How can I withdraw my superannuation?
There are three different ways you can withdraw your superannuation:
- Lump sum
- Account-based pension
- Part lump sum and part account-based pension
Two rules apply if you choose to receive an account-based pension (also known as an income stream):
- You must receive payments at least once per year
- You must withdraw a minimum amount per year
- Age 55-64 = 4%
- Age 65-74 = 5%
- Age 75-79 = 6%
- Age 80-84 = 7%
- Age 85-89 = 9%
- Age 90-94 = 11%
- Age 95+ = 14%
If you want to work out how long your account-based pension might last, click here to access ASIC’s account-based pension calculator.
You can withdraw your superannuation when you meet the ‘conditions of release’. The conditions of release say you can claim your super when you reach:
- Age 65
- Your ‘preservation age’ and retire
- Your preservation age and begin a ‘transition to retirement’ while still working
The preservation age – which is different to the pension age – is based on date of birth. Here are the six different categories:
|Date of birth||Preservation age|
|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|
A transition to retirement allows you to continue working while accessing up to 10 per cent of the money in your superannuation account at the start of each financial year.
There are also seven special circumstances under which you can claim your superannuation:
- Compassionate grounds
- Severe financial hardship
- Temporary incapacity
- Permanent incapacity
- Superannuation inheritance
- Superannuation balance under $200
- Temporary resident departing Australia
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) regulates ordinary superannuation accounts. Self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) are regulated by the Australian Taxation Office.
Superannuation is taxed. It is generally taxed at 15 per cent. However, if you earn less than $37,000, you will be automatically reimbursed up to $500 of the tax you paid. Also, if your income plus concessional superannuation contributions exceed $250,000, you will also be charged Division 293 tax. This is an extra 15 per cent tax on your concessional contributions or the amount above $250,000 – whichever is lesser.
If your employment is terminated, superannuation will not be paid on unused annual leave.
Australia’s modern superannuation system – in which employers make compulsory contributions to their employees – started in 1992. However, before that, there were various restricted superannuation schemes applying to certain employees in certain industries. The very first superannuation scheme was introduced in the 19th century.
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