When to retire

Some people know when they want to retire, some want to work forever, and some through health reasons or retrenchment have the decision made for them.  

There are many factors that go into making the decision and we're here to help you figure it out. We can help you work out how much your retirement will cost and how many years your money may need to last.

As with any big financial decision, it's a good idea to get financial advice before leaving the workforce.

How to plan your retirement date

When you retire you'll need access to money to pay for your lifestyle.  Key dates determine when you can access your money from super and be eligible for an Age Pension.  

Your preservation age

Legally, part of your superannuation may be 'preserved' – that is, you cannot take it out of the superannuation system until you permanently retire from the workforce on or after your preservation age or meet another condition of release. Your preservation age depends on your date of birth.

Date of birth Preservation age
Before 1 July 1960 55
1 July 1960 - 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 - 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 - 30 June 1963 58
1 July 1963 - 30 June 1964 59
After 30 June 1964 60

Accessing the Age Pension

Eligibility for Age Pension depends on when you were born*:

Date of birth Eligibility age
1 January 1949 - 30 June 1952 65
1 July 1952 - 31 December 1953 65.5 
1 January 1954 - 30 June 1955 66
1 July 1955 - 31 December 1956 66.5
1 January 1957 and later 67
Source: Department of Human Services Age Pension page 6 March 2014

  • How long does my money need to last?

    Australians are living longer, which means you'll have to stretch your retirement savings further. Below is the life expectancy of Australian men and women and think – if you lived this long would you have enough?

    Life expectancy today for a person born in 2015

      Men Women
    Age 91.5 years old  93.6 years old
     Source: The 2015 Intergenerational Report, Treasury, 5 March 2015

    While these figures are a handy guide, don't forget that your actual life expectancy depends on factors such as your family history, current lifestyle and health. For more information about Australian life expectancy, search for the Australian Bureau of Statistics Life Tables.

  • Considering early retirement?

    Leaving work early could have tax implications. Your preservation age and age 60 are the key ages that impact the tax on your super.

    Tax on super withdrawals (including payments from a RetireAccess account)

    Age Tax on taxable component of your lump sum Tax on non-taxable component of your lump sum 
    60+ Nil Nil
    Preservation age-59 First $195,000 tax-free. Amounts above $195,000 taxed at 15% (plus the Medicare levy). Nil
    Under preservation age 20% (plus Medicare levy). Nil

    If you're retiring soon there are options for paying yourself an income from your super. TelstraSuper RetireAccess is a competitively priced, flexible retirement income stream account. There may be tax implications when accessing your super which is why TelstraSuper Financial Planning can help you develop a financial strategy tailored to your individual needs to help your super go the distance.  

    To book an appointment call 1300 033 166 or request a call back online.  

  • How much money will you need?

    Lifestyle is a very personal thing – one man's mini is another man's Ferrari. ASFA's retirement budget guide gives some handy information around modest and comfortable living expenses and can be a good starting point for figuring out how much you may need.

    • for more information about your retirement budget and end super balance needs, see How much super is enough?
    • try our retirement simulator via SuperOnline (prepopulates with your personal details) or on our website (you enter in your details).

    Once you've worked out your annual retirement income, have a trial run at living on this amount. You could salary sacrifice the difference between your current wage and your proposed retirement income into your super, to test your retirement income and boost your super at the same time.

  • Things you can do for a better retirement

    There are things you can do to meet your retirement goals.

    • work longer:  it goes without saying the longer you work the more you can save
    • boost your super:  making extra contributions is one of the best ways to ensure you can maintain your lifestyle after finishing work
    • consolidate your super accounts:  if you've more than one fund you should consider moving them into a single account
    • take advantage of super's tax savings:  find out if you could benefit from some of the super tax effective ways of saving
    • review your investments:  choosing your investment options is an important decision that can have a big impact on your super balance and pension income.

We're here to help

At TelstraSuper we’re here to help you build a secure financial future. TelstraSuper Financial Planning has a team of phone based Advisers who can provide you with simple advice about your super account to help you work out the implications of retiring sooner or later. Contact us on 1300 033 166 or fill in our online contact form.  There's no additional cost for our phone based service as this is included in your TelstraSuper membership. 

Online contact form