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.

Retirement and tax: What are the minimum pension payment rules?

Q: I am 63. I want to retire next year but I am not sure if I want to access my super benefits yet. I have heard that when I retire, I must withdraw some super benefits each year, otherwise I won’t receive tax-free super benefits. Can you please clarify the rules for me?A: Your question is … [Read more...]

SMSF pension payments: A little bit under may be OK

SuperGuide often receives questions from readers asking what happens if they don’t withdraw the minimum pension amount required to be paid each year from their pension account, especially when the underpayment is due to an honest mistake, or due to circumstances beyond their control.Before … [Read more...]

Super pensions: Is there an upper limit to how much we can withdraw?

Q: I am aware that the minimum amount of super pension withdrawal is 4% (for under 65s) of the pension account balance. Is there now any MAXIMUM amount of pension required to be drawn from a super fund? If no maximum payment is required, is this still the case for account based pensions, transition … [Read more...]