Planning for retirement

Retirement varies for everyone. It could be when you leave work and start a new chapter or a gradual adjustment with changing work hours as your priorities evolve. Whatever you choose, we can help you get there.

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The retirement you want starts with the right plan

Retirement isn't the end, it's the beginning of something exceptional. It's the next phase in life that rewards your hard work and career commitment. Your plan for this chapter is a crucial part of any super strategy. We're here to guide your creation of this plan to ensure you're well-prepared for the exciting times ahead. Our expert team, personalised support, and wealth of resources are at your service with the best advice so you can live your super dream.

The importance of retirement planning

It's never too early or late to start thinking about your life after retirement. While everyone's goals are unique, careful planning is the key to achieving your ideal retirement lifestyle. In fact, one in two Australians retire earlier than expected, often due to unforeseen circumstances like illness. That's why it's crucial to start planning now, regardless of your timeline.

Whether you're considering working for a few more years, transitioning into retirement, or you're ready to retire now, taking a few simple steps today can significantly improve your future financial security.

Start by asking yourself these key questions:

  1. When would you like to retire or slow down your work?
  2. What kind of lifestyle do you envision?
  3. How much money will you need for your desired lifestyle?
  4. Where will your retirement income come from?
  5. Do you have plans to become debt-free?
  6. Are you eligible for government entitlements?
  7. Are you considering relocation or downsizing?
  8. Have you addressed your estate planning?
  9. Is it time to review your investment preferences and insurance?
  10. Do you need help creating a retirement plan?

By thinking about the answers, you're halfway to having a plan. This way, you'll be emotionally and financially ready for any changes you need to make.

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Understanding retirement basics

When it comes to retirement, there are some fundamental questions you may have. To get started, here are a few straightforward answers and resources to help grasp the essentials.

When can I access my super?

Your access to super is determined by your preservation age, which ranges from 55 to 60, depending on your date of birth. Knowing your preservation age is the initial step in retirement planning.

 
Date of birth Preservation age
Before 1 July 1960 55
1 July 1960 to 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 to 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 to 30 June 1963 58
1 July 1963 to 30 June 1964 59
1 July 1964 and onwards 60

Tax in retirement

You need to know how taxation, before and after your preservation age, can impact your retirement savings and income.

Tax before preservation age

If you're thinking about accessing your super before turning 60, it's important to understand how taxes can affect this decision. When you withdraw your super early, taxes might be involved, but don't worry – there are strategies that may reduce the & taxes you'll pay.

Tax after preservation age

After you've turned 60 and are ready to access your super, there are special tax rules and benefits you should know about. We can show you how these tax advantages work and help structure your retirement savings for better tax efficiency.

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Savings in super

The lump sums required for a comfortable retirement assume that the retiree/s will draw down all their capital and receive a part Age Pension. 

The necessary savings for retirement at age 67 are:

Single $595,000 Couple $690,000

These figures are in today's dollars, use 2.75% AWE as a deflator, and assume an investment earning rate of 6%. They don't take into consideration your personal needs or circumstances.

Need a more detailed budget breakdown?

ASFA produces detailed budgets of what singles and couples must spend to support their chosen lifestyle. It's updated quarterly to reflect inflation. Read more here.

For more information on how much super is enough:

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What happens to super in retirement?

When the time comes to access your super, you have options to suit your needs. You can:

  • Leave your super in your super account: This keeps your funds in the accumulation phase.
  • Take a lump-sum withdrawal: Transfer money from your super account to your bank account.
  • Create an income stream: Use your super account to draw down an income through an Account-Based Pension, with various options available.

Understanding your total super balance  

Your total super balance, as defined by the Australian Tax Office, is a key factor in your retirement planning. It affects your ability to make contributions and receive government entitlements. Our Client Service team can help you understand your total super balance and its implications.

Your super and the Age Pension

Many assume they can rely solely on the Age Pension in retirement. However, your financial plan should consider whether you qualify for it and how much you could receive.

 

Unlocking your 'downsizer contribution'

If you're 55 years old and meet the eligibility criteria, you can make a downsizer contribution of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of selling your primary residence into your super account. Unlike regular contributions, downsizer contributions have unique rules - they aren't subject to existing caps and restrictions for the year they're made.

However, it's essential to note that the $1.9 million Transfer Balance Cap (for 2023/24) and Age Pension means test will still apply, and these contributions will count towards your total superannuation balance tests in subsequent years.

Couples can take advantage of downsizer contributions from selling one home, provided they meet the eligibility criteria. Please be aware that downsizer contributions are not tax deductible and may impact your eligibility for the age pension. To determine eligibility for downsizer contributions, visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for more information. 

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We can help simplify your retirement strategy

Our retirement income strategy is designed to make planning for retirement easier for members. We can help in three key areas:

  1. Maximising your retirement income
  2. Managing risk for income stability
  3. Accessing funds in retirement

You can download a detailed retirement income strategy document here.

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Need more help? Contact our Client Services team

As a member, you can get personalised support from our Client Services team at no cost or obligation. They can provide general information and limited personal advice on managing your retirement account.
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