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.

Super for beginners, part 14: Save tax – Supply TFN to your super fund

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Here’s a tip that can potentially save you thousands of dollars. Check that your super fund has your tax file number. If you joined a super fund before July 2007, or started your current job before July 2007, then your fund may not have your TFN. Effective since 1 July 2007, when you give your … [Read more...]

Super health check for beginners: 10 tips for your 2014/2015 retirement planning

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Note: This article is current for the 2014/2015 financial year. Near the start of each financial year, SuperGuide publishes an updated super checklist for beginner readers. More advanced checklists will follow in coming months. Use this list as a kick-start for your 2014/2015 super resolutions. … [Read more...]

Super for beginners: 8 steps to super success

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Merely thinking about your super means you’re straddling the first major hurdle that most Australians face when planning (or not) for their retirement and looking into your future. As an employee, you have your employer helping you with your retirement plans by making compulsory super … [Read more...]

Super in 3 steps: You’re probably richer than you think

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If you have more than one super account you’re probably paying more in fees than you need to, and possible having insurance premiums deducted from each of your super accounts. Paying at least double (and triple if you have 2 super accounts) in fees and insurance is not a great retirement planning … [Read more...]

Life insurance: One in five parents will die early, or be too sick to work

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On average, Australians enjoy long lives but the flipside of that equation is that some people die young, and many of those who die young are parents. One in five parents will become too sick or injured to work, or will die before retirement age, according to a disturbing report released during … [Read more...]

Super for beginners: Top 10 must-know facts

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Nearly six years ago, in January 2009, we launched the SuperGuide website, and in March 2009 we published the first monthly SuperGuide newsletter. Since that time we have received thousands of questions, from our millions of visitors, on different aspects of superannuation. We try to represent as … [Read more...]

Life insurance and super: 10 things you should know

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One of the better deals in superannuation has only a slight connection to your life in retirement. Life insurance cover within super funds rarely makes the headlines but for many Australians they are getting cost-effective cover from their super funds. Life insurance is insurance that pays out in … [Read more...]

Superannuation Guarantee increased to 9.5% for 2014/2015 year, then stalls for 7 years

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From 1 July 2014, the Superannuation Guarantee rate increased to 9.5% (from the 9.25% that applies for the 2013/2014 year). Based on new laws, the SG rate will remain at 9.5% for 7 years, increasing to 10% from July 2021, and eventually to 12% from July 2025 (see table below). Superannuation … [Read more...]

Superannuation tax refund: 10 things you should know

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NOTE: The Low Income Super Contribution for low-income earners is available until the 2016/2017 financial year (until 30 June 2017). Originally, the Coalition government planned to repeal the LISC after one year of operation, that is, it was expected to only apply for the 2012/103 year. Due to … [Read more...]

Divorce and superannuation: Who gets what?

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Q: I am at the end of a divorce/property settlement. My ex has agreed to give me my share of his super. Does this have to go into a superannuation fund or can he transfer it to me in some other way? And can you please explain how super should be treated when a divorce happens, because it has been … [Read more...]