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.

Investment performance: 22 years of SG delivers 7% a year   Super Guide

Since Superannuation Guarantee was introduced 22 years ago, the long-term return generated on the typical ‘balanced’ super fund account has been 7.2% a year.

Superannuation rates and thresholds for 2014/2015 year   Super Guide

For the 2013/2014 year, the concessional contributions caps for over-60s has jumped to $35,000, while the concessional cap for everyone else remains at $25,000.

Temporary concessional contributions cap expanded to 50 somethings from July 2014   Super Guide

In July 2013, the federal government introduced a temporary concessional contributions cap of $35,000 for over-60s which has been expanded to 50-somethings from July 2014.

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?

Higher concessional contributions cap applies to over 50s from July 2014   Super Guide

Q: Do you need to be 60 at July 1 or could you turn 60 any time in 2013/2014 to take advantage of the new $35,000 cap?

Cashing in on the co contribution rules (2014/2015 year)   Super Guide

The federal government is giving away money to anyone who makes a non-concessional (after-tax) contribution to their super fund, and who earns less than $49,488 a year (for the 2014/2015 year). The tax-free giveaway is officially called the co-contribution scheme.

Super concessional contributions: 2014/2015 survival guide   Super Guide

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.

Your 2014/2015 guide to non concessional (after tax) contributions   Super Guide

Non-concessional contributions are more popularly known as after-tax contributions. Such contributions are subject to a contributions cap, which sets a limit on the amount of after-tax contributions that you can make in one year.

Tax deductible super contributions: Meeting the 10% income test   Super Guide

Q: I work for myself but I also have a part-time job. I have been told that even though I receive SG from my part-time employer, I can also make tax-deductible super contributions. Is that true? And if it is true, how does it work?

Superannuation Guarantee: Many Aussies to miss out on SG increase   Super Guide

You can expect some difficult conversations between employers and employees in coming months as some salaried employees discover that the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) increase of 0.25% (taking the SG rate to 9.5%) will not benefit those employees on fixed remuneration packages.