Superannuation Drawdown Behaviour – Profligate or Frugal?

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Date(s) - 24/08/16
12:00pm - 1:30pm


ACFS/Finsia Office
L46, Rialto South Tower, 525 Collins Street

Boardroom Briefing hosting Dr Andrew Reeson, lead Researcher with the CSIRO-Monash Superannuation Research Cluster.

CSIRO has carried out a study of account-based superannuation pensions to better understand drawdown patterns in retirement.

The data indicates that most retirees in their 60s and 70s withdraw relatively modest amounts, close to the mandated minimum withdrawal rates. If these drawdown rates were to continue, most retirees would die with substantial amounts unspent.

This represents the cost of self-insuring for longevity risk, with the next generation likely to be the beneficiaries through inter-generational bequests. From a behavioural science perspective the data suggest that many people may be struggling with the complexity of the drawdown decision and may, by default, be using the minimum withdrawal rates as a guide. Changing the way in which the drawdown phase is framed may therefore help people’s decision-making.

These findings are consistent with previous studies showing retirees are inclined to draw down their wealth relatively slowly. While concerns are often expressed about superannuants rapidly exhausting their savings and falling back on the age pension, the data indicate that most retirees may, if anything, be erring on the side of frugality.

Dr Andrew Reeson will provide research outcomes and other associated findings.

This Boardroom Briefing will be held on Wednesday 24th August in the Boardroom at ACFS Offices in Melbourne, a light lunch will be provided between 12-1.30pm.

If you are interested in attending this free event (limited seating), please contact Frieda Kukulka either by email ( or call (03) 96661007.  Note closing date to register is 17 August, 2016

About the Speaker

Dr Andrew Reeson is an economist with CSIRO’s Digital Productivity Flagship in Canberra. His work applies behavioural economics and socio-economic modelling to provide scientific solutions to real world problems.

Andrew Reeson’s current research is focused on the service sector, and involves applying econometric modelling and behavioural economics to better understand human decision-making. He has a track record of innovative interdisciplinary research to inform policy design. Past projects include the design and implementation of environmental incentive schemes, water buybacks and a review of behavioural economics for the Henry tax review. He has 25 published papers across a broad range of topics, which have been cited over 500 times in the academic literature.