Superannuation can be used to start an account-based pension once a person retires (or meets another condition of release).
This allows income to be received as a series of regular payments (usually monthly, quarterly, half yearly, or yearly).
A minimum amount of income needs to be paid each year and additional lump sum withdrawals can generally be made at any time. The pension can also be stopped (fully commuted) and be rolled back to the accumulation phase of superannuation, or rolled over to start another income stream, or be taken as a lump sum. Restrictions apply to taking lump sum withdrawals where the pension is being paid under transition to retirement rules.
Account based pensions stop once the account balance is exhausted, the pension is commuted, or upon the death of the person unless there is an automatic continuation of the pension to a nominated reversionary beneficiary.
The maximum amount that may be used to commence a ‘retirement phase pensions’ is limited to an individual’s transfer balance cap. The general transfer balance cap is currently $1.7m however where a person commenced a retirement income stream prior to1 July 2021, their personal transfer balance cap may be less than $1.7m. Pensions paid under transition to retirement rules are not a retirement phase pension and are therefore not affected by the transfer balance cap.
Last updated in September 2022
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