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.

Superannuation Guarantee: What is the maximum SG employers must pay?

Q: I am earning a salary of $200,000 plus super. I am aged 42. I understand a maximum contribution level applies based on a 9.5% SG contribution, before the balance up to $30K limit can be made on a salary sacrifice basis. Can you please confirm what the maximum SG contribution is allowed to be for … [Read more...]

Superannuation tax refund: 10 things you should know

NOTE: The Low Income Super Contribution for low-income earners is available until the 2016/2017 financial year (until 30 June 2017). Originally, the Coalition government planned to repeal the LISC after one year of operation, that is, it was expected to only apply for the 2012/2013 year. Due to … [Read more...]

Upper limit on SG contributions (for 2015/2016 year, and for previous years)

Note: This article explains the maximum superannuation contribution base for the 2015/2016 year, for the 2014/2015 year, and for previous years.The maximum superannuation contribution base is used to determine the maximum Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contribution that an employer is required to … [Read more...]

Life insurance: One in five parents will die early, or be too sick to work

On average, Australians enjoy long lives but the flipside of that equation is that some people die young, and many of those who die young are parents.One in five parents will become too sick or injured to work, or will die before retirement age, according to a disturbing report released during … [Read more...]

Life insurance and super: 10 things you should know

One of the better deals in superannuation has only a slight connection to your life in retirement. Life insurance cover within super funds rarely makes the headlines but for many Australians they are getting cost-effective cover from their super funds.Life insurance is insurance that pays out in … [Read more...]

Age Pension: Does my superannuation lump sum count for income test?

Q: I’m over 65 and a member of a super fund, from which I receive an account-based pension. I need to withdraw a lump sum of $40,000 from my super, as my super is not enough to live on. I will have to apply for a part pension (Age) from Centrelink. Will my lump sum be counted as income in the … [Read more...]

Does Trish Power offer personal financial planning advice?

Q: I have met many financial planners including 3 independent ones, but they don’t seem to know much and all said different things. They don’t seem to show interest and care for my retirement. I am a 61 year-old female and have no super. I need to do something fast. I am just a piano teacher and … [Read more...]

Super for Beginners (25 Q&As)

One of SuperGuide’s more popular initiatives has been the development of a ‘Super for Beginners’ section that answers some of the many questions that we receive from those readers who are new to superannuation and new to super’s terminology.The series currently consists of several lead articles, … [Read more...]

Super for beginners, part 25: Is super worthwhile if I’m earning less than $37,000?

Q: Great site! Lots of excellent information. I now work part-time, earning just under $37,000, and wondered whether I should bother with super. I am pretty sure I will get the Age Pension, and based on my income I reckon I would be better to save outside super and pay less tax, rather than have my … [Read more...]