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Yes, permanent and temporary residents are entitled to superannuation.
Superannuation is money set aside for your retirement. This money is automatically paid into your superannuation fund by your employer.
No, self-employed workers don’t have to pay themselves superannuation. However, if you do pay yourself superannuation, you will probably be able to claim a tax deduction.
Most people can choose their own superannuation fund. However, you might not have this option if you are a member of certain defined benefit funds or covered by certain industrial agreements. If you don’t choose a superannuation fund, your employer will choose one for you.
You can keep your superannuation fund for as long as you like, so nothing happens when you change jobs. Please note that some superannuation funds have special features for people who work with certain employers, so these features may no longer be available if you change jobs.
Some superannuation funds will allow you to transfer your insurance cover, without interruption, if you switch. However, others won’t. So it’s important you check before changing funds.
A superannuation fund is an institution that is legally allowed to hold and invest your superannuation. There are more than 200 different superannuation funds in Australia. They come in five different types:
- Retail funds
- Industry funds
- Public sector funds
- Corporate funds
- Self-managed super funds
Retail funds are usually run by banks or investment companies.
Industry funds were originally designed for workers from a particular industry, but are now open to anyone.
Public sector funds were originally designed for people working for federal or state government departments. Most are still reserved for government employees.
Corporate funds are arranged by employers for their employees.
Self-managed super funds are private superannuation funds that allow people to directly invest their money.
Superannuation accounts can be opened by Australians, permanent residents and temporary residents. You’re automatically entitled to superannuation if:
- You’re over 18 and earn more than $450 before tax in a calendar month
- You’re under 18, you work more than 30 hours per week and you earn more than $450 before tax in a calendar month
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.