Deciding when to retire requires a lot of careful planning. For most people the questions are:
Will I have enough to retire on
When can I access my super
Will I get any Age Pension and
What happens if I want to go back to work?
The regulation of Australian superannuation requires a member of a super fund to sign a mandatory declaration upon retirement before being eligible to access their super savings. Specifics of the declaration can vary but if you are planning to retire in your late 50’s you need to state that you genuinely have no intention of returning to the workforce for 10 or more hours a week. What does this mean if your circumstances change?
Circumstances can change
Your financial circumstances can change and you may have no other alternative but to return to work. Alternatively you might find that retirement is not quite what you expected and you want the social benefits of being involved in a workplace. If you’ve accessed your superannuation already, then returning to work for less than 10 hours a week won’t be an issue. In fact, if you change your mind and decide to work 10 hours per week or even full-time, that will be fine too where you have acted honestly and in good faith at the time you initially accessed your super.
Superannuation contributions and savings attract a range of tax incentives with the intention that it be used to finance your retirement. Questions can be asked by the ATO if there is no change in employer, income levels or there is only limited time in retirement.
If you would like to find out more about the rules around accessing superannuation and planning for your retirement, please do not hesitate to contact us.