It’s been more than 6 months since the Superannuation reforms came into force on the 1st of July 2017, and now with the Christmas break over and done with and most likely back to your day to day routine, now is as good a time as any to re-focus on your Superannuation.
One of the more prominent changes to Super that came into effect was the removal of the concessional tax treatment of Transition to Retirement Pensions (TTR Pension). Pre 1 July 2017 any money held within a TTR pension received a 0% tax rate on any income or realised capital gains, however post 1 July 2017 money held within the TTR pension is taxed at 15% (same as accumulation).
However, any funds that are held within an Account-Based Pension still receive the 0% tax rate (for balances up to $1.6 million). Unless you’ve met a condition of release, such as attaining age 65, you’re unable to commence an Account-Based Pension. The most common conditions of release are:
– Reaching preservation age (currently age 57 – depending on your date of birth) and retiring
– Reaching age 65
For superannuation purposes, a member’s retirement depends on their age and future employment intentions. A person cannot access Superannuation benefits under the retirement condition of release until they reach preservation age. At this stage, the definition of retirement depends on whether the person has reached age 60.
If you’re under age 60, then meeting a condition of release is a bit harder, effectively you generally have to completely cease employment and have the intention never to again work more than 10 hours per week. However, if you’re over age 60 (but under age 65), simply having a change of employment post age 60 means you may be able to satisfy a condition of release, opening up an opportunity to move your Super wealth into the tax-free pension environment.
For example, let’s say John (age 62) works full-time in a Supermarket, but for 6 weeks he was contracted to work on the Weekends as a Labourer. After 6 weeks John has stopped work as a Labourer, because of this John has now met a condition of release and can move his Superannuation savings into the tax-free environment. However, any later contributions made (employer and personal) and earnings will be preserved (i.e. can’t be accessed until a new condition of release is met).
Based on the above, if you’ve been operating a TTR Pension and potentially could meet a condition of release, you may be able to continue to receive the tax-free pension on your Superannuation benefits. Here at JBS we can help assess your options in relation to meeting a condition of release.
– Peter Folk –