All about preparing for retirement

Super and investments 101 | Date Posted: 3 October 2023

Approaching retirement is a big milestone where members typically start to shift their focus from solely saving for retirement, to looking at options that can assist them achieve the retirement lifestyle they want. Understanding where your income will come from once retired, is key to this. In this article we look at what you should know when it comes to preparing for retirement. 

M00499_101_Article-Images_310x172_@2x_All-about-preparing-for-retirementWhen can you access your super

By law, your super balance must remain in a super fund until you satisfy a ‘condition of release’. Generally, you can access your super when you reach:

  • age 65, whether you’re working or not.
  • age 60 and stop working. If you have another job or go back to work, you won’t be able to access any future super contributions until you stop working again.
  • your preservation age and permanently retire.
  • your preservation age and start a pre-retirement pension, whether you’re working or not.

In some circumstances, such as if you’re totally and permanently disabled, have a life-threatening illness or going through financial hardship, you can access your super earlier.

Handy tip: The preservation age for most people is age 60, or slightly earlier if you were born before 1 July 1964. Find out more in the When can I access my super? factsheet. The preservation age should not be confused with the Age Pension age, which is the age at which people become eligible to receive the Age Pension, subject to meeting other eligibility criteria set by the Government. From 1 July 2023, the Age Pension age is 67 for everyone. Find out more on the Department of Social Services website. 

Are you making the most of your super? For most Australians, super is one of their largest assets so it’s important to look after it. Find out about these five things you should be across when it comes to managing your super.

The role of the Age Pension 

Despite an increased reliance on super to fund people’s retirement, many Australian retirees continue to supplement their retirement income with at least a part government Age Pension.

Even if you only qualify for a part pension, this can make a difference to your retirement lifestyle, as you’ll automatically qualify for a pension concession card and associated discounts. 

Not ready to retire yet? Consider a pre-retirement pension

The pre-retirement pension (PRP) strategy may be for you if you’re under age 65, have reached preservation age and would like to:

  • reduce your working hours and use the pre-retirement pension to supplement your income; or
  • continue working full-time and salary sacrifice (within government-set limits) to boost your super while using your PRP to supplement your income. By changing how you receive your income, you can generally reduce the amount of tax you pay. Typically, this option is of greatest benefit to those aged 60 years or over or those on a high marginal tax rate.

You can find more about how a PRP works in the Pre-retirement pension strategy factsheet. 

Ready to retire?

A pension from a super fund is a popular way for Australians to manage their retirement savings. Investing your super in a pension rather than taking it as a lump sum can make your retirement savings go further, due to lower tax rates. Mine Super members can opt to:

  1. Open an account-based pension. Learn why a pension is a popular way for Australians to manage their retirement savings, and how it can make your money go further in this article.
  2. Cash out their super as a lump sum. You can opt to withdraw your super and get it paid into your bank account. But remember, by spending your super savings now, you reduce your future retirement income.
  3. A mix of 1 and 2.

You can also opt to keep your money in the super phase, but remember, investment earnings are taxed at up to 15%, while Investment earnings on account-based pensions are tax free.

Did you know? With a Mine Super account-based pension you can access your money at any time (min. $2,000).

Opening a pension account

To open a pre-retirement pension or account-based pension, you need to have at least $15,000 to invest and meet certain criteria. Find out more on our Retirement join web page. 

Turn to Mine

If you want more information about preparing for retirement, call us on 13 64 63 and we’ll be happy to help. We can provide general information over the phone or put you in touch with Mine Super Financial Advice for additional support to help you decide what’s right for you.