How a pension works

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A pension is designed to help you manage your retirement income, but before you start one, you need to check you’re eligible.

UniSuper pensions in practice

Before making any decisions about starting a pension you should:

Call UniSuper Advice on 1800 823 842

Flexi Pension

  • Choose the payment frequency that suits you (fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, six-monthly or annually) until your account balance reaches zero.
  • Choose the amount of your annual pension income, subject to a government-specified age-based minimum (and a maximum if you start a Flexi Pension under the transition to retirement rules).
  • Access your capital and make lump-sum withdrawals of $2,000 or more (this may not apply if you start a Flexi Pension under the transition to retirement rules).
  • Stop your pension at any time.
  • Choose how to invest your pension account.
  • Choose to have your pension income paid into one or more bank accounts.
  • Choose who’ll receive your remaining account balance or pension when you die by making a reversionary or binding death benefit nomination.

If you're a DBD member and you use any part of your defined benefit component to purchase a Flexi Pension under the transition to retirement rules, you’ll stop being a DBD member and become an accumulation member. For more information about the impacts of starting a Flexi Pension with your defined benefit component, refer to the 'Are you a Defined Benefit Division (DBD) member?' section in the Flexi Pension PDS (PDF, 2.11MB)

Indexed pensions 

If you start a Commercial Rate Indexed Pension (a Joint Life or a Single Life option) it’ll:

  • pay you a monthly income for life,
  • be indexed in line with increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on 1 July each year, and
  • provide a guarantee period which is the lesser of 10 years or your life expectancy at commencement. (If you die within the guarantee period, the residual amount will be paid to your estate if you have a Single Life product, or to your spouse as a pension if you have a Joint Life product).

If you’re a DBD member who joined UniSuper before 1 July 1998 and have remained a DBD member continuously since that date, you may be eligible to receive a Defined Benefit Indexed Pension under the terms of the Trust Deed. It will:

  • pay you a monthly income for life
  • if you die, pay a 62.5% reversionary pension to your surviving spouse on your death (with additional benefits possibly being available for any dependent or disabled children)
  • be 100% exempt from the Centrelink/Department of Veterans’ Affairs assets test. The annual pension payments (less an exempt amount) count towards the income test.

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Get advice

Talk to UniSuper Advice on 1800 823 842 to find out how they can help you.