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Checklist before starting a superannuation pension

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Be prepared using our simple checklist.

Why have a checklist?

Commencing a pension is an important decision requiring careful consideration. To help you prepare and reduce the time it takes to complete the relevant paperwork, we’ve created a checklist of handy tips and suggestions to get you started.

Important things to consider

In the lead up to commencing a pension, the following are some of the issues that might be considered:

  • In order to commence a pension you need to have met a condition of release such as reaching preservation age.
  • If you haven’t already, search for any lost super you might be entitled to.
  • You might also consider consolidating your super if you have more than one super account as you can’t add to a pension once it’s commenced.
  • Consider making additional contributions to maximise your super using the bring forward rule for non-concessional contributions, catch-up concessional contributions, or the downsizer rules (if applicable).
  • Consider whether you should claim a tax deduction (if eligible) on any personal super contributions you have made in the current or prior financial year before commencing a pension. To do this, you’ll need to complete a 'Notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction for personal super contributions’ form either prior to or at the time of applying for a pension.
  • Be aware there are limits on how much you can transfer into pension phase — see transfer balance cap  for more details.

Before starting a pension application form:

  • Read the Product Disclosure Statement for the relevant pension product, so that you can better understand how it works and the fees you’ll be charged.
  • Have your Tax File Number handy (if you haven’t already provided this to your super fund).
  • Have your proof of identity ready, which will generally be your Australian Driver’s licence or Passport number.
  • Research and choose the investment option(s) you want in retirement – noting that your existing super option (e.g. MySuper) might not be available in pension phase.
  • Decide how much income you want to draw in the first year, noting there is a minimum drawdown limit (and a maximum limit if you’re commencing a transition to retirement (TTR) pension). If you’re not sure of your income requirements, use our Budget calculator and remember to subtract any Age Pension you may be entitled to and any other sources of income.
  • Decide which bank account you want your pension income payments to be paid into, and have your bank account details ready.
  • Consider who you want your pension benefit to be paid to in the event of your death. For more information see beneficiary nomination.

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.