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What is a TTR?

Transition to retirement income streams – How do they work?
They allow you to withdraw up to 10% of your superannuation savings in the form of a pension without needing to stop work. Even if you’re nearing retirement age you mightn’t be looking to leave the workforce just yet. Maybe you want to save more money, or perhaps you enjoy the mental stimulation and interaction.

Whatever the reason, having access to a transition to retirement (TTR) income stream could provide greater financial flexibility, as you can periodically withdraw money from your super while continuing to work full-time, part-time or casually.

What’s a TTR income stream?
It’s a type of pension that enables you to access some of your super via periodic payments, even if you’re still working and receiving an income from your employer or business. To access your super this way, you must have reached your preservation age, which will be between 55 and 60, depending on when you were born. See the table below to work out your preservation age:

Date of birthPreservation age
Before 1 July 196055
1 July 1960 – 30 June 196156
1 July 1961 – 30 June 196257
1 July 1962 – 30 June 196358
1 July 1963 – 30 June 196459
1 July 1964 and onwards60

Are there withdrawal limits?
You can only withdraw between 4% and 10% of your super savings each financial year. And, you won’t be able to make lump sum withdrawals unless you meet certain conditions of release, such as retirement. It’s also worth noting the income you receive is based on the amount you have in your super, so you won’t be guaranteed an income for life.

How are TTR income streams taxed after 1 July 2017?

While the current tax treatment of income you receive from a TTR pension will not change, the tax treatment of investment earnings on super fund assets that support it will change from 1 July this year. Earnings on fund assets supporting a TTR income stream will be subject to the same maximum 15% tax rate that applies to super accumulation funds.

What other things should I consider?
The ability to commence a TTR income stream may present you with some useful opportunities. For example, you could either work less, or work the same hours while sacrificing some of your salary into super. In both cases, you can use your TTR income stream to supplement any reduction in your take-home pay. There are however numerous things to consider, particularly when it comes to weighing up your circumstances and properly assessing any potential tax implications.  These includei:

  • Talking to your super fund, as not all funds accommodate TTR income streams
  • Figuring out if you want to reduce your work hours, or work full-time and salary sacrifice
  • Thinking about your income sources and calculating your income needs
  • Finding out what your government entitlements are, as there may be implications
  • If you have life insurance through your super fund, checking it won’t be affected.

What if I choose to retire?
If, after you reach your preservation age, you decide you’d rather retire from the workforce, you will have other options when it comes to your super.  You could:

  • Take some or all of it as a lump sum – while this may be tempting, it won’t be the best option for everyone and there may be tax implications to consider, particularly if you’re under age 60.
  • Move it into an account-based pension – this will give you a regular income in retirement and you won’t be limited to what you can withdraw. Note that new rules come into effect from 1 July 2017. Talk to us of you need an update on how these could affect you.
  • Purchase an annuity – these generally pay a guaranteed series of payments over an agreed period. You will however be sacrificing some flexibility as you can’t easily make lump sum withdrawals and life expectancy is also a consideration.

We’re here to help.

If you would like to discuss the possibility of a TTR, call us on 07 4633 3100 or fill out the ‘Contact Us’ form and we will call you!


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