Working After Retirement Rules Australia

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28 Comments

  1. Milabel Wood

    Good morning

    My preservation age is on May 16 2019. I plan to start a TTR straight away. I intend to claim the maximum 10% and re schedule after July to claim the maximum divided by 12 months. Is that possible?

    Reply
    • Chris Strano

      Hi Milabel, this will depend on your super fund and the fund’s trust deed. But ordinarily this shouldn’t be an issue and you should be able to do what you are proposing.

      Reply
    • Stephen j Dobson

      Hi Chris, i retired in Jan 2016, born jun 1957, i took a super lump sum, put it towards a house and gave up work of any kind as wife works..in october 2018 i started work as a casual lawn maintenace person working two days a week ranging from an 8 hr week to sometimes 13..i have now turned 60 , could i have breached any regulations and as my employer has paid super some weeks since October , am i able to access that super now or not until i definetly stop lawn mowing..thank you

      Reply
      • Chris Strano

        Hi Stephen, in order to have accessed your super at that time, you need to have been retired with no intention of returning to full-time or part-time work at that point. Then, all your super at the time of meeting that condition would have become accessible. Part-time is defined as 10-30 hours per week.
        If your ‘intentions’ have changed since your initial intention, then you are generally able to return to work. However, any subsequent contributions made to your super account after meeting that initial retirement condition are inaccessible until you meet another condition of release.
        Related Posts
        Definition of Retirement for Superannuation
        Can I Access My Super at 60 and Still Work?
        Hope this helps,
        Chris

        Reply
    • Rob

      If I retire from work (I am 60) my employer has stated that I can return to my job if things don’t work out. Can that happen

      Reply
      • Chris Strano

        Hi Rob, if you cease an employment arrangement after attaining age 60, you will have full access to your super that has built up to that point. If you decide to return to work, you will retain access to that super, but not be able to access subsequent contributions made to your account after returning to work. In order to access your super, you need to ensure you genuinely have your employment arrangement come to an end.
        Related Posts
        Definition of Retirement for Superannuation Purposes
        Super Rules for Over Age 60

        Reply
  2. Kerry Gloury

    I am currently at preservation age and have already drawn down the 10% allowed annually. I would like to retire due to me caring for elderly parents but am concerned I will get bored quickly and want to return to work.
    What repercussions could I expect by doing this?

    Reply
  3. Elizabeth

    Hello Chris

    I have read your definitions re. eligibility to return to work after retirement and my situation fits definition 2.

    I retired at 61 and accessed my super then returned to casual work a few months later.

    My question is: Am I also restricted to 10 hours casual work per week as per def. 1 or can I take as much work as I am offered?

    Reply
    • Chris Strano

      Hi Elizabeth, ceasing an employment arrangement after age 60 provides unrestricted access the super that you have accumulated up until that point. Any subsequent contributions made into your account after meeting the condition of release are not accessible. As far as returning to work, you are not limited to the hours you are able to work, given that the condition you met was having an employment arrangement come to an end after age 60. You can work full-time, part-time, casual.

      Reply
  4. Shani

    Hi Chris

    Could you clarify I am planning on retiring as my contact work has finished. My preservation age was 57 I’ll be 58 when I finish work, if I pull out the lump sum do you know if I have to pay tax on it? My super pays a govt tax already & my super is under 6 figures. Also I understand a condition of taking the lump sum Is the intention not to return to work but down the track is there a limit on hours/ days I can actually work if I wish?

    Reply
    • Chris Strano

      Hi Shani,
      Thanks for your question.
      Correct, one of the super conditions of release is ‘retiring with no intention of returning to full-time or part-time work’. Part time is defined at working 10-30 hours per week. So, less than 10 hours per week would be fine under current rules.
      Generally, withdrawals from super are tax free after age 60. However, the low rate cap allows you to make a lump sum withdrawal from super tax free while under age 60 up to a lifetime limit, which is currently $210,000. You can find more information here https://www.ato.gov.au/rates/key-superannuation-rates-and-thresholds/?page=8#Low_rate_cap_amount
      Note: this low rate cap amount relates to the taxable (taxed) component of your super only. Therefore, your first step should be to contact your super fund and ask them what tax-components make up your super balance. The tax-free component will always be received tax free and the taxable (taxed) component can be received tax free up to the lifetime low rate cap amount. However, there may be tax payable on any taxable (untaxed) component.
      Your super fund will be able to tell you your tax components and may be able to indicate how the withdrawal will be taxed.
      Related Posts
      Super Withdrawals Under 60

      Reply
  5. Kristy

    Hi Chris,

    My mother in law retired and subtracted her entire super with no intentions to return to work and moved to NZ. She would like to come back here and work as she hasn’t much of her money left. Is she able to return to work full-time or is she restricted to a certain amount of hours?

    Reply
    • Chris Strano

      Hi Kristy,
      If the superannuation condition of release she met originally was having reached her superannuation preservation age and retired with no intention of returning again to full-time or part-time work, then she can work casually up to 9 hours per week with no problem, as part-time is defined at 10-30 hours.
      In fact, if her intentions not to return to work were genuine at that time, my understanding is that there is nothing to stop her from having a “change in intention” and therefore re-engaging in part-time or full-time work once again.
      Keep in mind though, any new contributions made to her super account will not be accesible until she meets another condition of release.
      Hope this helps,
      Chris

      Reply
  6. Anthony

    I am on a 3-month contract each year, once it ends I am no longer employed.

    If I want to rejoin after 9 months I have to resign a new contract each time.

    Are the 10 hours per week rigid or can I use it as 520 hours per year?

    Reply
    • Chris Strano

      Hi Anthony, the answer depends on your age. If you are over age 60, ceasing an employment arrangement after age 60 (i.e. a contract) satisifies the definition of retirement and provides you with unrestricted access to your super balance at the time of meeting the condition of release. Any subsequent contributions made to your account after meeting that condition cannot be accessed until you meet another condition of release.
      If you are under age 60, but above your preservation age, you need to be retired with no intention of returning to full-time or part-time work. It is my intenrpretation that your situation would not satisfy this definition. However, you could still have limited access to your super via a TTR pension. Just be mindful of tax implications of withdrawing super, especially under age 60.
      Related Posts
      What is a TTR Pension?
      Definition of Retirement for Superannuation Purposes
      Can I Access My Super under 60 and Still Work?

      Reply
  7. Ela Malloch

    Hi Chris, thanks for an informative and professional site. May I know what this ” mysterious 2nd condition of release” is, after retiring at 60 (meeting 1st condition) – collecting my super
    , then returning to work”, which you referred to multiple times?
    Many thanks and regards.
    Ela

    Reply
    • Chris Strano

      Hi Ela, there are three main conditions of release to access your super in full. To avoid any confusion, only one condition of release needs to be met to access your super. The three conditions of release are (1) reaching your preservation age and retired with no intention of returning to work (2) having an employment arrangement come to an end after reaching age 60 (3) Attaining age 65.
      Hope this helps.
      Regards,
      Chris
      Related Posts:
      Definition of Retirement for Superannuation Purposes
      Can I Access My Super at 55 and Still Work

      Reply
  8. David Holzworth

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for helping other us folk with understanding super. I’m 62 and retired from work in June this year. So I can access my super.

    However, my employer has just offered me additional work if I want. So, if I access my super, given I’m currently retired right now, can I then return to work with the same employer? If so, does it matter whether I’m doing the same job was before or do I need to have a different job, with the same employer (in my case)? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Chris Strano

      Hi David, no problem, glad you are getting value from the site. Provided you sincerely ceased the employment arrangement initially, with no intention of returning to the company, I don’t see the problem with returning to the same position. It is a bit of a grey area and could lead one to think you simply “retired” with the intention of getting access to your super. But, if this is not the case, then it shouldn’t be an issue.

      Reply
  9. Colleen Allen

    I retired from NSW Health in July at age 62,(preservation age 60).

    I believe I must be retired for at least 30 days before I could accept any casual shifts. My question is: if I did do a block of work for NSW to backfill an employee on leave it would probably be for more than 10hrs per week. eg, a 3 week block. I was paid LSL and annual leave payout . Does any wages I might earn in 2018-2019 affect taxation on my super pension, ie does it get taxed? Or am I free to earn what I like as my intention was to retire and so my superannuation pension remains tax free. The only tax I would then pay would be on my annual earnings from NSW Health in 2018-2019 financial year.

    Reply
    • Chris Strano

      Hi Colleen, generally, super pension income is tax free over age 60, regardless of your employment status or earnings. A superannuation condition of release includes ‘ceasing an employment arrangement after reaching age 60’. Meeting a superannuation condition of release provides unrestricted access to your super balance at that stage. You will be unable to access any subsequent contributions made until you meet another condition of release.
      Related Posts:
      Tax on Pension Income Over 60
      Can I Access My Super at 60 and Still Work?

      Reply
  10. Peter Lukaitis

    Hello Chris,
    Thanks for all the info, it’s helped me a lot. I’m 60 and about to retire. I may return to other work on a casual basis.
    My understanding is that you cannot make contributions in pension mode.
    When you talk about not being able to access any contributions after you return to work do you mean if you contribute to a seperate accumulation account?
    Regards Peter

    Reply
    • Chris Strano

      Hi Peter, if you retire and use your total super accumulation balance to start an income stream, you are unable to make contributions into that income stream account. Any future contributions must be made into a new accumulation account. You are able to have an income stream account and accumulation account simultaneously.
      Any subsequent contributions made into a super accumulation account as a result of returning to work might not be accessible until you meet another condition of release (i.e. ceasing an employment arrangement after age 60, or reaching age 65). Your income stream will remain fully accessible though as these benefits became fully accessible after meeting the initial condition of release (retirement). I hope this makes sense.
      Chris
      Related Posts
      Definition of Retirement for Superannuation Purposes
      Can I Access My Super at 60 and Still Work?

      Reply
  11. Master Le

    Hi Chris,

    My father would like to access his super. He is 62 yrs of age and working full time at the moment. Last year he ceased employment (at age 61), but after a couple of months, the same employer asked him to come back to work. If he makes a claim to his super fund now, will he be eligible?

    Reply
    • Chris Strano

      This specific condition of release requires an employment arrangement genuinely coming to an end. Each circumstance is unique and assessed on face value by the regulator. Without knowing the full details, it seems this situation could satisfy a condition of release, provided there was no agreement or understanding between the employee and employer that the employee would or could return. You will also need to check with his super fund as to how the preservation of benefits will be determined and whether access to his balance is available, given that he has already returned to work.
      Related Posts
      Definition of Retirement

      Reply
  12. Richard Walls

    I am aged 61 working part time (averages at 10hrs/week) on a 12-month calendar year contractual basis. Can I “retire” and convert some of my super in my accumulation account to pension mode even if I intend to sign on for a further 12-month contract of similar hours.

    Reply
    • Chris Strano

      Hi Richard,
      In order to have full access to your super, you need to have an employment arrangement come to an end after reaching age 60. This does not prevent you from seeking further work after the employment arrangement has come to an end. However, you will not have access to any subsequent contributions made to your super account until yet another condition of release is met. One thing to be mindful of is that your employment arrangement must genuinely come to an end. If you intend to sign on for a further 12-months with the same company and there is an understanding to this effect, it would be unlikely to satisfy the condition of ‘ceasing an employment arrangement’.
      However, you can still commence a transition to retirement income stream at any stage, regardless of your employment situation, as you have reached your superannuation preservation age.
      Regards,
      Chris
      Related Posts
      What is my Preservation Age?
      What is a TTR Pension?
      Retirement Rules and Definitions
      Can I Access My Super Over 60 and Still Work?

      Reply

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