Lifetime Pension FAQs

Our Lifetime Pension gives you an income stream that lasts a lifetime, so you can get on with enjoying retirement. Explore these frequently asked questions about how our Lifetime Pension works.

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How our Lifetime Pension works Show all Hide all

Our Lifetime Pension is an award-winning product that's designed to give you a retirement income stream for life. This means it never runs out.

It's designed to work with an account-based pension, like our Retirement Income account, as part of an income plan for your retirement. You can choose spouse protection for your partner (if they're eligible), and there are potential Age Pension benefits.

If you don't have a QSuper account, you can still open a Lifetime Pension.

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The Lifetime Pension has money-back protection so you'll get at least your purchase price back. This will be either in payments until your death, or as a death benefit to people you choose who are eligible (your beneficiaries). The death benefit is the difference between the payments you've already received and your purchase price.

Once you get your purchase price back, your payments continue. But your beneficiaries won't get any money from your Lifetime Pension when you die.

If you pick the spouse protection option, then the money-back protection applies after both you and your spouse have passed away.

Sometimes there’s a limit to how much you can get through money-back protection by law. This is called the capital access schedule (CAS).

See our product disclosure statement (pdf).

You can start a Lifetime Pension any time between your 60th and 80th birthdays. But you’ll need to meet at least one of the following:

  • Permanently retired
  • Stopped a paid work arrangement on or after age 60
  • Aged 65 or older
  • Received a super death benefit
  • Met another approved condition of release

The starting payments are different for each age. See the PDS (pdf) to find out more.

We've designed the Lifetime Pension to work well with our Retirement Income account. Use our retirement planning calculators or get financial advice to help plan your income stream.

We take most fees and costs out of the Lifetime Pension pool, so you don't pay these directly. The administration fees and costs, investment fees and costs, and transaction costs are the same as our QSuper Balanced investment option.

Other costs include insurance fees for the money-back protection, which we also charge to the pool. They’re expected to be less than 0.5% p.a.

As a fund that works for members, not shareholders, we're committed to returning profits to members as lower fees and better services.

We don’t take extra fees or costs from any money-back protection paid to your beneficiaries (the people you choose to get your money when you pass away). But if they’re not a dependant, taxes may apply as usual.

See the PDS (pdf) for more details.

When you open a Lifetime Pension, we combine your money with other Lifetime Pensions into what's known as the pool. We invest the pool in our Balanced option for Retirement Income accounts.

The pool’s yearly financial result is based on a number of factors including:

  • The investment performance of our Balanced option for Retirement Income accounts
  • Fees and costs
  • Mortality experience – insurance costs are taken from the pool, and the pool keeps credits when members die and their payments stop
  • The timing of Lifetime Pension purchases, and payments made from the pool.

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 go up. If the pool’s financial result is lower than 5%, your payments will go down.

We’ve designed it to help keep up with the rising cost of living. By adjusting income against the pool's balance and the number of members in the product, it means there’s always money to make payments. By doing this, the Lifetime Pension can pay you an income for life.

We'll let you know the annual adjustment on our website and in your annual statement.

Yes, once you start a Lifetime Pension with your super, it becomes an income stream.

  • You get fortnightly tax-free payments for the rest of your life.
  • If you pick the spouse protection option, your spouse gets payments for the rest of their life when you pass away.
  • You can use it with an account-based pension to suit your needs.

Find out why it's great to retire with us. You can explore your options with our Retirement Calculator to help you make the most of your super.

Lifetime Pension vs annuities and other products Show all Hide all

There are a few key differences between our Lifetime Pension and an annuity:

  1. The Lifetime Pension is linked to the market. So it generally pays a higher income compared to an annuity that is invested conservatively and pays a lower, fixed income.
  2. There's no guaranteed rate of income, and payments can go up and down each year, whereas an annuity generally has a set income amount.
  3. We've designed the Lifetime Pension to cost less than an annuity, by converting all money in the Lifetime Pension pool to income (after fees and costs).
  4. Lifetime Pension payments are for the rest of your life. An annuity usually has payments set for a fixed term such as how long you're expected to live, with an added cost if you want payments until you die.
  5. You use your super to open a Lifetime Pension. You use your personal savings to buy an annuity from a life insurance company.

There are also a few similarities between Lifetime Pension and an annuity:

  1. Both products provide tax-free income after you turn 60 years old.
  2. Lifetime Pension provides a death benefit, which some annuities also do. If you die before getting payments equal to your purchase price, we return the difference to your estate.
  3. Lifetime Pension gives you an income for as long as you live (and as long as your spouse lives if you have the spouse protection option). Some annuities offer an income for the same amount of time.

We've designed our Lifetime Pension so you can use it alongside an account-based pension like our Retirement Income account. Doing this lets you take advantage of the differences between the two products. 

  1. Our Lifetime Pension gives you an income for life. With an Income account, there's no guarantee that your balance will last your lifetime – it may run out.
  2. Lifetime Pension payments are set based on the annual adjustment. An Income account is more flexible. You can choose your investment options, change how much and how often you make withdrawals, and take out money when needed.
  3. Once you open a Lifetime Pension, you can't take out that money after the 6-month cooling off period, except for terminal illness. So an Income account can be helpful because it allows withdrawals at any time.
  4. Centrelink's income and assets tests treat an Income account and a Lifetime Pension differently. So it may benefit you to put more of your super into one or the other.

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 take out money when you need it.

Consider getting financial advice about how our retirement solutions might suit you.

Yes, our Lifetime Pension is made to work alongside your Retirement Income account – not replace it – to create a complete income solution. Your retirement's unique to you, so you can decide how much of your super you'd like to put into each product.1

Your Retirement Income account gives you the flexibility to:

  • Take out money at any time
  • Set your own investment strategy
  • Choose how much you'd like to be paid (above the government's set minimum).

Your Lifetime Pension is a set-and-forget product. It’s designed to maximise income and give you peace of mind for the rest of your life.

Here’s an example of how they work together. A Lifetime Pension can give you the confidence that you'll meet your regular expenses. And you can use your Retirement Income account for those special things, like a holiday or a new car.

It may help to get financial advice about our retirement solutions for your needs. You can also use our retirement planning calculators to see how much you could get with the two products.


1. Subject to the transfer balance cap and minimum investment amounts. For more details, see the PDS (pdf).

There are a few ways our Lifetime Pension differs to a defined benefit scheme.

  • Defined benefit schemes in Australia are mostly closed to new members. But our Lifetime Pension is open to anyone who meets the eligibility criteria.
  • Defined benefit pensions generally aren't linked to investment performance. Lifetime Pension payments are based on the investment performance of the Lifetime Pension pool.

If you have a QSuper Defined Benefit account

The QSuper Defined Benefit account is for Queensland Government employees who haven't yet retired (up to age 75). Our Lifetime Pension is an income stream designed for those who have.

Lifetime Pension payments Show all Hide all

The payment amount for the first year of your Lifetime Pension is listed online as well as in the PDS (pdf).

Your payments depend on:

  • Your initial purchase price
  • Whether you chose the single or spouse protection option
  • Your age when your Lifetime Pension started (or with spouse protection - the age of the younger person).

For the first year, your payment will be pro-rated depending on how far through the financial year you open your Lifetime Pension.

Everyone gets their Lifetime Pension on the same day. It's paid every 2 weeks, on a Wednesday.

When there are 27 fortnights in a year, we keep your annual amount of income the same and adjust your fortnightly payments slightly.

You’ll get your first payment on the first pay date that's at least 14 days after your start date.

You can check your start date in Member Online.

The annual adjustment reflects the performance of the Lifetime Pension pool. It changes your Lifetime Pension payments every year.

The adjustment is based on the pool's overall financial results during the previous year. This includes 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 begins from 1 July each year.

Although it's possible your payments may go below your first year's amount, we designed Lifetime Pension so that it's more likely your payments will go up over time.

For more details on the annual adjustment, see the PDS (pdf).

Your fortnightly payment amount will change at the start of each financial year (from 1 July).

You might find your fortnightly payments within the first financial year is slightly higher than the payments in the next financial year. This is because you don't get a payment in the first fortnight during the 14-day cooling-off period. Instead, we spread that first payment across your remaining payments for that financial year.

But your new fortnightly pension will also include the annual adjustment. We’ve designed this to increase your fortnightly payments over time, but they may sometimes go down too.

Find out more in the PDS (pdf).

Yes, you can use our retirement planning calculators to easily work out how much you’re likely to get with a Lifetime Pension.

QSuper Lifetime Pension Income Estimator: See your income in your first year by combining the Lifetime Pension and a Retirement Income account. Pick how much you put into each product, and get estimates on total income and the Age Pension (if eligible).

Retirement Calculator: This gives a more long-term forecast. Explore how much you could get in retirement by combining different products. It helps you find the right balance between a Lifetime Pension and the flexibility of an Income account.

You can also get financial advice on retiring with QSuper products.

How to buy a Lifetime Pension Show all Hide all

You don't have to have a QSuper account to open a Lifetime Pension. But if you already have a QSuper account, you can either:

If you're opening a Lifetime Pension as a death benefit income stream, you'll need to use the paper form.

If you don't have a QSuper account, you can apply to join QSuper if your spouse has a QSuper account. You'll need to do this before you open your Lifetime Pension.

Otherwise, there are 2 forms that you need to fill out.

  1. Open an Accumulation Account for Lifetime Pension applicants (pdf). You'll find this in the back of the Accumulation account PDS.
  2. Open a Lifetime Pension - For non-QSuper members only (pdf). You'll find this in the back of Part A of the Lifetime Pension PDS.

Make sure you email or post us both of the above forms together.

Find out more
  1. We'll confirm your application
    You'll get an email with a summary of your application.
  2. Your application's processed
    We aim to process your application within 10 working days. We'll contact you if we have any questions.
  3. You'll get your pension details
    Once your Lifetime Pension's successfully set up, we'll send you the details.
  4. View and manage your Lifetime Pension
    You can check your Lifetime Pension details and update your personal details in Member Online.

Managing your Lifetime Pension Show all Hide all

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).

During the 6-month cooling-off period:
You can close your Lifetime Pension and get back the price you paid to open it, less any payments you’ve already got, and any adjustments needed by law and for negative investment returns.

After the 6-month cooling-off period:
You can't make one-off withdrawals because it's a permanent purchase. If you have a terminal medical condition, you may be able to get what’s left in your money-back protection as a one-off payment and close your Lifetime Pension.

Find out more in the PDS (pdf).

If you want to be able to take money out of your super for emergencies once you retire, consider our Retirement Income account. You can use it with a Lifetime Pension, and it has the flexibility of one-off withdrawals at any time.

Providing for your spouse Show all Hide all

If you pick the spouse protection option, your spouse will continue to get payments for the rest of their life after you die. The payment rate for both you and your spouse is slightly less than the single option rate. That’s to make sure your purchase price can cover you both for life.

Single option: Spouse option:
  • Payment rates are based on your age
  • Payments will stop if you pass away
  • Payment rates are slightly higher than the spouse option.
  • Payment rates are based on the age of the youngest partner
  • Payments will still be paid to your spouse if you pass away
  • Payment rates are slightly lower than the single option
  • You stay on the spouse option rate even if your spouse passes away first.

Your spouse needs to be at least 60 years old to get the spouse protection option on your Lifetime Pension. And you can't add spouse protection to your existing Lifetime Pension at a later date. That’s to make sure the product remains completely tax-free for all members.

To cover your younger spouse, you have a few options:

  • Wait until they turn 60 to open your Lifetime Pension with the spouse protection option
  • Choose the single option and list your spouse as the person who gets your death benefit (your beneficiary)
  • Open a Lifetime Pension now with the single option, and open a second Lifetime Pension later with the spouse protection option.

Consider getting financial advice to explore your options.

No, it’s not. Just like our Retirement Income account, we can't combine the super of two different members, by law.

Instead, you get payments as long as you live, and your payments will then continue on to your spouse if you pass away first. Alternatively, you and your spouse can each start your own Lifetime Pension with your respective super, as long as you're both eligible. And both of you can choose either the single or spouse protection option.

If you separate during Lifetime Pension's 6-month cooling-off period, you can close your Lifetime Pension. We'll refund you the difference between your purchase price and what we’ve already paid you (less any adjustments needed by law and for negative investment returns).

Unfortunately, you can't split a Lifetime Pension in a divorce or separation after the cooling-off period.

However, if we get a family law court order or super agreement that tells us to split your super, we may give some money from your Lifetime Pension to your former spouse. See the PDS (pdf) for more details.

You can also take your spouse off your Lifetime Pension if you have the spouse protection option, so that they won’t get your payments when you die. You'll still get the spouse option payment rate.

What happens when you die Show all Hide all

If you pass away before getting payments equal to your purchase price, what happens will depend on which option you’ve picked.

If you have the single option, we pay the difference to the people you’ve told us should get your death benefit (your beneficiaries) if they're eligible. Sometimes, limits apply under super law known as the capital access schedule (CAS).

If you have the spouse protection option, your spouse will get the fortnightly payments. If you and your spouse both pass away before getting your money back, we pay the difference to your estate or beneficiaries. This also depends on the limits of the CAS.

You can find out more about how the CAS works in the PDS (pdf).

If you have the single option, you can update your binding death benefit nomination at any time. This lets you decide who gets any death benefit when you pass away.

It’s different if you have a spouse protection option. With this option, your spouse is your reversionary beneficiary. That means they’ll get your payments after you die.

  • You can remove your reversionary beneficiary later if you separate, but you can't change it to another person.
  • You'll also keep getting payments at the same (spouse option) rate.
  • If you start a new relationship, you can open another Lifetime Pension and choose the spouse protection option. So payments will continue to your new spouse when you die.

To take your spouse off your Lifetime Pension, fill in the Update an Income Account and/or Lifetime Pension form.

Tax, Centrelink, and the Age Pension Show all Hide all

You must be over age 60 to open a Lifetime Pension, so your payments are tax-free.

However, there's a limit (the transfer balance cap) on how much super you can transfer into a retirement product like the Lifetime Pension, or our Retirement Income account. You'll pay extra tax if you move more than the cap into a retirement product.

You can find out more on the Australian Taxation Office's (ATO) website.

The Australian Government treats Lifetime Pension differently to an Income account when working out how much Age Pension you can get (if eligible). Centrelink's income and asset tests don’t count all the money you use to open a Lifetime Pension (and your Lifetime Pension payments).

This means that by opening a Lifetime Pension, you could get higher Age Pension payments than you may otherwise have been able to. Find out more.

You can also get help from Centrelink’s Financial Information Service (FIS) to work out how your Lifetime Pension may affect Centrelink payments.

Yes, and probably in a good way. You may get a discount of up to 40% on the Age Pension assets tests for money used to open your Lifetime Pension.

This means you may get higher Age Pension payments than you could before opening a Lifetime Pension. Or you may become eligible for the Age Pension, and the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

For help working out how the Lifetime Pension may impact Centrelink payments, whether you're still working or already retired, ask Centrelink’s Financial Information Service (FIS).

Transfer balance cap Show all Hide all

Yes, the transfer balance cap limits how much super you can move into a retirement product like Lifetime Pension. You'll pay extra tax if you move more than the cap into it.

The transfer balance cap is $1.7 million. 

If you get paid a Lifetime Pension death benefit as a spouse (reversionary beneficiary), we’ll let the ATO know. It’s added towards your transfer balance cap 12 months later. And we'll tell you the amount we have to report to the ATO.

If you go past the balance cap and we get a notice from the ATO, we'll let you know what you can do with the amount over the cap.

Yes, money held within the pool for your Lifetime Pension counts towards your overall super balance.

Also, the amount you pay to open a Lifetime Pension counts towards your transfer balance cap (see above).

How to cancel a Lifetime Pension Show all Hide all

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 cancel your Lifetime Pension within the 14-day cooling-off period, you’ll get a refund of your full purchase price. But make sure that we receive your Cancel a Lifetime Pension form within these 14 days (keep in mind postage times if you mail the form).

If we don’t get the form in time, it could affect your refund amount.

There are 2 cooling-off periods for Lifetime Pension: a 14-day period and a 6-month period (see below).

We give you a 6‑month cooling‑off period to help you decide if the Lifetime Pension is right for you. It starts on the day your Lifetime Pension starts. You can find out your start day in Member Online.

If you change your mind within the 6-month cooling-off period, we'll refund your purchase price, less the following amounts:

  • Any income that’s already been paid to you from the Lifetime Pension
  • Adjustments for negative investment returns
  • Limits under super law (capital access schedule). 

Make sure that we get your Cancel a Lifetime Pension form (pdf) within the 6-month period if you want to use your cooling-off rights (keep in mind postage times if you mail the form to us).

After 6 months, your Lifetime Pension is a permanent purchase.

Unfortunately, we can’t process your Lifetime Pension cancellation form if we get it after the 6-month cooling-off period ends. Even if it's just a few days late, or we don’t get it in time because of postal delays. 

It's a good idea to send us your cancellation form by email to avoid delays by post.