Taking a super pension

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Once you have met your preservation age (between 55 and 60 depending on when you were born), you can choose to take a super pension. There are six main types of super pension:

  • Account-based pension: this is the most common type of pension. It is a regular income stream bought with money from your super when you retire.
  • Transition to retirement pension (TTR): you can use this pension if you have reached your preservation age but are below 65 years old and still working,
  • Defined benefit fund: with this pension, you are paid a guaranteed income stream for life, however, it is not commonly used.
  • Annuities: this is a series of payments you receive at fixed intervals for a defined period or the remainder of your life. Annuity payments are purchased with a lump sum.
  • Reversionary pension: this is an income stream you set up with your superannuation that automatically reverts to someone else (generally your partner) when you die.
  • Death benefit pension: this is where your dependents receive your death benefits as a pension when you die. This is only available from some super funds.

The standard conditions of release for super pension withdrawals are:

  • Retirement.
  • Turning 65 years old.
  • Beginning a transition to a retirement income stream.
  • Ceasing an employment arrangement after you turn 60, regardless of if you get a different job.
  • Becoming permanently incapacitated.
  • Being diagnosed with a terminal medical condition.

The amount you withdraw can have an impact on any Age Pension entitlements you have, so be aware of these implications when deciding to withdraw an amount. You should also be aware of the transfer balance cap of $1.6 million that you're allowed to move to an account-based pension. For super pension income streams, you generally need to transfer funds from your accumulation account to your retirement account for your pension.


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