Retirement isn’t necessarily a permanent thing as even the best-laid plans can collapse when circumstances change. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has found the most common reasons retirees return to employment are financial necessity and boredom. But what does this mean when you have already dipped into your superannuation funds?
Individuals are able to access their super once they have reached their preservation age and retired, ceased an employment arrangement after age 60, or turned 65. Depending on your circumstances, there are rules regarding how you can return to work after retirement.
For those who genuinely retired with no intention of ever returning to work but found that circumstances required them to, you can return provided that you work on a casual basis up to 10 hours per week. By meeting this requirement, you can still access your super whilst working, however, additional contributions made to your account after you met the definition of retirement will be preserved until you meet another condition of release.
In the event you access your super after an employment arrangement comes to an end once reaching age 60, you are able to work in a new position as soon as you like, provided the first arrangement ended. Subsequent contributions made after your employment arrangement came to an end will be inaccessible, however, you will have access to the benefits that became available as a result of your first employment arrangement coming to an end.
When you turn 65, you don’t have to be retired or satisfy any special conditions to get full access to your super savings. This means you can continue working or return to work if you have previously retired, provided you complete the work test requirements before going back. If you return to work and earn more than $450 a month, your employer will be required to make superannuation contributions at the current rate of 9.5% until you reach age 75 where you can still work but receive no further super contributions, either voluntary or from your employer.
As returning to work and continuing to receive super is circumstantial, individuals considering their options should consult their accountant or financial advisor for information specific to their situation.