Superannuation

Superannuation is a long term savings structure to help fund your retirement.

Types of superannuation

Superannuation investments include:

  • retail funds
  • industry, corporate, public sector and other employer funds
  • self managed superannuation funds
  • small APRA funds
  • retirement savings accounts

How it works

Each superannuation fund:

  • has trustees who run it
  • has its own written rules and terms
  • must also follow government rules

Where the money comes from

Payments into your superannuation fund come from:

  • your employer if you have a job
  • you as an employee or self employed person
  • the government in some cases

Over time these amounts build into a larger investment that earns income. Superannuation investments also have tax benefits.

When you retire

You can choose to:

  • get the fund to pay you the money in your account:
    • as a lump sum, or
    • as a superannuation pension, or
  • keep the money in superannuation

How it affects payments from us

While you’re under age pension age

We don’t count your superannuation in the income and assets tests if your fund isn’t paying you a superannuation pension. If your fund is paying you a superannuation pension, read about Income Streams.

When you reach age pension age

We count your superannuation

  • in the assets test - the value is the balance on your latest statement
  • in the income test under the deeming rules

The same rules apply to your partner and their super, even if they are not getting a payment from us.

If you’re of Age Pension age and can’t access your superannuation investment, you may be able to have it exempted from the income and assets tests.

When you withdraw it

Taking money out of superannuation doesn’t affect payments from us. But what you do with the money may. For instance we’ll count it in your income and assets tests if you:

Getting it before you retire

Normally you can only take money out of your superannuation fund:

  • after you reach preservation age, or
  • if your funds are non preserved

Preservation age

With most superannuation funds you can’t get access to your money until you:

  • retire from the workforce, and
  • reach a set age

Preservation age is:

  • 55 for people born before 1 July 1960
  • slightly older each year after that
  • 60 for people born after 30 June 1964

Early access to superannuation

You may be able to apply for early access:

  • on compassionate grounds, or
  • if you’re in severe financial hardship

There are strict rules about who can do this. See more about early release of superannuation.

More information

To find out more:

Page last updated: 27 August 2017