The super tax advantages of easing into retirement:
Living on the land, at the never-ending mercy of nature, most would agree that farming is not a job… it’s a life. And so, after such a life of growing crops and stock, tending the land, and facing a myriad of challenges, it can be hard to let go and entrust everything you’ve worked for to the next generation – no matter how capable they are.
It also means that retirement from farming often looks different to that of other professions, where retirement day can be quite final and definite. Many farmers are actually in the enviable position of being able to more gradually ease back from day-to-day work. This puts farmers in prime position to officially transition to retirement. More than just a turn of phrase, transitioning to retirement (TTR) is a specific process under superannuation law that allows you to decrease the number of hours you work, while tapping into your super to make up the difference in income.
What’s more, the money you draw down from your super as part of your TTR is tax free.
How does TTR work?
A TTR strategy can only be used after you reach your preservation age and there are certain withdrawal limits which you can find at the Prime Super website.
To activate a TTR pension, contact your super fund to find out if you can set up a TTR income stream account. Then you transfer some of your super balance from your accumulation account into the income stream account and set up an income payment schedule. If you’re fortunate enough to be on a salary, you can continue to salary sacrifice into your super account and benefit from the lower 15% tax rate on before-tax contributions.
How you spend your TTR income is up to you—you may use it to pay off debt. Remember, if you’re not yet 60, tax may be payable. It’s important to seek advise for your personal circumstances. A superannuation advisor can guide you through this journey, assisting not only with TTR but also with investment options, strategies to optimise your finances both now and in the future, even if you have multiple super accounts (check here how this can affect your retirement savings).
Is TTR right for me?
Everyone’s circumstances are different, which is why TTR can be great for many farmers. Before making any big financial decisions, it’s always wise to chat to your accountant, financial adviser or super fund to make sure your retirement strategy is going to work best for you. They’ll also be in the best position to help guide you if you do choose to make the most of easing out of day-to-day work and transitioning to a life of blissful retirement.
This article is current at the date of publication and is subject to change. It contains general information and does not take account of your specific objectives, financial situation, needs or personal circumstances. Prime Super is not a registered tax agent. Please refer to the ATO website at ato.gov.au or speak to a professional tax agent for further taxation information. You should seek professional financial advice, consider your own circumstances and read our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before making a decision about Prime Super. For a PDS and Target Market Determination call 1800 675 839 or visit the primesuper.com.au/pds. Prime Super Pty Ltd ABN 81 067 241 016 AFSL 219723 RSE L0000277 (Trustee), Prime Super ABN 60 562 335 823 RN 1000276.