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Making your super last

When Australians reach retirement age, they have the option of withdrawing their superannuation as a lump sum or taking a pension that will be a reliable source of income for a number of years.

Taking out your superannuation as a lump sum can be incredibly tempting, especially if you reach retirement age with some debts that still need to be paid off. However, blowing through your superannuation is easier than you think. If you choose to withdraw a lump sum, then you find your superannuation is insufficient to fund a comfortable retirement.

Industry experts estimate that a single person needs an income of approximately $43 000 per annum to fund a comfortable retirement while a couple needs approximately $58 000. The age pension, at its current rate, only just exceeds half of these amounts.

If you are nearing retirement age, you should carefully consider your options when it comes to withdrawing your superannuation. If there is some reason that you need to make a lump sum withdrawal, for example, a daunting mortgage, then you may care to investigate a variety of strategies. Remaining in the workforce for an additional few years will boost your superannuation savings and the transition to retirement program offers over 55s some significant tax breaks.

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News

SMSFs: beware of illegal early super release

July 13, 2018

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is reminding self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustees to beware of allowing members to access their super early.

A self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustee must meet a condition of release before any funds can legally be released.

The ATO can issue severe penalties if you or a SMSF member access your super before you are legally entitled to do so.

Some consequences of getting caught up in an illegal super scheme include the disqualification of trustees, imposition of administrative penalties, the fund being made non-complying and prosecution.

The Tax Office encourages those members who have been involved in an illegal super scheme to contact them immediately. The ATO will review your voluntary disclosure and take your circumstances into account when determining any penalties.