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.

Retiring before the age of 60: the tax deal

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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...]

Age Pension age increasing to 67 years (not 70 years)

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Note: This article explains the current Age Pension age. If you are seeking information on the retirement age for accessing superannuation benefits see SuperGuide article Accessing super: What is my preservation age? Note: If you are seeking information on the changes to the Age Pension asset … [Read more...]

Accessing super: What is my preservation age?

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We receive hundreds of questions each year asking when you can retire under the superannuation rules, and any special conditions you need to meet before you can take your super benefits. The key concept that every Australian needs to be aware of in terms of superannuation, and accessing super … [Read more...]

Accessing super: Preservation age now 56 years (since July 2015)

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Turning 55, retiring and accessing your super is now a retirement planning strategy from the past. Since 1 July 2015, Australians turning 55 will have to wait at least another year before they can access super benefits. Anyone born on or after 1 July 1960 needs to push from their mind that the age … [Read more...]

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

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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...]

Super concessional contributions: 2015/2016 survival guide

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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. A contributions cap sets a limit on the amount of contributions you can make in any one year. This article … [Read more...]

Your 2015/2016 guide to non-concessional (after-tax) contributions

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Non-concessional superannuation contributions are more popularly known as after-tax contributions. You may even hear them called ‘undeducted’ contributions. Such super contributions are subject to a contributions cap, which sets a limit on the amount of non-concessional (after-tax) contributions … [Read more...]

Transition-to-retirement pension: Can I work full-time and what form do I fill in?

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Q: Your website says: “By starting a TRIP, you don’t have to retire to withdraw your super benefits. You can work part-time or full-time or even casually.” But on the TRIP form I have from my super fund it says I have to be permanently retired or be working part time. Which is correct? I can’t see … [Read more...]

Super pensions: Starting a TRIP takes planning

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Quoting author Mark Twain, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter”. Humour aside, apparently the term ‘pension’ can trigger a negative reaction for some baby boomers. Many baby boomers don’t even like the relatively inclusive term of ‘seniors’ because this term … [Read more...]

TRIPs: 10 interesting facts about transition-to-retirement pensions

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Note: The general concessional contributions cap remains at $30,000 (for the 2015/2016 year, and also applies for the 2014/2015 year). The special $35,000 cap for over-50s continues to apply for the 2015/2016 year (or more specifically, to anyone who is aged 49 years or over on 30 June 2015). If … [Read more...]