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SuperRatings' Pension of the Year 4 years in a row4
Frequently asked questions about how our Lifetime Pension works
We designed the Lifetime Pension with in-built money-back protection so that you'll receive at least your purchase price back - either in income payments until your death, or as a death benefit to your beneficiaries. The death benefit is the difference between the payments you've received and your initial purchase price.
Once you've received your initial purchase price back in income payments, your income payments will continue, but your beneficiaries won't receive a death benefit when you die.
If you select the spouse protection option, money-back protection applies after both you and your spouse have passed away.
In some very limited circumstances, there is a maximum amount you can receive back through money-back protection under legislation, known as the capital access schedule (see the PDS).
You can start a Lifetime Pension any time between your 60th and 80th birthdays. The starting rates are different for each age.
You can also open a Retirement Income account anytime after retiring, and these two products are designed to work well together.
You can also use our retirement planning calculators or get financial advice to help you decide when to start your Lifetime Pension.
Most fees and costs are deducted out of the Lifetime Pension pool. The administration fees and costs, investment fees and costs, and transaction costs that are charged to the pool are the same as our Balanced investment option.
Other costs include the insurance premiums for the money-back protection, which are also charged to the pool and are expected to be less than 0.5% p.a.
As a fund that works for members, not shareholders, we are committed to returning profits to members as lower fees and better services.
No additional fees or costs are deducted from any money-back protection paid to beneficiaries, but taxes may apply as usual, depending on whether your beneficiary was a dependant.
If we were to change our administration fees and costs, we would give notice to all of our members at least 30 days before making any increase.
When you purchase a Lifetime Pension, your money is combined with other Lifetime Pensions into what's known as the pool. We invest the pool in our Balanced option for Retirement Income accounts.
Each year, the pool achieves a financial result, which is based on a number of factors including:
The annual adjustment to your Lifetime Pension is based on a 5% benchmark, so each year if the financial result of the pool is above 5%, then your payments will increase. If the pool’s financial result is lower than 5%, your payments would decrease.
The annual adjustment is designed to help keep up with the rising cost of living, and it means the product always has money to make payments, by adjusting income against the pool's balance and the number of members in the product. By doing this, the product can pay income for life.
We'll let you know the increase or decrease on our website and in your annual statement.
Your payment amount for the first year of your Lifetime Pension is listed online as well as in the PDS.
Your payment amount depends on:
For the first year, your payment will be pro-rated depending on how far through the financial year you purchase your Lifetime Pension.
Everyone's Lifetime Pension payments are made fortnightly on a Wednesday.
When there are 27 fortnights in a year, your annual amount of income stays the same and your fortnightly payment amount will be adjusted slightly.
Your initial payment will be made at the first Wednesday pay date that's at least 14 days after your start date.
You can view your start date in Member Online.
Your Lifetime Pension payments are changed every year by the annual adjustment, which reflects the performance of the Lifetime Pension pool.
Your annual adjustment is based on the pool's overall financial results, which include investment returns and other factors such as mortality adjustments, and fees and costs. This means your payments may go up or down.
The annual adjustment is effective from 1 July each year.
Although it's possible your payments may decrease below your first year's payment amount, we designed Lifetime Pension so that it's more likely for your payments to increase over time.
For more information on the annual adjustment, see the PDS.
Your fortnightly payment amount will change at the start of each financial year.
You don't receive a payment in your Lifetime Pension's first fortnight during the 14-day cooling-off period, so the first payment gets spread across your remaining fortnightly payments for that financial year.
This means your fortnightly pension amount in the next financial year could be slightly lower than your first lot of fortnightly payments.
But your new fortnightly pension will also include the annual adjustment, which is designed to increase your new fortnightly pension amount.
Find out more in the PDS.
If you are already a QSuper member, you can either:
If you're opening a Lifetime Pension as a death benefit income stream, you will need to use the paper form.
If you're not yet a QSuper member, you'll need to open a QSuper Accumulation account first before you can apply for your Lifetime Pension.
You can change your bank account details and contact details for you and your spouse in Member Online.
If you need to change your name or remove a spouse (e.g. after divorce/separation), please use the Update an Income Account and Lifetime Pension form (pdf).
If you need to access money during the 6-month cooling-off period, you can close your Lifetime Pension and recover your purchase price, less any payments already received and any adjustments required by law. After the 6-month cooling-off period, you can't make lump sum withdrawals, as the Lifetime Pension is a permanent purchase.
If you think you may need to withdraw money from your super in retirement, you can open our Retirement Income account as well, which does allow lump sum withdrawals.
Yes, you can use our easy-to-use estimators to work out how a Lifetime Pension could benefit you in your situation.
Our QSuper Lifetime Pension Income Estimator shows you how much income you'd receive in your first year from a combination of the Lifetime Pension and a Retirement Income account. You can change the amounts you put into each product to estimate how much you would get in total income and from the Age Pension (if eligible).
The Retirement Calculator provides a more long-term retirement projection, showing the total income you could get over the course of your retirement by combining different products. It will help you find the right balance between these two types of retirement products – balancing income for life from a Lifetime Pension with the flexibility of an Income account.
In addition, you can also get financial advice on retiring with QSuper.
If you choose the spouse protection option, your spouse will continue to receive income payments for the rest of their life after you die. The payment rate is slightly less than the single option rate, to make sure your purchase price can cover both you and your spouse for life.
With the single option:
You can’t get the spouse protection option on your Lifetime Pension unless your spouse is at least 60 years old, and you can't later add spouse protection to your existing Lifetime Pension. This is because we want the product to remain completely tax-free for all members.
To cover your younger spouse, you have a few options:
For more options for your situation, consider seeking financial advice.
No - similar to our Retirement Income account, by law, we can't combine the super of two different members.
Instead, if you're both eligible, both you and your spouse can each start your own Lifetime Pension with your respective super money - and both of you can choose either the single or spouse protection option.
Only the person who purchases a Lifetime Pension needs to be a QSuper member - but your spouse is more than welcome to become a QSuper member as well. There are so many reasons why more than 50,000 Australians are enjoying retirement with QSuper.
If you separate during Lifetime Pension's 6-month cooling-off period, you can close/cancel your Lifetime Pension and we'll refund you the difference between your purchase price and payments already received.
Unfortunately, you can't split a Lifetime Pension in a divorce or separation after the cooling-off period.
However, if we receive a family law court order or super agreement that requires a split of your super, we may give an amount from your Lifetime Pension to your former spouse. See the PDS for more detail.
You can also remove your spouse from your Lifetime Pension if you have the spouse protection option, so that your ex-spouse would not receive your payments when you die. You'll continue to receive the spouse protection payment rate.
Find out more about what you can do with super in a divorce or separation.
If you choose the single option and you pass away before receiving payments equal to your purchase price, the difference is payable as a death benefit to your beneficiaries. In some very limited circumstances, this money-back protection is limited to a legislative maximum known as the capital access schedule (CAS).
If you choose the spouse protection option and you pass away, payments will continue to be made to your eligible spouse.
If you choose the spouse protection option and you and your spouse pass away before receiving your initial purchase price back in payments, we pay the difference as a death benefit to your estate or beneficiaries. This is again subject to the legislative CAS maximum.
If you choose the spouse protection option when you start your Lifetime Pension, your spouse is your reversionary beneficiary and they'll receive your payments after you die. You can't select this option after starting your Lifetime Pension.
This nomination can be removed later if you separate, but it can't be changed to another person, and you'll keep receiving payments at the same (spouse option) rate.
If you begin a new relationship, you can purchase an additional Lifetime Pension and choose the spouse protection option to list them as the reversionary beneficiary.
Fill in the Update an Income Account and/or Lifetime Pension form (pdf) and tick the box to indicate you want to remove the spouse from your Lifetime Pension.
Having a binding death beneficiary is different to the spouse protection option. If you have the single option, or your spouse has passed away and you had the spouse option, you can nominate a binding death beneficiary who can receive any death benefit when you pass away (if eligible).
As you must be over age 60 to purchase a Lifetime Pension, your payments are tax-free.
However, it's worth understanding that there's a limit (the transfer balance cap) on how much super you can transfer into a retirement product like our Retirement Income account or Lifetime Pension. You'll pay extra tax if you move more than the cap into a retirement product.
See the Australian Taxation Office's website for more detail.
The Australian government treats this product differently to an Income account when working out how much Age Pension you can receive (if eligible). Not all of your money used to purchase a Lifetime Pension (and received in Lifetime Pension payments) is counted towards Centrelink's income and asset tests.
This means that by purchasing a Lifetime Pension, you could receive higher Age Pension payments than you may otherwise have qualified for. Find out more.
You can also get help from Centrelink’s Financial Information Service (FIS) to work out the impact your Lifetime Pension may have on Centrelink payments.
Yes, and probably in a good way. You may receive up to a 40% discount on the Age Pension assets tests for money used to purchase your Lifetime Pension.
This means you may receive higher Age Pension payments than you may otherwise have qualified for, or you may become eligible for the Age Pension and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card if you were previously ineligible.
For help working out the impact your Lifetime Pension may have on Centrelink payments, whether you're still working or already retired, ask Centrelink’s Financial Information Service (FIS).
Yes, the transfer balance cap does limit how much super you can transfer into a retirement product like Lifetime Pension (or our Retirement Income account). You'll pay extra tax if you move more than the cap into a retirement product.
The transfer balance cap is $1.7 million. See the Australian Taxation Office's website for more detail.
If you receive a Lifetime Pension death benefit income stream as a reversionary beneficiary, we will report a credit to the ATO, which is added towards your transfer balance cap 12 months later. We'll let you know the amount we have to report to the ATO.
If you exceed the balance cap and we receive an excess balance cap notice from the ATO, we'll contact you about what you can do with the amount over the cap.
Yes, money held within the product pool for your Lifetime Pension will count towards your overall superannuation balance.
In addition, the purchase price of your Lifetime Pension will be counted towards your transfer balance cap (see above).
There are a few key differences between our Lifetime Pension and a traditional annuity:
There are also a few similarities between Lifetime Pension and a traditional annuity:
Our Lifetime Pension was designed to be used alongside an account-based pension like our Retirement Income account, to take advantage of the differences between the two product types:
Using our Lifetime Pension and Retirement Income account together can give you the best of both worlds - the confidence of an income for life, and the flexibility to withdraw money when you need it.
You may benefit from getting financial advice about how our retirement solutions might suit you.
Yes, our Lifetime Pension is designed to work alongside your Retirement Income account - not replace it - to create a complete retirement income solution. Your retirement is unique to you, so you can decide how much of your super you'd like to allocate to each product.1
Your Retirement Income account provides the flexibility to withdraw some super at any time, set your own investment strategy, and choose your payment rates (above the government's required minimum).
Your Lifetime Pension is a set-and-forget product that is designed to maximise income and provide peace of mind for the rest of your life.
For example, your Lifetime Pension can give you confidence that you'll meet your regular expenses, while your Retirement Income account could be used for discretionary spending such as a holiday or a new car.
You may benefit from getting financial advice about how our retirement solutions might suit you.
1. Subject to transfer balance cap and minimum investment amounts. For more details, see the PDS.
A Defined Benefit scheme relies on an employer sponsor to always guarantee funding. In contrast, our Lifetime Pension can guarantee an income for life based only on the assets provided by members when they purchase.
The income-for-life model has been proven overseas by pension funds using this model for more than 50 years.
There are two cooling-off periods for Lifetime Pension: a 14-day period and a 6-month period. Your 14-day cooling off period starts on the day your Lifetime Pension starts. You can find out your start day in Member Online.
If you decide to exit the product within the 14-day cooling-off period, you will receive a refund of your full purchase price.
If you would like to exercise your cooling-off rights, please make sure that your Cancel a Lifetime Pension form (pdf) is received by us within the 14-day period (be mindful of postage times if you mail the form).
You also have a 6-month cooling-off period (see below).
Your 6-month cooling-off period starts on the day your Lifetime Pension starts. You can find out your start day in Member Online.
After 6 months, your Lifetime Pension is a permanent purchase. Within the 6-month cooling-off period, we'll refund your purchase price, less the following amounts:
If you would like to exercise your cooling-off rights, please make sure that your Cancel a Lifetime Pension form (pdf) is received by us within the 6-month period (be mindful of postage times if you mail the form to us).
Unfortunately, we are unable to process your Lifetime Pension cancellation if we receive it after the 6-month cooling-off period. It's important to note you could miss the cut-off if you decide to post the form and there happen to be postal delays. This is why we recommend sending us your cancellation form by email.
Purchase your Lifetime Pension today and begin enjoying the benefits now.
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