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.

Salary sacrificing and super: 10 facts you should know

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Salary sacrificing, 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 more than $300,000, 30% tax on super contributions) while … [Read more...]

Concessional contributions caps: 10 facts you should know

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We receive many questions about the concessional  contributions caps. Throughout 2014 and into 2015, 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...]

Bring-forward rule: 10 facts you should know

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I receive a lot of questions from readers seeking information about how the non-concessional (after-tax) rules work; in particular, how the bring-forward rules works. The bring-forward rule works over a 3-year period so it is very important that you keep track of the size and timing of any … [Read more...]

Who can make tax-deductible super contributions?

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Generally speaking, you can make two types of super contributions: non-concessional (after-tax) contributions and concessional (before-tax) contributions. Concessional contributions can also include tax-deductible super contributions, where an individual claims a deduction. For the 2014/2015 … [Read more...]

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

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Note: The co-contribution rules for the 2014/2015 year (and for the earlier 2013/2014 and 2012/2013 years) are very different from the co-contribution rules applicable for the 2011/2012 year. For your reference and convenience, we have retained the co-contribution rules for these previous years, at … [Read more...]

Concessional contributions: What form do I use to claim a tax deduction?

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Q: I want to make a tax-deductible super contribution to my SMSF. I am trying to find the official form for claiming this type of deduction. Could you lead me to a link where I could find a generic S290-170 notice of intent to deduct? A: You can download the ‘Notice of intent to claim or vary a … [Read more...]

Super concessional contributions: 2014/2015 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...]

Superannuation Guarantee: 10 facts about your SG entitlements

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Note: Since 1 July 2014, the Superannuation Guarantee rate increased to 9.5% (from the 9.25% that applied for the  2013/2014 year). The SG rate will remain at 9.5% for 7 years, increasing to 10% from July 2021, and eventually to 12% from July 2025. If you work as an employee, and you satisfy … [Read more...]

Contributions caps relate to financial years, not calendar years

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Q: I understand the three-year bring-forward rule that allows you to contribute up to $540,000 in after-tax contributions. My question is: What date does the second three-year period start? For example, if I contributed $540,000 on 28 Dec 2014, does that mean I can contribute another $540,000 after … [Read more...]

Your 2014/2015 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...]