Account-based pensions

Retire with confidence and benefits. Retire with Spirit Super.

What is an account-based pension?

A regular income from your superannuation while the balance remains invested for your future.

Tax-free investment earnings and, from age 60, tax-free payments directly into your bank account.

Flexibility to access your super when you need and the option to control how your money is invested.

An account-based pension provides a way to access your retirement saving while your balance stays invested.

You decide how much (the amount needs to be above the government prescribed minimum1) and how often you’d like to receive payments into your chosen bank account, and you still have the flexibility to change your payments or withdraw extra money whenever you need to.

Why choose Spirit Super for your account-based pension?

We’re all about doing what’s best for you. Our members’ best interests are at the heart of everything we do – from the first day you join, right up until you’re enjoying your retirement. 

Two women out for a walk, discussing the benefits of Industry SuperFunds.

At Spirit Super, we pride ourselves on excellent service, personalised advice on your Spirit Super account and support you can count on. As an Industry SuperFund, we’re run to benefit you and not external shareholders. We return all profits to our members.

We have a history of strong, long-term returns - 8.22% p.a. over 10 years in the Balanced option for our Control Pension (as at 30 September 2023)*.

*Past performance isn’t necessarily an indication of future returns. The value of investments can rise or fall, and investment returns can be positive or negative. The figure above is the net investment return, that is, after fees, costs and taxes have been paid.

Professional investment management - our investment experts work hard to try and maximise your investment returns during retirement, while protecting your savings from large fluctuations.

Award-winning service – since 2021 we’ve been recognised as providing exceptional customer service, ranked best in super by Customer Service Benchmarking Australia*.

*Refer to the disclaimers at the bottom of the page for important information about our awards.

We offer education and advice from our super experts, available at no extra cost to you – it’s included in the administration fees and costs charged to your account.

Older man working on his coffee break, happy with the service he is receiving from his super fund.

How it works

Who is eligible?

You can start a Spirit Super pension if you’ve reached preservation age and have permanently retired, if you’re aged 65 and over (even if you’re still working) or if you change jobs on, or after, turning 60.

Getting started

Transfer some or all of your super from your existing Spirit Super account (you need a minimum of $20,000 in super to get started).

Access your money whenever you need it, while the balance stays invested to help your retirement savings grow.

Save on fees and taxes

You’ll pay lower account fees compared with your regular Spirit Super account and zero tax on your investment earnings.

All payments and withdrawals are also tax-free once you reach 60.

If you’re still working, an account-based pension can top-up your income if you want to cut back your hours. It can also be a tax-effective option if you're salary sacrificing to boost your retirement savings. Take a look at the examples below and visit Grow Your Super for more information.

When you start a Control or Managed Pension you may be eligible for the retirement bonus, which comes from money we’ve set aside to pay certain taxes while your super savings were in the super phase – taxes that aren’t payable in the tax-free pension environment. There’s eligibility requirements and caps to consider – you can find out more here.

Man getting help with his super by speaking on the phone with a super adviser.

Not sure where to start?

One of our expert Super Advisers can help you get on the right track.

Examples

Here are some examples if you’re considering an account-based pension.

Dave - 65 years old

At 62, Dave resigned from the job he had held for 10 years and started a new job earning $75,000 a year. In his previous role Dave was salary sacrificing to add more to his super savings. His current super balance is $256,000.

When Dave’s partner becomes redundant, he becomes his family’s sole breadwinner and feels he can no longer afford to salary sacrifice.

He seeks advice from a Spirit Super Superannuation Adviser and finds out that as he is over 60 and has recently changed jobs, Dave is eligible to start an account-based pension.

As well as reducing the fees and taxes he pays on his super, a pension will allow Dave to top up his income from his job, while the balance of his super remains invested.

Older man working as horticulturist in a green house. Thinking about his future and retirement.

Dave starts a pension by transferring $250,000 of his super into his pension account and receives an immediate retirement bonus of $750 (find out more in the retirement bonus fact sheet).

He keeps his original Spirit Super account open (by leaving a balance of $6,000 – the minimum required) so he can keep receiving super payments from his employer.

In the pension account, Dave won’t be taxed on his investment earnings on his super savings. As he is over 60, the pension payments he receives are also tax free.

The extra money from his pension means Dave can afford to start salary sacrificing again to boost his super savings for retirement, while receiving the same fortnightly income he needs to care for his family.

Susan - 72 years old

Susan transfers her entire super balance into her Spirit Super pension account and receives an immediate retirement bonus of $150 (find out more in the retirement bonus fact sheet).

She withdraws the minimum annual requirement each year to top up her Age Pension income.

Susan’s balance will continue to grow as long as her investment earnings are greater than her withdrawals.

Minimum withdrawal requirements increase with age, so Susan will eventually start to draw down on her balance. Read more about minimum pension requirements in our Pension guide.

Older lady enjoying her retirement baking cookies for her family.

Susan is single, retired and relies on the Age Pension. She lives by herself in a rental property.

During her working life Susan took time off to raise her children and she now has a super balance of $50,000.

Susan would like to make the most of her super and seeks advice from a Spirit Super Superannuation Adviser, who suggests that Susan considers an account-based pension.

With a Spirit Super account-based pension, Susan will pay lower account fees and zero tax on her investment earnings and payments.

The adviser suggests that Susan draws only the minimum pension amount, so she can continue to receive the full Age Pension while her super balance remains invested.

1. The government prescribed minimum amount pensioners must withdraw from their super each year is based on age and account balance.

Disclosures and important information

Awards and ratings are only one factor when deciding how to invest your super.

CSBA – Spirit Super has an agreement with Customer Service Benchmarking Australia (CSBA) for quality assurance and staff training within our contact centre. Read about the award methodology at csba.com.au

Chant West - Zenith CW Pty Ltd ABN 20 639 121 403 (Chant West), Authorised Representative of Zenith Investment Partners Pty Ltd ABN 27 103 132 672, AFSL 226872 under AFS Representative Number 1280401 2022. The scores produced by Chant West to derive the ratings are subjective scores that have been awarded based on data (including historical financial performance information) supplied by third parties. While such information is believed to be accurate, Chant West does not accept responsibility for any inaccuracy in such data. Chant West does not make any representation or give any guarantee or assurance as to the performance or success of any financial product based on the subjective ratings provided. Past performance is not an indication of future performance. The Chant West awards do not constitute financial product advice, however, to the extent ratings referred to in this document constitute advice, it is limited to “General Advice” (s766B Corporations Act 2001) for Wholesale Clients only. Individuals should seek independent financial advice before making an investment decision and should consider the appropriateness of this advice in light of their own objectives, financial situation and needs. Individuals should obtain a copy of, and consider the PDS or offer document from the relevant fund provider before making any decision. Information provided is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced, modified or distributed without the consent of the copyright owner. Except for any liability which cannot be excluded, Chant West does not accept any liability whether direct or indirect, arising from use of the information. Full details regarding Chant West’s methodology, ratings definitions and regulatory compliance are available at www.chantwest.com.au. A Financial Services Guide has been made available by Chant West through its website at www.chantwest.com.au.

SuperRatings - The rating is issued by SuperRatings Pty Ltd ABN 95 100 192 283 AFSL 311880 (SuperRatings). Ratings are general advice only and have been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Consider your personal circumstances, read the product disclosure statement and seek independent financial advice before investing. The rating is not a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold any product. Past performance information is not indicative of future performance. Ratings are subject to change without notice and SuperRatings assumes no obligation to update. SuperRatings uses objective criteria and receives a fee for publishing awards. Visit www.superratings.com.au for ratings information and to access the full report. © 2021 SuperRatings. All rights reserved.