More than a quarter of Australians aged over 65 are now drawing an income stream from their superannuation, up from 20 per cent a decade ago, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
An Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report also found that just under 1.2 million people aged over 55 received a regular superannuation income stream in 2013-14.
The ABS Superannuation in Australia, 2003-04 to 2013-14 report found a significant increase in the number of Australians who are choosing to draw down their superannuation benefit as an income.
In 2013-14, 1.18 million people aged over 55 received a regular income from superannuation – 307,100 of whom were 55-64, and 876,200 were over 65.
A decade earlier, only 700,400 Australians were receiving a regular income superannuation.
The proportion of Australians aged over 65 drawing an income increased from 20 per cent in 2003-04 to 27.6 per cent in 2013-14.
Commenting on the data, the Committee for Sustainable Retirement Incomes (CSRI), an independent think tank, said more innovation and reform of the retirement system is required to cater for Australians' growing pressure for income streams in retirement.
While more Australians are receiving their superannuation as an income, average weekly incomes are modest at just $500 per week or about $25,000 a year, the CSRI said.
"Change is happening, but the challenge of building a sustainable, equitable and efficient retirement income system that delivers adequate outcomes for all Australians is just beginning,” said CSRI executive director Patricia Pascuzzo.
"This is a complex challenge as it involves the intersection of the tax, super, age pension and age care systems.
"The risk is that this complexity adds significant cost, favouring sophisticated, well-informed investors over the less financially literate with fewer resources," she said.
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