switch your money from one account based income stream to another if for any reason you want to change providers.

There is also some flexibility to match the income payments to your needs. At the beginning of each financial year you may select the level of income that you wish to draw, although the income selected must meet the minimum required level. The income payments will continue to be made to you until either you withdraw your money

completely, or your investment account is exhausted.

The investment earnings added to your account will depend on the type of investment choices you make. Most account based income streams offer you a range of investment choices, some of which involve more risks than others.

One important point to note about account based income streams is that in most cases there are no guarantees given that you will have an income for your lifetime. The

longevity of your income stream will depend on a number of factors, the most important being how much you draw out annually and what investment earnings you receive. Account based income streams are very popular investments, with investments in the allocated pension variety representing around 80% of all money invested in income streams.

Income Payment Rules

There are a few rules associated with account based income streams and the income payments you receive. Each year the total annual payments (income and/or capital) must be above a minimum limit.

A set of factors, called Percentage Factors (or PFs), are used to work out the minimum annual payment limit each year.

To calculate the minimum level, your investment account balance at 1 July each year is multiplied by the appropriate PFs, and the result is rounded to the nearest $10.


This calculation then sets a lower limit to the annual payments for that financial year. Subject to this limit, you are free to choose the preferred level and frequency of income payments for the year, and there is no maximum level.

The following table provides PFs for a selection of ages:

Age at 1 July Min PF

Under 65 4% 65 to 74 5% 75 to 79 6% 80 to 84 7% 85 to 89 9% 90 to 94 11% 95 and over 14%

Extract of schedule 7 of the SIS Regulations (1994)

Unlike life expectancies, PFs are the same for males and females of the same age. Let’s see how they work in practice.

in Real life...

Jack is aged 64 and is single. He invests $100,000 in an account based income stream on 1 July. From the above table we can see that his minimum PF is 4%.

When Jack works out his minimum annual payment he will multiply $100,000 by 4%: $100,000 X 4% = $4,000

So Jack can draw an income of anywhere above $4,000. This limit applies for that financial year.

So what happens each year?

Each year the provider of Jack’s account based income stream will do a similar calculation and let Jack know what his new limit is.

Assume that a year has gone by and Jack, now age 65, has $99,000 in his account. At age 65 his PFs is 5%.

The new calculation will be:

Minimum payment $99,000 X 5% = $4,950

Jack can make a new income nomination at or above this limit for the financial year and this procedure is repeated each year.


How does my investment account value change?

Your account value will vary regularly. It will go down in value when you draw an income payment and increase when investment earnings are added to your account. The following example will provide an insight into what happens over time.

Let’s revisit Jack from the previous example. He was 64 when he started his account based income stream.

We’ll assume Jack received an income of $7,000 in his first year (which was above his minimum). Each year Jack increases the income amount by 3% per annum. We’ll assume that Jack is able to earn 6.5% per annum on his money after fees.

The following table shows Jack’s annual income, his annual minimum payment and the movement in his investment account over time. Remember that investment returns can vary significantly from time to time and may even be negative.

Age Jack’s investment account balance at start of year Investment earnings at 6.5% per annum Jack’s income payment each year Minimum income each year Jack’s investment account balance at end of year 64 100,000 6,500 7,000 4,000 99,500 65 99,500 6,468 7,210 4,970 98,758 66 98,758 6,419 7,426 4,940 97,750 67 97,750 6,354 7,649 4,890 96,455 68 96,455 6,270 7,879 4,820 94,846 69 94,846 6,165 8,115 4,740 92,896 70 92,896 6,038 8,358 4,640 90,576 71 90,576 5,887 8,609 4,530 87,854 72 87,854 5,711 8,867 4,400 84,698 73 84,698 5,505 9,133 4,230 81,070 74 81,070 5,270 9,407 4,050 76,932 75 76,932 5,001 9,690 4,610 72,243 76 72,243 4,696 9,980 4,330 66,958 77 66,958 4,352 10,280 4,020 61,031 78 61,031 3,967 10,588 3,660 54,409 79 54,409 3,537 10,906 3,260 47,040 80 47,040 3,058 11,233 3,290 38,865 81 38,865 2,526 11,570 2,720 29,821 82 29,821 1,938 11,917 2,087 19,843 83 19,843 1,290 12,275 1,400 8,858 84 8,858 576 9,433 n/a 0


You will see from the above table that Jack’s investment account value goes down a little in the first year as he is taking out more than he is getting from investment earnings. Also, each year his income is increasing (as we assumed a 3% increase each year) and this is above his minimum level.

After Jack turns 84, his investment account value reduces to nil and his income stream stops.

Jack would have a number of options if he wanted to make his money last a bit longer. He could stop the 3% per annum increase in his income at some point, or he could reduce his income after a period of time or in certain years. You will see that Jack’s income is substantially above the minimum level for all years.

Another option for Jack would be to examine all the investment choices his allocated income stream offers, to see whether or not he is in the most suitable option to boost his investment earnings.

Investment choices

So let’s have a look at the typical investment choices which you may encounter within allocated income streams.

Capital Guaranteed

The term “capital guaranteed” generally means that 100% of the money you invest is guaranteed by the provider to be returned to you at a future date together with any earnings. The guarantee may not cover fees which are deducted from your initial investment. The term is often confused with investments where the interest rate on the investment is guaranteed but the capital isn’t. In many cases, both the capital and the interest are guaranteed. You need to establish what the guarantee refers to – it’s not something you can make assumptions about.

Capital Secure

This choice is usually for short term or very security conscious investors.

This investment choice generally does not involve the giving of guarantees in relation to your capital. It also generally does not involve any guarantees in relation to the interest or investment earnings on your money.

Instead, this choice usually refers to a conservative style of investing. A capital secure investment will generally hold a high proportion of its money in cash, short term money market securities, government and bank-backed securities.


The investment return on a capital secure choice will generally track short term interest rates. While the investments held within this investment choice are highly secure, you are not usually immune from losing part of your capital as a result of adverse investment markets – although it is highly unlikely that this would occur.

Capital Stable

This choice is for investors who are looking for a relatively stable investment and who are comfortable accepting short term fluctuations in investment returns.

There is no set definition of a capital stable investment choice. When investment managers refer to short term fluctuations in returns they usually mean that there may be some short periods where returns are negative. However, they generally would not expect to have a negative return over any 12 month period. This doesn’t mean that it can’t happen, it is simply not usual or expected.

The investments held in capital stable choices vary depending on the views of each manager. As a rule of thumb you would not expect to see more than 25% – 30% of the total investments in shares (Australian or International) and property. These investments’ aim is to produce a relatively stable pattern of returns by limiting the exposure to

investments which fluctuate more in value.

Managed or Balanced

This choice is suited to investors who want higher returns over the medium to long term. To use this investment choice you must be prepared to accept moderate fluctuations in returns over the shorter term.

With this choice, it is possible that you may experience negative returns over a 12 month period. The chance of having two consecutive years of negative returns is however quite slim. If you are considering this choice, you should not be a short term investor. As a guide, you should be looking at your investment over a 3 to 7 year time frame.

The underlying investments are generally spread over the full range of assets, including Australian Shares, fixed interest investments, cash, property and overseas investments. The percentages allocated to each area vary considerably between investment managers. Usually you would not expect to see more than 60% of the total investments in the areas of shares and property.


This choice has many similarities to the managed choice in that investments are usually spread over all types of investments. It is also similar in that you would need to have an investment time frame of 3 to 7 years. It is not the choice for short term investors or investors who are not tolerant to market fluctuations.


The main difference is that ‘growth’ choices may have more invested in the growth areas of shares and property than ‘managed’ choices.

Australian Shares

Some allocated income streams have a wide range of choices, which include investing in single investment categories such as Australian shares.

If you were to select a category such as Australian shares, you would have that part of your money exposed to the Australian sharemarket. With this exposure comes the

volatility associated with investing in shares and the possibility of significant fluctuations in your investment returns.

As with the growth and managed choices you need to have a minimum investment time frame of at least 3 years, but more probably 5 years.

International Shares

This is similar to the Australian share choice except that the investments are shares in overseas companies. Most international share choices will have shares in most economic regions. You may see the total investments split between North America, Europe, Japan and South East Asia. The proportion allocated to each region will depend on the

manager’s views on how that region will fare in the future. It may also depend on the level of opportunities the manager sees in companies within that region. With

international share investments, there is an added risk of currency fluctuation. This risk must be considered before making investments in this sector.

As with the Australian shares choice, you should have a minimum time frame of 3 to 5 years and be prepared to accept a higher level of volatility with your investments.

Property Securities

Some allocated income streams offer a specialist property choice. The underlying investments of this choice are usually listed property trusts, which are involved in the residential, office and industrial property markets. These trusts own the properties, lease them to a variety of tenants, and pass the income (less costs) from the buildings back to the investor.

This choice carries risk in that this part of your money would be fully exposed to the property markets. You should therefore look at this option on the basis of a long term investment and have a minimum 3 to 5 year time frame.

Australian Fixed Interest

Just as you can invest in shares or property, you can also invest in a specialist fixed interest choice. The underlying investments are usually government and


semi-government bonds, and other high quality fixed interest securities issued by Australian companies.

Other Choices

Most of the choices available are outlined above. There are others which do not fit the descriptions above and some which go by a different name, but are very similar to the choices previously described.

Account Based Market Linked Income Streams

Another type of account based income stream is a Market linked pension or annuity. They are sometimes referred to as ‘term allocated pensions’ or (TAPs).

When you are considering a market linked income stream you should be aware that you can only use ‘superannuation money’ to invest in them.

Selecting the term for your income

With a market linked income stream the income payments are paid for a fixed term. The duration of the term depends on when the income stream commences and your age at that time.

For a market linked income stream that commences before 20 September 2007, the term may be determined broadly by reference to your life expectancy at the commencement of the income stream. A table of current average life expectancies is shown earlier. You can choose a term anywhere between the following minimum and maximum terms:

Minimum Term – the income stream must be payable for a minimum fixed term equal to your life expectancy (rounded up). For a male of 65 the life expectancy is 17.7 years and hence an 18 year term would be relevant.

Maximum Term – the income stream must be payable for a term equal to the period from the commencement day of the income stream until the primary beneficiary reaches age 100. For a male of 65 that is 35 years.

As you can see there is a wide range between the minimum and maximum terms in this case.

In some less common circumstances it might be possible to use a different method of working out the term. This only applies where the income stream is set up so that on death the income payments must revert automatically to a spouse and the spouse has a longer life expectancy. This is referred to as a ‘reversionary’ income stream.


• a minimum term equal to the longer life expectancy of the reversionary spouse at commencement; and

• a maximum term equal to the period from the commencement day of the income stream until the spouse reaches age 100.

This option can only be used to provide access to a longer term.

Term Example – Selecting your term

James is age 65 and his wife Helen is aged 60. If James wants to acquire a Term

Allocated Pension that reverts to Helen on his death, he can select a term for his pension of between:

• 18 and 35 years (based on the term for a 65 year old male); or

• 26 and 40 years (based on the longest term for a 60 year old female).

If James does not want to nominate Helen as a reversionary pensioner he can only choose a term between 18 and 35 years.

Access to your money

Unlike other Account Based income streams, market linked income streams are a lot less flexible when it comes to accessing your capital investment.

Generally, most market linked income streams are ‘non-commutable’. This simply means that, except in very limited circumstances, the capital you invest in them is not accessible at any time. Because of this restriction on accessing your money you should not, as a general rule, invest all of your money in them. You should keep part of your money in other investments where you have access or you could use some part of your money to purchase an allocated income stream. By doing so you will have the ability to meet unexpected lump sum expenses.

If you select a term based on your spouse’s life expectancy, in the event of your death the market linked income stream must be paid to your spouse for the remaining term. Your spouse cannot convert the pension into a cash lump sum at your death.

Market Linked Income Streams commencing on or after 20 September


In some cases, after 20 September 2007 you can purchase a market linked income stream still provided the fixed term is chosen such that the minimum annual payment (as

determined by applying the relevant percentage factor) is met each year. The factors are the same as those listed for other account based income streams.


A market linked income stream can only be purchased under these rules with the rollover of a superannuation benefit from an existing complying lifetime, fixed term or market linked income stream.

Income Payment Rules

So once you have chosen your term between the minimum and maximum, the income level for a market linked product can be determined for the first year. To work this out you take the purchase price of the income stream and divide it by a factor. The pension factors used are as follows:

Term Payment Factors Term Payment Factors

50 23.46 25 16.48 49 23.28 24 16.06 48 23.09 23 15.62 47 22.90 22 15.17 46 22.70 21 14.70 45 22.50 20 14.21 44 22.28 19 13.71 43 22.06 18 13.19 42 21.83 17 12.65 41 21.60 16 12.09 40 21.36 15 11.52 39 21.10 14 10.92 38 20.84 13 10.30 37 20.57 12 9.66 36 20.29 11 9.00 35 20.00 10 8.32 34 19.70 9 7.61 33 19.39 8 6.87 32 19.07 7 6.11 31 18.74 6 5.33 30 18.39 5 4.52 29 18.04 4 3.67 28 17.67 3 2.80 27 17.29 2 1.90 26 16.89 1 1.00 So for the male of 65 who had a maximum term of 35 years and who chose to use the

maximum term, you would take the purchase price of say $100,000 and divide it by 20.00. The income stream payment in the first year would be $5,000.

To allow some flexibility in the payments from a market linked pension you can select an actual annual income payment which is within 10% either side of the calculated figure. In this case it would be: $4,500 (90% of $5,000) or $5,500 (110% of $5,000).


What happens each year?

Each year, the account balance is divided by the factor applicable to the remaining term. So if the account had remained at the same value in 12 months, the new income stream would be calculated by dividing $100,000 by 19.70, giving an income for the next year of $5,076

And to find the limits:

Minimum Income Limit Maximum Income Limit

(0.9 x $100,000) 19.70 (1.1 x $100,000) 19.7 =$5,076 x 0.9 =$5,076 x 1.1 = $4,570 = $5,580

(Minimum income figures are rounded to the nearest $10)

How does my investment account value change?

Your market linked investment account value will vary regularly. It will go down in value when you draw an income payment and increase when investment earnings are added to your account. The following example will provide an insight into what happens over time.

Let’s take Louise and Jon. Louise is age 71 and Jon is 65. They are both enjoying good health. Louise has $250,000 of superannuation money and invests this in a market linked pension on 1 July. They have other investments which can be cashed for any lump sum needs they may have.

Jon has a life expectancy of 17.7 years and Louise 16.29 years. Louise could therefore choose a term of between 17 and 29 years based on her life expectancy only. As Jon has the longer life expectancy, the pension may be set up on a reversionary basis (i.e. the income payments are automatically directed to Jon upon Louise’s death). As Jon is 65 the maximum term could be extended to 35 years.

We’ll assume that Louise selected a 30 year term. The factor for a 30 year term is 18.39. The income is $250,000 divided by 18.39, or $13,594. The income range for year 1 is as follows:

Minimum Income Limit Maximum Income Limit

(0.9 x $250,000) 18.39 (1.1 x $250,000) 18.39 =$13,594 x 0.9 =$13,594 x 1.1 = $12,230 = $14,950


Louise selects $13,594 as the starting point and each year expects to use the calculated income amount without adjustment. We’ll assume that Louise is able to earn 6.5% on her money after fees.

The following table shows Louise’s annual income, her income range and the movement of her investment account over time.

Age Louise’s account balance at start of year Investment earnings at 6.5% per annum Minimum income each year Louise’s income each year Maximum income each year Louise’s account balance at end of year 71 250,000 16,250 12,235 13,594 14,954 252,656 72 252,656 16,423 12,605 14,005 15,406 255,073 73 255,073 16,580 12,992 14,435 15,879 257,217 74 257,217 16,719 13,389 14,877 16,364 259,060 75 259,060 16,839 13,804 15,338 16,872 260,561 76 260,561 16,936 14,230 15,811 17,392 261,686 77 261,686 17,010 14,665 16,294 17,924 262,402 78 262,402 17,056 15,119 16,799 18,479 262,659 79 262,659 17,073 15,583 17,314 19,046 262,417 80 262,417 17,057 16,066 17,852 19,637 261,623 81 261,623 17,005 16,570 18,411 20,252 260,217 82 260,217 16,914 17,082 18,980 20,878 258,151 83 258,151 16,780 17,615 19,572 21,529 255,359 84 255,359 16,598 18,168 20,186 22,205 251,771 85 251,771 16,365 18,742 20,825 22,907 247,311 86 247,311 16,075 19,321 21,486 23,615 241,919 87 241,919 15,725 19,938 22,154 24,369 235,490 88 235,490 15,307 20,577 22,863 25,149 227,933 89 227,933 14,816 21,236 23,596 25,955 219,153 90 219,153 14,245 21,915 24,350 26,785 209,048 91 209,048 13,588 22,613 25,126 27,639 197,510 92 197,510 12,838 23,359 25,954 28,549 184,394 93 184,394 11,986 24,156 26,841 29,525 169,539 94 169,539 11,020 24,973 27,748 30,523 152,812 95 152,812 9,933 25,803 28,670 31,537 134,074 96 134,074 8,715 26,696 29,662 32,629 113,127 97 113,127 7,353 27,742 30,825 33,907 89,655 98 89,655 5,828 28,818 32,020 35,222 63,463 99 63,463 4,125 30,061 33,402 36,742 34,187 100 34,187 2,222 30,768 36,409 37,605 0


From the table you will note that Louise’s account balance increases each year until age 79, when the pension then being drawn is greater than the investment earnings. After age 79 the income is increasing and the account balance is decreasing. In the last year, the balance of Louise’s account balance is drawn out.

Louise could have elected to take a slightly lower income each year (using the 90% rule) however this generally has the effect of increasing the income in later years.

If Louise was able to generate better than a 6.5% per annum return, then this would have the effect of producing higher income for her over the 30 year term. Another option for Louise would be to examine all of the investment options her market linked pension offered to see whether she was using the most suitable option to boost her investment earnings.

Are there fees and charges?

There are charges that usually apply to account based income stream investments. These may include initial fees which apply to your investment and ongoing fees. Ongoing fees are usually a percentage of your investment account balance each year.

The best way to evaluate the ongoing fees that apply to your investment account is to refer to the providers Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). In the PDS the provider must show worked examples of the total costs that apply in certain circumstances. The PDS will also detail all fees, commissions and brokerage payable to a financial adviser.

What happens when you die with an account based income stream?

A key part of retirement planning is estate planning. When you deal with account based income streams, there are several estate planning options which you need to consider before you invest.

If your affairs are complicated you may also need some legal advice.

There are generally three estate planning options available but not all providers or super funds provide all of the options.

Reversionary Income

It is possible to set up an account based income stream so that, on death of the purchaser, an income will continue automatically to a spouse or child (in certain cases). This does not generally prevent a spouse or child from converting the income into a lump sum (by using the cash out option) at a later date.


If you purchase a reversionary market linked pension, then upon your death the pension willcontinue to be paid to your spouse for the remaining term. Your spouse cannot convert the pension into a cash lump sum when you die.

Lump Sum

The account based income stream can be set up so that, on death of the purchaser, a spouse or child would receive the balance of the investment account as a lump sum. Flexible Option

With this option, on death of the purchaser, a spouse or child has the choice of whether to continue to receive an income stream or take a lump sum.

The choice of option depends on your personal circumstances and how you want your estate to be dealt with. There can be different taxation outcomes for each option, depending on your circumstances.

Advantages and disadvantages

As with any investment there are advantages and disadvantages. Some of the major ones for account based income streams are shown in the following table.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Account Based Income Streams

Advantages Disadvantages

1. You have significant flexibility in the income you draw from year to year. 2. You generally have access to your

money at all times.

3. You receive a regular income payment. 4. You usually have a range of investment

options to choose from.

5. Your family, beneficiaries, or estate will receive the investment account balance on your death.

1. You do not have a guarantee that the regular income payments will continue for your lifetime or any fixed term. 2. You may be subject to unfavourable

fluctuations in investment markets. 3. You need to continue to be involved in

the decision making process each year. 4. You can only use ‘superannuation

money’ as the purchase price.

Types of Income Streams – Non Account Based

All other income streams are categorised as being non account based which simply means that you don’t have an account balance in the fund. Instead what you do is exchange an amount of money for a regular income which is usually guaranteed to be payable to you.


The features of these income streams can vary considerably and they are commonly referred to as ‘lifetime income streams’ or ‘fixed term income streams’.

Lifetime Income Streams

Lifetime income streams are the most secure and certain variety of income stream available.

There are two types of these – lifetime pensions and lifetime annuities. A lifetime

pension is provided from a superannuation fund, whereas a lifetime annuity is an annuity contract issued by a life insurance company. Apart from this difference they are almost identical in features.

You can only use ‘superannuation money’ to invest in lifetime pensions. Any savings you have outside superannuation would need to be contributed to a superannuation fund prior to investing in a lifetime income stream. Anyone can contribute to superannuation prior to age 65 without satisfying any eligibility rules. After age 65, eligibility conditions need to be met. To contribute to a fund you need to have worked at least 40 hours within a consecutive 30 day period in the financial year in which the contribution is made. On the other hand, lifetime annuities can accept any type of savings – superannuation or non-superannuation based, including for example, deposits directly from your own bank account.

How do they work?

Lifetime income streams, as the name suggests, are payable for the investor’s lifetime regardless of the age of the person. This means that you would be paid income payments, at least annually, for the rest of your life. So there is no risk of outliving this type of income stream.

In some cases it may also be possible to have income payments made for the lifetime of another person, usually a spouse. This is commonly referred to as a ‘reversionary’ income stream.

Where the lifetime income stream is purchased (as distinct from simply receiving the payments from your superannuation fund) you exchange a sum of money for a

guaranteed series of future income payments. By doing so, you transfer the investment risk to the provider.

Before you purchase a lifetime income stream, you will receive a quotation of the

payments that you would expect to receive in the future. In this way you are able to know where you stand before you commit your retirement savings. You simply nominate the features that you want and then the provider will tell you how much they will pay you each year after taking into account your selections.


The annual amount of income offered will vary between providers. You, or your financial adviser can compare what is on offer through quotations. You can also look at tables in financial magazines and journals, which are prepared by independent sources.

What are the features?

Payments – you get to choose how often you want your payments. They must be at least annually and you can usually choose from monthly, quarterly or half yearly.

Income increases – as this type of income stream may continue for what you hope is a very long period of time, you may also set up the income so that it increases annually with movements in inflation or some other fixed rate of increase. In this way your income can move with general price increases.

Reversionary income and percentage – when you invest in a lifetime income stream you may want an income to continue to a spouse on your death. If the income stream was purchased with ‘superannuation money’, the reversionary can generally only be your spouse or a dependant child. The income which becomes payable to that person is referred to as a ‘reversionary’ income. Usually the reversionary income will be lower than the original income that was supporting, or assisting to support, two people. When the income reduces on death, the amount of the reversionary income is referred to as the reversionary percentage. This can be up to 100% of the income which was payable before death but is often is set around 60 – 70%. If this option is selected a spouse, for example, could receive 60% of the income that was paid at the time of death and this would then be payable for the remaining lifetime of the spouse. Any indexation will continue on the reversionary income.

Guarantee periods – you can also consider some form of income protection by selecting what is generally referred to as a ‘guarantee period’ with your lifetime pension or

annuity. Should you (and your spouse if the income has been set up to be payable to both of you) die within the guarantee period, income payments may continue to another beneficiary until the end of the guarantee period. The most common guarantee period selected in the past has been 10 years. Where the income stream is reversionary, you can select a guarantee period which is the longer of your life expectancy or your spouse’s life expectancy but not greater than 20 years.

Are there fees and charges?

Generally, no separate fees are charged. You should be aware that fees and commissions are usually factored into the annual amount of income offered. If a commission or fee is payable for your purchase of a particular income stream, such as to a financial planner, this should be disclosed to you.


in Real life...

Ross is aged 66 and Sheila is aged 67. They have $80,000 to invest, and after taki advice, decide to invest in a lifetime income stream. They go through the optio available and decide as follows:

Income Payments – to be received monthly

Income increases – all income payments to be indexed each year by 2% per annu Reversionary income and percentage – in the event of Ross’s death, payments will

continue to Sheila (assuming she is still alive) for her lifetime. If Ross were to p decease Sheila, they think that she would need 70% of the income they were receiving as a couple given that many of their normal living expe

Guarantee Period – they decide on a 10 year guarantee period so that if they both

died within the first 10 years of the income payments commencing, payments for the balance of the 10 year period would be available to a beneficiar

When they commence the income stream they receive $5,443 per annum. This amount increases each year by 2% per annum. The income payments continue fo years, at which stage the payments are $6,130 per annum. Then unfortunately Ross dies. Sheila starts to receive income payments of $4,291, being 70% of the paym they were receiving at the time of Ro

The income payments continue to Sheila for her lifetime and she lives to age 86. Along the way, her income payments have been indexed each yea

ng ns



re-nses are fixed.

y or estate. r 6 ents ss’s death. r by 2%.

Access to cash

Unlike the account based variety of income streams, lifetime income streams are a lot less flexible when it comes to accessing your capital investment.

Generally, most lifetime income streams are ‘non -commutable’. This simply means that, except in very limited circumstances, the capital you invest in them is not accessible at any time. If you need some money, for example to carry out house repairs, you cannot generally ask your lifetime income stream provider for this money.

Because of this restriction on accessing your money you should not, as a general rule, invest all of your money in them. You should keep part of your money in other

investments which allow for access to your capital, or also invest some of your money in more flexible account based income streams where you can access your capital. By doing so you will have the ability to meet unexpected lump sum expenses.





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