As you put money into your pension your contributions receive pension tax relief, which means that you have to pay income tax when you come to withdraw it. Drawdown is one of the most effective ways to access your pension, enabling you to pay minimal tax while still allowing your savings to grow.
Can I Get the Pension if I Have Super? Having superannuation savings does not deny you from receiving Age Pension payments. Eligibility for the Age Pension is based on an Assets Test and an Income Test.
How can I avoid paying tax on my pension? The way to avoid paying too much tax on your pension income is to aim to take only the amount you need in each tax year. Put simply, the lower you can keep your income, the less tax you will pay. Of course, you should take as much income as you need to live comfortably.
You can usually choose to take up to 25% of your pension pot as a tax-free lump sum when you move some or all your pension pot into drawdown. The amounts you withdraw after take your 25% tax-free lump sum will be taxable as earnings in the tax year you take them.
You can take money from your pension pot as and when you need it until it runs out. It's up to you how much you take and when you take it. Each time you take a lump sum of money, 25% is tax-free.
However, income drawdown is really only suitable if you're happy to leave your pension fund invested in the stock market so that it has a reasonable chance of growing. This makes income drawdown a high risk choice because the stock market can go up or down. You could end up with far less income than you've planned for.
For those who feel more comfortable with risk, another traditional pension alternative is to invest in stocks and shares, property or other asset classes to save for retirement. There are lots of different investments that an individual could make, such as a buy-to-let property or investing in a commodity like gold.
A Lump Sum Gives You More Control of Your Assets
By accepting a lump sum from the pension, you gain the control over your income assets. Even if the income generated from the lump sum is less than the promised annuity payment from the pension, you gain control over the assets.
For example, if you are a single homeowner you can get a full pension with an asset limit of $270,500. As a couple with a home and combined assets your limit is reached at $405,000 to receive a full pension.
Taking some of your super as a lump sum could give you access to money for planned activities. For example, paying for a holiday or medical expenses. You could keep the rest in a retirement income stream, to give you a regular payment you can rely on. Income stream options include an account-based pension or annuity.
The optimal time to retire is often around the end of December, halfway through the fiscal year. This is because the fiscal year extends from 1 July to 30 June. A person's taxable income is dependent on the amount of money they earn over an entire financial year.
One of the biggest advantages of pension saving is that you can pay into a pension to reduce tax. All the money you pay into a pension qualifies for tax relief, which provides an instant boost to your savings and helps the fund to grow faster than other kinds of investment.
Single taxpayers over 65 do not need to file unless their non-social security income is over $14,250. Married taxpayers over age 65 do note need to file unless their non-social security income is over $27,800.
Known as the 4% rule, Bengen argued that investors could safely set their annual withdrawal rate to 4% of their initial retirement pot and adjust it for inflation without running out of money over a 30-year time horizon.
Use the 'small pots' rule
This is useful if you decide not to apply for protection, or where you do, the fund value of your remaining uncrystallised funds grow so that they exceed your remaining protected lifetime allowance by the time you come to take benefits, or reach age 75, whichever is earlier.
An annuity provides valuable certainty for the rest of your life, no matter how long you live, meaning there is less risk involved. Drawdown can see your pension pot increase if investments do well, but you also run the risk of it falling in value and you could run out of money before you die.
Pension drawdown rules mean that there are no limits on how much you can withdraw from your pension fund each year. You can take a tax-free lump-sum of 25% of your total pension pot up-front with your remaining pension savings left invested in your pension fund.
Our research1 shows that a potentially sustainable rate is to withdraw between 4% and 5% of your household retirement savings in the first year of your retirement – and then adjust that amount every year for inflation. However, it's important to remember that this is just a rule of thumb.
Financial advisers often charge a percentage fee such as 0.5 per cent to 1.5 percent, but charges for pensions held on cheap DIY platforms, where you pick your own funds and make your own decisions, can work out at less than 0.5 per cent.
(The tax-free element of any pension income or lump sum is not to be included as income for tax credits.) Taking money out of a pension could therefore mean you end up with a tax credits overpayment for the year in which you take the money out – this means that you may have been paid too much and have to pay it back.
A pension cannot be transferred to a bank account in the same way it can to a different pension scheme. To place your money into a bank account, you would need to withdraw the funds, and to do so you must be 55 or over and have an eligible scheme.
Many people start using their super savings as soon as they retire and can access their super, but you don't have to. If you have other income sources or savings to live on, you could leave your savings in your super account.