If I have bought a number of investment properties through my SMSF during the accumulation phase, which are all or mostly paid off with net positive income by the time I reach preservation age and convert to the pension phase, can the pension income I commence be solely based on the net rental income from these properties?
No. Disclaimer - As a US educated fellow, I needed to search a bit. I found an article 7 Common SMSF Pension Errors. It implied that there are minimum payments required each year as with our US retirement accounts. These minimums are unrelated to the assets within the account, just based on the total value. The way I read that, there would be a point where you'd have to sell a property or partial interest to be sure you have the cash to distribute each year. I also learned that unlike US rules, which permit a distribution of stock as part of a required minimum distribution, in Australia, the distribution must be in cash (or a deposited check, of course.)