Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer has quashed suggestions that the government is interfering in how retirees spend their superannuation.
Speaking to journalists in Hobart last month, Ms O’Dwyer was asked whether she was worried that retirees are passing their superannuation savings onto their children rather than spending the money themselves.
The question came after an upcoming study by the CSIRO indicated that most Australians die with large superannuation balances, having lived an overly frugal retirement.
The CSIRO’s research showed that most SMSF trustees, particularly those with higher balances, are withdrawing from their funds at the minimum rate possible.
Responding to questions about the research, Ms O’Dwyer said it is “up to the individual as to how they spend their retirement income”.
“The government’s not there to dictate to them how they should spend their money, or how much money they should have,” she said.
“In fact, we want to give them the choice. We want to make sure that they are making the choice about their retirement income, and our changes – to transparency [and] to governance that ensure there is choice in superannuation funds – will mean just that.”