Transition to retirement your way

As you approach retirement age, there are many options for your future – even if you’re not ready to retire just yet. Maybe you’re ready to wind down your work hours and want to use your super to top up your pay. Or perhaps you’re keen to work for longer and put more money into your super. Find out how you can finish work on your terms with a transition to retirement (TTR) strategy.

Making a transition to retirement – rather than simply stopping work – can give you the flexibility to get ready for retirement, based on your needs.

 

When you can make the switch

You can start a TTR strategy once you reach your ‘preservation age’. This is the age the government deems you can access your super and could be as early as 55 – depending on the year you were born.

Find out your preservation age:

Year you were born Age you can access your super
Before 1 July 1960 55
1 July 1960 - 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 - 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 - 30 June 1963 58
 1 July 1963 - 30 June 1964 59
 From 1 July 1964 60

If you reach your preservation age and you’re not quite ready to retire, you can consider opening an AustralianSuper TTR Income account.

READ MORE: PRESERVATION AGE AND QUALIFYING AGE: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

 

The benefits of a TTR Income account

A TTR Income account (sometimes referred to as a ‘transition to retirement pension’) lets you access some of your super while you’re still working. This is the case even if you’re not yet eligible to open an account based pension, or take your super out as a lump sum.

 

How a TTR Income account can help you work less or save more
Infographic outlining some of the benefits of a TTR Income account. It can help you work less by letting you ease into retirement gradually by cutting back the days or hours you work, top up your take-home pay with payments from your super, and keep growing your super while you’re still working. Alternatively a TTR Income account can help you save more as you can add more of your salary directly into your super account, pay less tax while boosting your super, and top up your take-home pay with payments from your super.

When receiving income payments from your TTR Income account to top up your salary, there can be some additional tax benefits too:

  • Before you turn 60, you’ll receive a 15% tax offset on income payments.
  • Once you turn 60, you generally won’t pay tax on TTR income payments.

 

Use super to cut down your hours but not your pay

A sudden shift to retirement may not be right for everyone. A TTR Income account can help you gradually reduce the amount you work, without reducing the amount of pay you take home. This allows you to maintain a similar income while you ease out of the workforce.

Case study: How a TTR Income account can help Tina work less

Tina’s 60. She’s keen to keep working and saving, but would like to work fewer hours as she eases into retirement. Her take-home pay is $53,500 after tax and she has $140,000 in super.

If Tina chooses to work a day less each week, her take-home pay would drop to $44,900. However, she can make up the difference with money from her super by setting up a TTR Income account. That way, the money she gets each week stays the same, and she can continue to grow her super as she keeps working.

READ MORE: TINA’S CASE STUDY


This example is provided for illustration purposes only and is not a representation of the benefits that may be received or the fees and costs that may be incurred. Tina’s salary before-tax is $67,100 (5 days a week) and $53,700 (4 days a week). Calculations are based on 2019/20 tax rates and include the 2% Medicare levy, the low and middle-income tax offset, and the pension tax offset. Figures have been rounded to nearest $100. It’s important to understand how long your super will last, especially if you start accessing your super at a younger age.

Save more super for the long run

If you’re age 60 or over and still working, you can use a TTR Income account to grow your super while saving on tax. You can do this by paying more of your salary directly into your super fund (also known as salary sacrifice) on top of your employer contributions, where it’s generally taxed at a lower rate.

You can offset the amount you salary sacrifice by using money from your TTR Income account to top up your take-home pay – so it remains similar to what you’re used to.

Case study: How a TTR Income account can help Fred save more before he retires
Fred

Fred has just turned 60 and wants to add more to his $175,000 super balance before he retires. He earns $60,000 a year and is looking forward to retiring at age 65.

Using a TTR Income account, Fred can sacrifice more of his salary into super and save on tax. Over a 5-year period, Fred would have saved $16,600 in tax and potentially increased his super balance by $17,000 – all without reducing his take-home pay.

READ MORE: FRED’S CASE STUDY


This example is provided for illustration purposes only and is not a representation of the benefits that may be received or the fees and costs that may be incurred. Net benefit has been rounded to the nearest $1,000 and expressed in today’s dollars using wage inflation of 2.5% pa. Calculations are based on the current tax rates as legislated for the 2019/20 income year onwards. Peter is assumed to earn 6.5% pa after-tax and fees in both his super account and income account. Admin fees of $117 pa in both super and income account plus up to 0.04% in super account and 0.11% in the income account. Peter’s salary increases in line with wage inflation of 2.5% pa. SG rates are assumed to increase to 12% in line with scheduled increases.

TTR Income account eligibility requirements

  • To open a TTR Income stream, you’ll need a minimum balance of $31,000 in your super account. At least $25,000 of that needs to move into the TTR Income account, while the remaining amount ($6,000 or more) needs to stay in your super account.
  • If you want to keep your insurance cover, you’ll need to maintain a super account and have enough money in it to pay for the cost of insurance – even after you move some of your balance into your TTR Income account.
  • Consider combining any super you have with other funds into your AustralianSuper account before setting up a TTR income account.1
  • Contribution limits may apply, so check with your employer that salary sacrificing into super won’t affect your employee entitlements.2

 

Make sure a TTR Income account is right for you

A TTR strategy can help you make the transition into retirement. But it can be complex and isn’t suited to everyone, so it’s important to get advice to see if this strategy is right for you.

You can access general information or simple, personal advice on TTR by calling us on 1300 300 273. However, depending on your situation, you may need more comprehensive personal advice with a financial adviser who can help make sure it’s the right solution for you.3

Sources

  1. Before consolidating your super, ask your other super provider about any fees or charges that may apply, and other information about the effect this transfer may have on your benefits, such as insurance cover.
  2. Before adding to your super, consider your financial circumstances, contribution caps that may apply, and tax issues.
  3. The financial advice you receive will be provided under the Australian Financial Services Licence held by a third party and therefore is not the responsibility of AustralianSuper. With your approval a fee may be charged if a Statement of Advice is provided. Please refer to the Important information at the end of this document for further details.

This information is general financial advice which doesn’t take into account your personal objectives, situation or needs. Before making a decision about AustralianSuper, you should think about your financial requirements and refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement. AustralianSuper Pty Ltd ABN 94 006 457 987, AFSL 233788, Trustee of AustralianSuper ABN 65 714 394 898.

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