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.

SuperGuide checklist: 10 more ways to boost your super

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Note: This article is the second in a special two-part series that SuperGuide updates regularly, designed to help SuperGuide readers more easily access the hundreds of questions and articles that we have published on the SuperGuide website. This article, ’Super checklist: 10 more ways to boost your … [Read more...]

SuperGuide checklist: 10 ways to save your super

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SuperGuide receives hundreds of questions every week from Australians wanting to create a better life for themselves in retirement. The types of questions we receive include: how much super should my employer contribute each year, how much money is enough, how can I work out if I am in a good super … [Read more...]

Retirement: 3 ways of taking super benefits before the age of 60

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When you retire early, you’re going to have to make a few decisions. The tax implications of your retiring before the age of 60 can depend on whether you take your super as a lump sum and/or income stream. Are you taking your super as a lump sum, an income stream or a combination of … [Read more...]

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...]

Super for beginners, part 15: Super tax – as easy as 1-2-3

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Superannuation only exists because of how super savings are taxed. Superannuation savings receive tax incentives to encourage Australians to choose super as a retirement savings option. Even so, superannuation is still taxed (for most Australians) at a lower rate of tax than non-superannuation … [Read more...]

Super for beginners, part 20: Comparing your super fund’s performance

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Q: The investment return on my super fund account doesn’t seem to compare with the investment returns that I read about in the newspapers. Are the newspapers wrong, or am I in a rubbish super fund? A: Every month or two (or more recently, every week it seems) the media reports the latest returns … [Read more...]

Women and super: A worry-free financial future in 6 steps

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Before I wrote Super Freedom, I had often discussed the need for a practical non-technical book for women on superannuation. The first question I was asked when I told some female friends that I was writing a book for women on superannuation and retirement was: ‘Why does there need to be a book on … [Read more...]

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

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Q: I am earning a salary of $270,000 including 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 … [Read more...]

Financial freedom: Retirement planning in six steps

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How much money do you need in retirement to live a lifestyle free of everyday money worries? For many Australians, this means a lifestyle where you can pay your bills without financial stress, you can enjoy an occasional holiday (or many!), you can maintain your car and house, and you can buy gifts … [Read more...]