Allocated pensions are by far the most popular product around for retirees looking to live off their super savings in retirement.
So why are allocated pensions so popular? Why don’t retirees just withdraw their funds out of super and dump the lot into a term deposit or savings account, or even use their super to buy other investments such as an investment property or shares?
The major reason here is tax. Allocated pensions save you tax compared to most other strategies in retirement. That’s because any investment earnings in an allocated pension – interest, dividends, capital gains – are tax free (age 60 and above). In comparison, interest made on a term deposit or rent received on an investment property held outside the super environment are subject to tax at the retiree’s marginal tax rate.
When a retiree buys an allocated pension to house their super savings they don’t have to say goodbye to the money forever. At any time, you can opt to withdraw all, or part, of your money from an allocated pension by simply filling in a couple of forms (check to see if there are any restrictions on the number of lump sum withdrawals allowed each year). You may use the money to buy a business or property, or to go on an overseas trip. Some retirees assist their children to buy a house. The allocated pension offers this needed flexibility.
So how much does an allocated pension pay? Well, that depends on how much you have to start with, and how old you are. The Government sets minimum limits, which are calculated when the pension is established and recalcuated at the beginning of each financial year.
You can change the amount and frequency of your pension payments whenever you need to, but you can’t turn an allocated pension on or off like a tap. Once started, you must receive at least the minimum payment each year. The pension ceases when the account balance hits zero.
Allocated pensions aren’t just cash accounts. Retirees have a raft of investment choices at their fingertips including Aussie and international shares, managed funds, listed property, fixed interest and cash. The aim of an allocated pension is to not simply eat into your capital, but to actually make money in retirement as well. Retirees drawdown a combination of capital and investment earnings to live on. Cleary, the more money you make on your investments, the longer your retirement money will last – and the more holidays you can enjoy.
Allocated pensions are not just popular with retirees (those who are permanently retireed and have reached preservation age). Pre-retirees, over age 55, looking to boost their super before retiring completely often buy allocated pensions in order to undertake the transition to retirement strategy. You can read more about this popular strategy below.