Returning to work

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Your UniSuper Pension

When you’re earning a salary, you may find you don’t need to draw as much from your UniSuper pension.

If you have a Flexi Pension, you can change your pension payment amount at any time by logging in to your account or completing a Change of details form – pension members and returning it to us—subject to any withdrawal limits under superannuation law.

You may also want to consider whether you need to set aside funds for new expenses like additional training and development. If you need to access funds from your Flexi Pension and aren't using a Transition to Retirement pension, you can make a lump-sum withdrawal.

Superannuation contributions

When you return to work, your employer may start making contributions into your super on your behalf.

If you’re under 65, or aged 65 or over but under 75 and satisfy the Work test or the Work test exemption, consider making:

  • contributions from your before-tax salary into super. This is known as salary sacrificing and depending on your situation it may have tax benefits for you.
  • personal contributions to your super from your after-tax money.  If you’re aged under 71 at the end of the financial year in which you make the contributions and meet the other eligibility criteria, this may also entitle you to a government co-contribution.

Just be aware there are limits—called contribution caps—on the concessional tax treatment of super contributions.

If you receive Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions from your employer, you may also be entitled to a Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset (LISTO) from the government if you have an adjusted total income of less than $37,000 and meet the other eligibility criteria.

If your spouse is under 65, or is aged between 65 and 70 and satisfies the Work test, and earns less than $40,000 p.a., you may receive a spouse super contribution tax offset (up to a maximum of $540) if you make a spouse contribution of up to $3,000 to their super.

Visit the ATO website for more on the spouse super contribution tax offset.

Of course, any contributions made to super by you or on your behalf will go into an accumulation account and you’ll have to meet a condition of release before you can access them.

Government entitlements

If you’re receiving the Government Age Pension, your employment income could reduce the level of pension you receive. This is because your employment income will be assessed under the Centrelink income test that's used with the assets test, to assess how much pension you’re entitled to.

Your eligibility for a Pensioner Concession Card may also be affected.

If you lose your Age Pension and later reapply for it, your eligibility may be affected as any income you receive from a Flexi Pension will now be assessed differently under Centrelink’s income test.

Read more about the income test.

If you're over Age Pension age and working for short periods, you may also qualify for the Work Bonus. The Work Bonus aims to encourage pensioners of Age Pension age to remain in the workforce by allowing them to earn more money before their pension income is affected.

Under the Work Bonus, you can earn up to $300 a fortnight without it counting towards to the income test.

Get advice

A UniSuper financial adviser can help you figure out how returning to work may affect your pension and financial situation.

Take a look at how UniSuper Advice can help you.