Early access to super applications

If your application through myGov for an early release payment is approved by the ATO, they will send you a confirmation and notify Media Super. We will generally process your payment within five business days. Read the full details about timing and info to check before applying.

Tax considerations

Understand the types of tax you need to pay on your pension or TTR account and the relevant rates.

Tax considerations

Tax considerations

When starting a pension or Transition to Retirement (TTR) account, understanding the tax rules that apply to each is important and can help you maximise your retirement income. Tax is charged at a reduced rate (or concessionally) and different tax rules apply based on your age and the type of pension you have.

Your pension or TTR account balance is made up of two components – the taxable component and the tax-free component.

When you start a pension or TTR account, we calculate how much of your balance is taxable and how much is tax-free; this proportion is then applied to your income payments.

Investment returns

If you are under the age of 60

  • Tax is paid on the investment returns in a TTR account.
  • Investment returns in a pension account are tax-free.

If you are over the age of 60

  • Tax is paid on the investment returns in a TTR account.
  • Investment returns in a pension account are tax-free.

Income payments

The amount of tax applied to pension or TTR account income payments is as follows:

Tax payable
Component of super benefitBelow Preservation AgePreservation Age to 59Age 60 and over
Tax-freeNil
TaxableMarginal rate plus Medicare LevyMarginal rate plus Medicare Levy, less 15% pension offsetNil

Lump sum payments

The amount of tax applied if you make a lump sum withdrawal from a pension account is as follows:

Tax payable
Component of super benefitBelow Preservation AgePreservation Age to 59Age 60 and over
Tax-freeNil
TaxableThe lower of marginal tax rate and 20% + Medicare levyNo tax up to the low-rate cap of $210,000,*

Lower of marginal rate and 15% + Medicare levy on the remaining balance
Nil

*Applicable for the 2019-20 financial year

Note: TTR accounts are generally not permitted to make lump sum withdrawals. You may be able to in limited circumstances, such as retiring or meeting another standard condition of release.

Permanent incapacity benefits

If you are no longer able to work and retire due to permanent incapacity, the benefit paid to you (which may include a Total and Permanent Disablement benefit if applicable) will be treated as follows:

Under Age 60

If you are under the age of 60 the super tax rules will apply to your permanent incapacity benefit.

Age 60 or more

If you are age 60 or over, the permanent incapacity benefit is entirely tax free.

Death benefits

In the event of your death, the balance of your account is paid to your beneficiary or estate. This payment is called a death benefit. The tax applied to your pension or TTR account death benefit depends on the age of both you and your beneficiary at the time of your death, whether your beneficiary is a dependant for tax purposes, and how the benefit is paid.

Death benefits paid as an income stream

Component of super benefitBoth benefactor and beneficiary are under age 60Either benefactor or beneficiary are 60 or over
Tax-freeNilNil
TaxableBeneficiary's marginal rate plus Medicare Levy, less 15% pension offsetNil

Death benefits paid as a lump sum

Beneficiary is a
Dependant for
tax purposes
Beneficiary is not
a Dependant
Tax-freeNilNil
TaxableNil15% + Medicare levy

Note: A higher rate (generally 30% plus Medicare levy) will apply if your beneficiary does not provide their Tax File Number to Media Super.

Important information

Please be aware of the following:

  • If any part of the superannuation you use to start your pension consists of an untaxed rollover amount (previously a post-June 1983 untaxed element), this portion will be taxed at 15%. Generally, this is only applicable if you are transferring from an untaxed super fund. For most members, tax has already been deducted by their super fund, so this tax will not be applicable.
  • The superannuation surcharge tax was abolished from 1 July 2005; however, the surcharge may still be payable for periods before this date. If the ATO assesses that you are liable to pay a superannuation surcharge, you will be required to pay this directly. If you need to withdraw additional funds from your pension to pay the surcharge, that withdrawal will be tax free.
  • Different rules may apply to your pension if it was established before 1 July 2007. If you have a pension established before this date, please contact us for details.