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Investing for Retirement

A program for SASS members

Where to invest for retirement

Step 3: Deciding where to invest for retirement

Our Investing for retirement program is designed to help you make better financial decisions for life beyond SASS. You’ll get tips and expert insights to guide you, so that you’re ready to leave SASS feeling comfortable with your plans.

This month, we look at where to invest your final SASS benefit for retirement.

You’ll learn:

Free SASS Webinar
A great way to learn all the in's and outs of your SASS scheme

The options you have when you exit SASS

Don’t have regrets about how you exit SASS. This article outlines your options, and why understanding them matters.

Once you’ve finished work or chosen to retire, you’ll need to decide what to do with your SASS benefit when you exit the scheme. This is an important decision because, for most people, your SASS benefit will be your main source of income in retirement.

So, what are your options? Well, once you’ve met the requirements to have your benefit paid out of the scheme, you have a few options to consider:

Option 1 You could take your final benefit as a lump sum and get it paid into your bank account. Keep in mind that once you take your money out of super, there may be restrictions on what you could get back in; or worse still, you may not be able to put any of your money back in to super. Also, be aware that if you are under 60 years of age, you might have to pay tax on your lump sum payment.

Option 2 You could roll over all your SASS into a super fund and leave it in the accumulation phase. By doing this, you’ll stay within the super system and continue to enjoy up to 15% tax on earnings.

Option 3 If eligible, you could start a retirement income stream / pension to receive regular payments in retirement. The income stream is the most tax effective – as there is no tax on earnings, and no tax on your payments once you reach 60. There is a generous maximum on how much you can invest in this earnings tax free environment (1.7 mill as at 1/7/2022).

Option 4 You could do a combination of both – take a lump sum big enough to pay off your debts and keep the rest in super. This could provide you with the best of both worlds, provided you’re careful not to spend your lump sum on things you don’t need.

Option 5 If you’ve been transferred to SASS from another scheme, you may also have the option of a lifetime pension. If you’re unsure whether you qualify for this option, it’s always best to check.

Option 6 Leave (defer) your final benefit in SASS until you make a decision. There is no age restriction on when you can defer your benefit within SASS, however that may not be the most effective option for you. Discussing your options with a Aware Super financial planner will ensure you make the correct choice.

Stepping into unknown territory can feel daunting, and sometimes it’s good to have an expert by your side. An Aware Super financial planner can help you navigate your decision to exit SASS, the raft of paperwork that goes with it, and importantly, help you make the important decision of whether to rollover all or part of your benefit and stay in the super system. They’ll take you through your options and help you make the right decision for you.

Getting comfortable with the exit process

If you do not need to seek advice because you’re clear and confident about what you’re going to do with your final benefit, you’re ready to go through the exit process. Do you know the steps involved? Here’s a brief rundown:

Step 1 Notifying State Super –Your employer must complete a form (E403) to notify State Super that you are ceasing employment, or if you’re over 65, you’d like your benefit paid while you’re still working.

Step 2 Applying for payment of your SASS benefit – The next step is to complete an application to State Super (known as member form 412) requesting the payment of your benefit or rollover into a super fund account of your choice, plus where eligible for a part pension, your decision regarding that option.

Step 3 Finalising your payment / rollover – Benefit payments will generally be processed on receipt of full and correct documentation from yourself and your employer. An Aware Super financial planner will ensure that you’re prepared for any period you may need to wait for payment.

You’ve hopefully already downloaded the SASS exit checklist we’ve included in this month’s email. Use the checklist to tick things off your list as you go through the exit process.

Things to consider before you exit SASS

Understanding the SASS exit process is one thing. But it’s just as important to make sure you’re making a well-informed decision about how and when to leave the scheme.

Below we’ve included a list of questions to ask yourself before you put the exit wheels in motion:

  • Have I maximised my SASS points?
  • Will the timing of my exit maximise my employer-financed benefit and basic benefit?
  • Have I considered all my options for the scheme benefit?
  • Have I considered what to do with any long service leave?
  • Are there any tax implications of my decision?
  • Do I know how much I need to live on in retirement?
  • Do I know how / where I’m going to invest my funds?
  • Are my funds going to remain within the super system?
  • Do I know how much income I need to generate from my investments to fund my retirement?
  • Am I eligible for Centrelink entitlements and how long before I can access them?

Getting clear on the above answers and being fully informed about the decisions you make could have a big impact on your retirement.

For help on whether to take a lump sum or roll over your SASS, reviewing your investment mix for super, or setting up income stream for retirement, you can attend one of our SASS webinars or make an appointment with an Aware Super planner1.

1 Financial planning services are provided by our financial planning business, Aware Financial Services Australia Limited, ABN 86 003 742 756 AFSL No. 238430.
This is general information only and does not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation or needs. Seek professional financial advice, consider your own circumstances and read our product disclosure statement before making a decision about Aware Super. Call us or visit our website for a copy.
Issued by Aware Financial Services Australia Limited ABN 86 003 742 756, AFSL No. 238430. Aware Financial Services Australia Limited is wholly owned by Aware Super ABN 53 226 460 365. The trustee of Aware Super is Aware Super Pty Ltd ABN 11 118 202 672, AFSL 293340.

Book an appointment with an Aware Super financial planner.

An exit checklist for SASS members

Use this step-by-step checklist to make sure you’ve done your due diligence before you exit the scheme.

Download our checklist

Quiz: How prepared are you for exit?

Take this short quiz to discover just how prepared you are for life after SASS.

Take the quiz

Get more from your SASS Scheme

Get your questions answered by an expert. Our webinars provide you with an opportunity to learn more about your scheme – and your decisions at exit. Find a webinar near you.

Find a webinar near you.

Getting personal advice that’s tailored to you is the best way to understand your options – and how they’ll impact your income in retirement. Call 1800 620 305 to book an appointment with an Aware Super planner.

Visit the State Super website to access scheme fact sheets or to login to your SASS account