For some of us, retirement is a chance to change gears, sit back and enjoy the simple things in life. For others, it means getting out in the world and taking on new adventures. 

 

Whatever retirement means to you, we can help you make the most of it. An account-based pension can give you a regular, tax-free income in your life after work. You can also use it as a pre-retirement pension. 

 

You can apply to open an account-based pension by downloading and completing this form. Keep reading to learn more about account-based pensions or read our instructions on how to open a pension account. 

 

Regular income
Tax benefits
Pension account
Flexibility
Regular income

An account-based pension provides you with a regular income in retirement from your super savings 

Regular income

This income is tax-free if you’re over 60, and any investment earnings on your pension account are also tax-free 

Regular income

Account-based pensions are separate from your super account 

Regular income

Account-based pensions are easy to set up and offer a range of investment options 

What is an account-based pension?

An account-based pension is simply a separate account for your super that pays you a regular income stream to live on. Think of it as a salary for your retirement that’s also tax-free if you’re aged 60 or more.  

 

At the same time, the money in your account-based pension stays invested. This means you could earn returns on it – which could boost the money you have invested for retirement. Even better, anything you earn from the investments in your pension account is tax-free. 

Who can open an account-based pension?

 

Generally, to set up an account-based pension, you need to have retired after reaching your preservation age as shown below.  

Date of birth
Preservation age
Date of birth
Before July 1960
Preservation age
Before July 1960

55

Date of birth
1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961
Preservation age
1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961

56 

Date of birth
1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962
Preservation age
1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962

57 

Date of birth
1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963
Preservation age
1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963

58 

Date of birth
1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964
Preservation age
1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964

59 

Date of birth
From 1 July 1964
Preservation age
From 1 July 1964

60 

However, there are limited circumstances where you may be able to access your super early, for example, if you become permanently incapacitated or are diagnosed with a terminal illness. 

 

Once you’ve reached preservation age, you could also start what’s known as a transition to retirement pension, where you receive some of your super while you are still working. Our Transition to Retirement page explains how it works and who it’s for.

How does an account-based pension work?

An account-based pension uses your super money to make regular payments to you. Your payments will continue until your super account balance runs out. 

An account-based pension can only be started once you have retired and have full access to your super.  

When you set up your account-based pension, you get to choose: 

  • how much you transfer from your super into the pension 

  • the size of your payments, and how often you receive them, and 

  • how you’d like your money in your pension account to be invested.  

Learn more about account-based pensions here.  

What are the benefits of an account-based pension?

An account-based pension gives you:

  • the flexibility to choose how much income you want to receive (as long as you meet the minimum amount) and how often you want your payments

  • ability to draw down tax-free lump sums (after age 60) to pay for any large expenses, such as overseas holidays or medical expenses

  • control over how your pension account is invested 

  • the ability to nominate beneficiaries to receive any remaining account balance after you have died. 

Why CFS?

Our FirstChoice Wholesale Pension gives you the power to choose from more than 170 investment options from over 70 different fund managers.  

 

This includes a range of pre-built investment strategies put together by the experts at CFS and a selection of individual investment funds that you can pick and choose from to tailor a strategy to your own specific goals.  

 

These strategies invest in a wide range of asset types, and investors can switch their money between these different options whenever suits their needs. 

Asset classes
Investment options
Minimum initial investment
Fund managers
Asset classes
Cash, fixed interest, shares, property and infrastructure securities
Investment options
Cash, fixed interest, shares, property and infrastructure securities

170+ 

Minimum initial investment
Cash, fixed interest, shares, property and infrastructure securities

$20,000 

Fund managers
Cash, fixed interest, shares, property and infrastructure securities

70+ 

How can I set up an account-based pension?

Before you start a FirstChoice Wholesale Pension, please download and read our Product Disclosure Statement. This document includes all the information you need to make an informed decision about the product and whether it’s right for your needs. 

 

Opening a FirstChoice Wholesale Pension

 

Your super account – which you pay your contributions into – does not pay your pension directly. Instead, some or all of your super money is  transferred into your FirstChoice Wholesale Pension account.

In your application, you’ll need to confirm:

  • the amount you want to transfer to your pension account – taking into account your transfer balance cap. You can find out how much that is on the Australian Taxation Office website 

  • the payment you’d like to receive – the minimum amount or more

  • whether you’d like your payments to increase every 1 July by inflation, a set percentage or stay level and only increase in line with the minimums

  • if you want to nominate a beneficiary such as your spouse to receive your pension after you die, or other beneficiaries, such as your children, to receive lump sum payments once you pass away

  • how you want the money in your pension account invested 

  • the details of your bank account to deposit your payments into.

Once you know how much you’d like to place in your pension account, simply fill out an account opening form and send it back to us by:

 

Uploading the form online  
Upload a scanned copy of the completed document by logging into our secure online portal under My Account > Upload a scanned form. 
 

Posting the form to us at: 
Colonial First State 
Reply Paid 27 
Sydney NSW 2001

 

We’ll process your completed form within five working days of receiving it. If the form is incomplete, or we need to ask you for more information, a member of our team will be in touch.

Where to go for help

Retirement is a big life change – and it can be daunting to think about living off your savings instead of earning an income. 

 

That’s why many people see a financial adviser at this time. An adviser is there to guide you, help you make decisions about investments, and make recommendations to help you achieve your retirement goals.

 

If you don’t have a financial adviser, you can find one near you using our find an adviser service.

We’ve helped over 3 million Australians unleash their second half. Are you ready?

What’s next?

Account-based pensions

Account-based pensions

Learn how they work, how you can start one, and the benefits of setting one up.

 

Transition to Retirement

Transition to Retirement

Learn how you can set up an income stream from your super before you completely retire.

 

Retirement Calculator

Retirement Calculator

Quickly and easily estimate how much super you may have in retirement and how much you may need.

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Things you should know

Avanteos Investments Limited ABN 20 096 259 979, AFSL 245531 (AIL) is the trustee of the Colonial First State FirstChoice Superannuation Trust ABN 26 458 298 557 and issuer of FirstChoice range of super and pension products. Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFSL 232468 (CFSIL) is the responsible entity and issuer of products made available under FirstChoice Investments and FirstChoice Wholesale Investments.Information on this webpage is provided by AIL and CFSIL. It may include general advice but does not consider your individual objectives, financial situation, needs or tax circumstances. You can find the target market determinations (TMD) for our financial products at www.cfs.com.au/tmd, which include a description of who a financial product might suit. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Financial Services Guide (FSG) carefully, assess whether the information is appropriate for you, and consider talking to a financial adviser before making an investment decision. You can get the PDS and FSG at www.cfs.com.au or by calling us on 13 13 36