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Superannuation payments explained

In this superannuation guide we explain the various payments requirements and options available within the superannuation plan. There are several requirements for payments made from super.

Low rate cap amount

The application of the low rate threshold for super lump sum payments is capped. The low rate cap amount is reduced by any amount previously applied to the low rate threshold.

Table 1: Low rate cap amount
Income yearAmount of cap
2016–17$195,000
2015–16$195,000
2014–15$185,000
2013–14$180,000
2012–13$175,000
2011–12$165,000
2010–11$160,000
2009–10$150,000
2008–09$145,000
2007–08$140,000

The low rate cap amount is indexed in line with AWOTE, in increments of $5,000 (rounded down). The new indexed amount is generally available each February.

Untaxed plan cap amount

The untaxed plan cap amount:

  • Limits the concessional tax treatment of benefits that have not been subject to contributions tax in a super fund
  • Applies to each super plan from which a person receives super lump sum member benefits
  • Is used to calculate the excess untaxed rollover amount.
Table 2: Untaxed plan cap amount
Income yearAmount of cap
2016–17$1,415,000
2015–16$1,395,000
2014–15$1,355,000
2013–14$1,315,000
2012–13$1,255,000
2011–12$1,205,000
2010–11$1,155,000
2009–10$1.1 million
2008–09$1.045 million
2007–08$1 million

The untaxed plan cap amount is indexed in line with AWOTE, in increments of $5,000 (rounded down). The new indexed amount is generally available each February.

Minimum annual payments for super income streams

Once you start a pension or annuity on or after 1 July 2007, a minimum amount is required to be paid each year. There is no maximum amount other than the balance of your super account, unless it is a transition to retirement pension in which case the maximum amount is 10% of the account balance.

The minimum payment amounts have been halved for certain pensions and annuities for the 2008–09, 2009–10 and 2010–11 years and reduced by 25% for the 2011–12 and 2012–13 years. The reductions in these years apply only to account-based pensions and annuities (allocated pensions and annuities and market-linked pensions and annuities).

Table 3: Minimum percentage factor (indicative only) for each age group
AgeMinimum % withdrawal for the 2008–09, 2009–10 and 2010–11 income years for certain pensions and annuitiesMinimum % withdrawal for the 2011–12 and 2012–13 income years for certain pensions and annuitiesMinimum % withdrawal (in all other cases)
Under 652%3%4%
65–742.5%3.75%5%
75–793%4.5%6%
80–843.5%5.25%7%
85–894.5%6.75%9%
90–945.5%8.25%11%
95 or more7%10.5%14%

Note: these withdrawal factors are indicative only. To determine the precise minimum annual payment (especially for market linked income streams), refer to the pro-rating, rounding and other rules in the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994.

Preservation age

Generally, you must reach preservation age before you can access your super. Use the following table to work out your preservation age.

Table 4: Preservation age
Date of birthPreservation age
Before 1 July 196055
1 July 1960 – 30 June 196156
1 July 1961 – 30 June 196257
1 July 1962 – 30 June 196358
1 July 1963 – 30 June 196459
From 1 July 196460
Table 5: Super lump sum tax table
Income component derived in the income yearAge when payment is receivedAmount subject to taxMaximum rate of tax (excluding Medicare levy)
Member benefit – taxable component – taxed elementUnder preservation ageWhole amount20%
At or above preservation age and under 60 yearsUp to the low rate cap amountNil
Above the low rate cap amount15%
Aged 60 years or moreNil – amount is non-assessable, non-exempt incomeN/A
Member benefit – taxable component – untaxed elementUnder preservation ageUp to untaxed plan cap amount30%
Above untaxed plan cap amount45%
At or above preservation age and under 60 yearsUp to the low rate cap amount15%
Above the low rate cap amount and up to the untaxed plan cap amount30%
Above the untaxed plan cap amount45%
Aged 60 years or moreUp to the untaxed plan cap amount15%
Above the untaxed plan cap amount45%
Death benefit lump sum benefit paid to non-dependants – taxable component – taxed elementAnyWhole amount15%
Death benefit lump sum benefit paid to non-dependants – taxable component – untaxed elementAnyWhole amount30%
Death benefit lump sum benefit paid to dependants – taxable component – taxed and untaxed elementsAnyNoneNil
Rollover super benefits – taxable component – taxed elementAnyNil – amount is non-assessable, non-exempt incomeN/A
Rollover super benefits – taxable component – untaxed elementAnyUp to the untaxed plan cap amount is non-assessable, non-exempt incomeN/A
Above the untaxed plan cap amount45%
Super lump sum benefits less than $200AnyNoneNil
Super lump sum benefit (terminally ill recipient)AnyNoneNil

Note: A temporary 2% levy applies for the 2014–15, 2015–16 and 2016–17 income years to individuals with a taxable income of more than $180,000 per year. The levy is payable at a rate of 2% of each dollar of a taxpayer’s taxable income over $180,000. This will cease to apply from 1 July 2017.

The Medicare levy rate is 2% from 1 July 2014 for the 2014–15 income year and later income years and is applied in addition to the maximum rate of tax for each income component.

The Medicare levy rate is 1.5% up to and including 30 June 2014 and is applied in addition to the maximum rate of tax for each income component.

Note: In the 2011–12 income year the flood levy may apply where an individual's taxable income exceeds $50,000. The ATO have published information to help you work out if the flood levy applies to you.

Departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP)

This table covers DASP tax rates for lump sums and rollovers.

Note: Rollovers

If the ATO hold super money for a former temporary resident as temporary resident unclaimed super money, they have the option of rolling the money over to their super fund if they have subsequently returned to Australia as a permanent resident. This is the only time a rollover of DASP is an option. The rollover is still a DASP and will be taxed according to this table.

Table 6: DASP tax table
Component of DASPElement of DASPDASP tax rateCan DASP be included in tax return?
Tax freeN/ANilNo
TaxableTaxed element38% DASP tax

Note: this includes the Temporary Budget Repair Levy of 3%.

Applies to taxed elements whether taken as DASP lump sum or rollover.

No
TaxableUntaxed element47% DASP tax

Note: this includes the Temporary Budget Repair Levy of 2%.

Applies to untaxed elements taken as DASP lump sums. Also to rollover amounts up to the untaxed rollover plan cap amount.

Any part of a rollover that exceeds the untaxed rollover plan cap amount is subject to tax under the Superannuation (Excess Untaxed Roll-over Amounts Tax) Act 2007 (currently 49%) rather than at DASP tax rates.

No

Prior to 1 July 2014 when the Temporary Budget Repair Levy came into effect, the DASP tax rates were:

  • Tax free component – NIL
  • Taxable component taxed element – 35%
  • Taxable component untaxed element – 45%

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