Are You Retirement Age Ready?

As an adviser who specialises in retirement planning advice, I meet with people on a daily basis who are often stressed and concerned about the thought of approaching Retirement. The question most often asked is, “at what age can I retire.”

I find these concerns are often triggered by many misconceptions including the belief that:

  • They need to continue working until they reach their Age Pension Age, which, for some people is 67.
  • They cannot access their super until Age Pension Age.

Today, I would like to ease some of these concerns.

What age can you retire

In Australia, there is no designated retirement age. Retirement should be determined by whether you have the financial means necessary to cease work and therefore cease receiving employment income.

Whether you have the financial means is dependent on a number of factors, including;

  1. Whether you can access your Superannuation
  2. Whether you are entitled to Government Support (g., Centrelink Age Pension or NewStart Allowance)
  3. Whether you have other forms of income or assets that can be accessed to fund your lifestyle needs

At what age can you access your Superannuation?

Superannuation access is determined by your preservation age and your work status. Your preservation age is the age at which you can access your super, providing you have retired from the workforce.  Regardless of whether you are working or not you can access your super at age 65.

Please refer to the table below to find out what your preservation age is.

 

Born between Preservation age
Before 30 June 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
1 July 1964 – onwards 60

 

You can also determine your preservation age via our online calculator.

Accordingly, should you retire after your preservation age you are able to access your super to support your retirement.

Please note, depending on how you access your super and if you are under 60, a tax may be payable.

What is my Age Pension Age?

I often find many people are uncertain about what their Age Pension Age is. Previously the Age Pension Age was set at 65, but the Government is in the process of extending the access age to 67.  Please refer to the table below to determine when you reach Age Pension Age.

 

Born between Age Pension 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 – onwards 67

 

You can also determine your Age Pension age via our online calculator.

Will you qualify for an Age Pension?

While the rules are constantly changing, if you are Age Pension Age today (65.5) your entitlement is determined by the Income and Asset Tests; this is dependent on if you are a homeowner or non-homeowner.

Income Test

Allowable limit pf Allowable limit pa Maximum limit pa
Single $168pf $4,368pa $51,563
Couple $300pf $7,800 $78,946

 

Asset Test

Allowable limit Maximum limit pa
Single – homeowner $253,750 $556,500
Single – non-homeowner $456,750 $759,500
Couple – homeowner $380,500 837,000
Couple – non-homeowner $583,500 $1,040,000

 

Depending on your status, your payments will start to reduce from the maximum rate of payment if your income or assets exceed the allowable limit for Age Pension.  If your income and assets are between the allowable and maximum limit amount, a part payment is payable. If your assessable income or your assets exceed the maximum limit mentioned above, no benefit is payable.

Other Centrelink concessions

Depending on your situation and structure of your investments, should you retire from the workforce prior to turning Age Pension age, there may be other payments or concessions available including New Start Allowance if you satisfy age requirements and are happy to volunteer, or the Health Care Card.

Are you retirement ready?

Being retirement ready will be different for everyone and will depend on your personal circumstances. There are a number of ways you can plan for retirement and ensure that you enter or approach retirement in the best financial shape possible. We recommend seeking professional advice from a qualified adviser who can discuss your retirement goals in detail and ensure everything is structured correctly to ensure your retirement is a successful one.

To book a meeting with one of Muirfield’s advisers, please click the button below

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