Super Guide for your 50s

Superannuation is designed to finance your retirement so the Government has special rules about when you can access your super benefits, and the tax that applies to super benefits. Generally speaking, you cannot access super benefits before the age of 55. If you fall into one of the exceptions that enable you to access super benefits under the age of 55, then you can expect to pay a higher rate tax on those super benefits than if you waited until your turned 55, or waited until you turned 60.

If you are aged 50 or over, you are subject to a special contributions caps when making concessional (before-tax) contributions. Anyone in the 50-plus age group needs to be aware that as you get older, aged-based super rules come into effect. For example, you must satisfy a work test if you intend to make contributions after the age of 65, and you can't make any super contributions once you turn 75.

Turning 55 can be significant in the super world because it is the minimum age for accessing super benefits (assuming you have retired and born before a certain date). If you are 55-plus, you can also access your super when you haven't retired if you choose to start a transition-to-retirement-pension (TRIP). Although super benefits are not generally tax-free between the ages of 55 and 60, you can still take advantage of a tax-free threshold when taking a superannuation lump sum, and a 15% tax offset when taking a superannuation income stream (pension).

Set out below are all SuperGuide articles explaining Super Guide for your 50s.

Accessing super early: Terminally ill receive tax break


Individuals with a terminal medical condition are able to access their super lump sum payments tax-free, regardless of age. A super fund can release super benefits to a member if they have a terminal medical condition. According to the legislation, a terminal medical condition exists if two … [Read more...]

Does the Government’s co-contribution count towards my contributions cap?


Q: Does a co-contribution received after using up the total bring forward cap of $540,000 mean that an excess contribution has been made, or is the Government co-contribution excluded from the after-tax contribution cap? A: A superannuation co-contribution is a tax-free super contribution paid by … [Read more...]

Superannuation rates and thresholds for 2015/2016 year (and 2014/2015 year)


Note: This article lists the latest superannuation rates and thresholds for the 2015/2016 year, and for the 2014/2015 year, and also for earlier financial years. One of the most searched-for superannuation thresholds is the concessional contributions cap for the latest financial year. For the … [Read more...]

Super contributions: How much co-contribution will I get?


Q: Where do I go to find a calculator that helps me work out how much co-contribution I will be entitled to, and how much super I need to contribute to get that co-contribution? I am also looking for something that shows the sliding scale for different income levels and different super … [Read more...]

Super contributions caps for the 2015/2016 year


The superannuation contributions caps for concessional (before tax) and non-concessional (after tax) contributions will not increase for the 2015/2016 year. The contributions caps applicable for the 2015/2016 year, will be the same limits in place for the 2014/2015 year. Concessional … [Read more...]

Superannuation Guarantee: What is the maximum SG employers must pay?


Q: I am earning a salary of $200,000 plus super. I am aged 42. I understand a maximum contribution level applies based on a 9.5% SG contribution, before the balance up to $30K limit can be made on a salary sacrifice basis. Can you please confirm what the maximum SG contribution is allowed to be for … [Read more...]

Upper limit on SG contributions (for 2015/2016 year, and for 2014/2015 year)


Note: This article explains the maximum superannuation contribution base for the 2015/2016 year, for the 2014/2015 year, and for previous years. The maximum superannuation contribution base is used to determine the maximum Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contribution that an employer is required to … [Read more...]