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Retirement income streams

What is a retirement income stream?

When you retire, you can choose to withdraw a lump sum or receive a regular income stream from your super – or a combination of the two.

A retirement income stream can be a simple and tax-effective way of receiving a regular income using your super savings. You can generally choose how much you receive and how often, depending on the type of retirement income stream.

Types of retirement income streams

What are the benefits?

Your income payments from super are tax-free if paid from a taxed super fund and you’re aged 60 or over.

With account based pensions, you can choose how your money is invested and any investment earnings you receive (including capital gains) are generally tax-free.

If you’ve got an annuity or defined benefit pension, the payments are usually guaranteed for a fixed period of time or life.

Important things to consider

For account based pensions:

  • It’s important to understand how long your income payments will need to last during retirement.
  • Investment earnings will vary based on economic and market conditions.
  • There’s a minimum amount you must withdraw each year.
  • If you’re under age 60, both lump sum withdrawals and regular income payments may be subject to tax.
  • A transition to retirement (TTR, opens in new window) pension is a type of account based pension that can be started with your super if you have reached your preservation age, opens in new window, but have not yet retired.

For annuities:

  • You’re protected from negative market movements, however you generally won’t benefit from any positive market performance.
  • Once established, the amount and frequency of the income payments can’t be altered.

Disclaimer1. If you have one of these pensions you should consult your provider about the specific rules relating to that pension.


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General advice and information only

Any advice and information on this website is general only, and has been prepared without taking into account your particular circumstances and needs. Before acting on any advice on this website you should assess or seek advice on whether it is appropriate for your needs, financial situation and investment objectives.

Tax disclaimer

Any general tax information on this website is intended as a guide only and is based on our general understanding of taxation laws. It is not intended to be a substitute for specialised taxation advice or an assessment of your liabilities, obligations or claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under taxation law, and we recommend you consult with a registered tax agent.