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 alert: Have you counted your super contributions lately?

Note: This article outlines the super contribution rules, and also provides a list of helpful articles that explain how the two types of contributions caps work, and the general contribution rules.You can make two types of super contributions: concessional (before-tax) contributions and … [Read more...]

Excess contributions tax: The most ridiculous super policy ever?

Note: This article outlines the disastrous outcomes that can result when a tax policy is not properly considered, and not properly implemented. The excess contributions rules are now a lot fairer than in the past, and a lot fairer than what is discussed in this article. For the latest excess … [Read more...]

Excess contributions: What happens if I receive an ATO assessment?

The type of assessment and documents that the ATO sends you will depend on whether you exceed your concessional (before-tax) contributions cap, or whether you exceed your non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap.Continue reading to discover what you can expect after receiving an ATO … [Read more...]

Super concessional contributions: 2015/2016 survival guide

This article explains all of the important rules that apply to concessional (before-tax) super contributions.Superannuation contributions can be divided into two types — concessional (before-tax) and non-concessional (after-tax). Each type of super contribution is subject to a contributions cap. … [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...]

Cashing in on the co-contribution rules (2015/2016 year)

Note: This article explains the co-contribution rules for the 2015/2016 year (and later in the article, also for the 2014/2015, 2013/2014, 2012/2013 and 2011/2012 years).The federal government is giving away money to anyone who makes a non-concessional (after-tax) contribution to their super … [Read more...]

Does changing to part-time at 60 years, count as ‘retiring’?

Q: I am 60. I am interested in the condition of release relating to turning 60 and resigning. Is it sufficient to satisfy the ’60 and resign’ condition of release by changing my employment arrangement from full-time to part-time, with the same employer?A: Most super benefits are preserved until … [Read more...]

Retirement: 3 ways of taking super benefits before the age of 60

When you retire early, you’re going to have to make a few decisions. The tax implications of your retiring before the age of 60 can depend on whether you take your super as a lump sum and/or pension.Are you taking your super as a lump sum, a super pension (also known as a super income stream) or … [Read more...]

Retiring before the age of 60: the tax deal

If you retire before the age of 60, your super benefits are likely to be subject to tax — but not always. With the right structure, and usually with expert advice, many Australians retiring early can end up paying no tax.If you’re willing to wait until you turn 60 before you retire, you can … [Read more...]

Tax-free super for over-60s, except for some

If you withdraw your super benefits after you turn 60 years of age, you can expect to pay NO tax on those super benefits, unless you are a member of certain public sector super funds (see summary table at the end of this article).Due to the large number of emails I receive on this topic, I’ll … [Read more...]