In superannuation terms, transition to retirement is accessing your super while you are still working and drawing an income stream to supplement also receiving a salary. Transition to retirement (TTR) strategies have the potential to give pre-retirees some lifestyle flexibility as well as a financial boost.

How a TTR strategy works

  • Keep your existing Accumulation account open, to continue to grow your balance and for your employer to make your super contributions on your behalf
  • Decide how much to withdraw as a regular income stream between a minimum of 4% and a maximum of 10% of the Income account balance
  • Choose when to receive your regular income stream – fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annual payment

Who can use a TTR strategy?

To find out – ask yourself the following three questions:

  • I am under 65 years old
  • I have reached my preservation age (between 55 and 60, depending on when you were born)
  • I am still working

Advantages of a TTR strategy

There are a number of reasons why some people may decide to start withdrawing their super while still working. These reasons may include:

  • Working less/part time and supplementing a lower income from your super
  • Choosing to take a lower paid job
  • Paying off a debt
  • Spending money on a renovation or something else you don’t have cash for
  • Tax effective options such as salary sacrifice

Disadvantages of a TTR strategy

You ideally need your savings to last throughout your retirement, and the earlier you start spending your super, the faster you may deplete it.

Before starting a TTR you should consider your retirement plan and see how your super will last in retirement.

With a TTR you must withdraw at least 4% of the balance of your TTR account and can access a maximum of 10%. These restrictions mean that you need to consider how much of your super you transfer into a TTR account when you open it. You cannot withdraw a lump sum.

If you want to supplement your income, a TTR account is often one of several solutions for you to consider.

For personalised advice on your finances, contact the Superannuation Advice Australia team.