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

If you retire before the age of 60, your super benefit payments 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 … [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 benefit payment, 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, … [Read more...]

Superannuation tax refund: 10 things you should know

SUPER ALERT! In a welcome backflip, as part of its 2016 Federal Budget announcement on 3 May 2016, and confirmed with the re-election of the Coalition government in July 2016, the Coalition government has announced it will extend the Low Income Super Contribution (LISC) beyond its legislated expiry … [Read more...]

The short story on super contributions limits (2016/2017 year)

You can make two types of superannuation contributions – concessional (before-tax) contributions and non-concessional (after-tax) contributions – and each type of contribution has a separate limit. Concessional contributions Before-tax contributions, such as compulsory Superannuation Guarantee … [Read more...]

Does shift work count for SG entitlements and income protection insurance?

Q: I’m a shift worker and have a question about whether my ‘Super fund salary’ figure which my employer gives to my super fund should include both my base and shift loading salary. At the moment it only includes my base even though my employer does pay super for both my base and shift loading. What … [Read more...]

Salary sacrificing and super: 10 facts you should know

Salary sacrificing superannuation, by making before-tax super contributions, is a popular strategy for employees on middle-to-high incomes. The deal is that you increase your superannuation balance (and pay 15% contributions tax, and for those earning an adjusted taxable income of more than … [Read more...]

Tax-deductible super contributions: Meeting the 10% income test

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?Individuals who are self-employed, or who are not employed, are … [Read more...]

Superannuation contributions: Wearing two caps for 2016/2017 year

Q: Are the caps relating to ‘concessional’ and ‘non-concessional’ contributions regarded as separate? Put simply, can I contribute $30,000 concessional and $540,000 non-concessional sums (a total contribution of $570,000) to my super fund for the 2016/2017 year?A: The contributions caps are … [Read more...]

Concessional contributions caps: 10 facts you should know

We receive many questions about the concessional contributions caps. Throughout 2016 and into 2017, SuperGuide, as always, will regularly update readers on any proposed changes to the contributions caps (and other super changes), and the implications of such changes on super strategies.The list … [Read more...]

Superannuation Guarantee rate 9.5% for 2016/2017 year, and for 2017/2018 year

The Superannuation Guarantee rate remains at 9.5% for the 2016/2017 financial year, and again remains at 9.5% for the 2017/2018 financial year. The Superannuation Guarantee rate first increased to 9.5% from 1 July 2014 (the 2014/2015 year), and remained at 9.5% for the 2015/2016 year.Based on … [Read more...]