In the pension phase the tax rate is zero on any investment income earned on the underlying assets which are used to support the super pension. There is a maximum amount that a member is able to hold within a super pension account. This is known as the Transfer Balance Cap. The general Transfer Balance Cap is currently set at $1.7 million (indexed) per person (not per retirement phase income stream owned by a person) for the 2021-22 financial year. However, due to the recent indexation of the general Transfer Balance Cap, an individual’s personal Transfer Balance Cap will be between $1.6 and $1.7 million. Any excess above this amount cannot be held in a pension account and must either be held in a super account, where the earnings are taxed at 15%, or withdrawn and invested outside of super. Note that if the amount held in a pension account grows over time as a result of investment earnings, this will not result in the cap being exceeded. If you only use a portion of the Transfer Balance Cap, the unused portion will be indexed.
Although the tax on income generated within the pension account is tax free, the extent of any tax payable by the member on pension payments received or any lump-sum withdrawals will depend on the person’s age and the underlying components that make up their super balance. We review this later in the module.
Refer to the Tax and Structures module for more information on tax and super.