Types of retirement pensions explained


If you’re in or nearing retirement and have heard the term ‘pension’ being thrown around, you may have picked up that there are different types of retirement pensions available in Australia.


Below, we explain the difference between some of the more commonly used retirement pensions.

Transition to retirement (TTR) pension

transition to retirement (TTR) pension enables you to access some of the super you’ve saved to date, via regular payments, even if you’re still working full-time, part-time or casually, and receiving an income from your employer or business.

To access your super this way, you must have reached your preservation age, which will be between 55 and 60, depending on when you were born. See the table below to work out what your preservation age is and note you’ll need to talk to your super fund about whether they provide TTR pension arrangements.


Your preservation age

Date of birth

Preservation age

Before 1 July 1960


1 July 1960 - 30 June 1961


1 July 1961 - 30 June 1962


1 July 1962 - 30 June 1963


1 July 1963 - 30 June 1964


1 July 1964 and onwards


Once you reach age 65 or advise your super fund that you’ve retired permanently, your TTR pension will automatically convert to an account-based pension which may have even more advantages.


Account-based (or allocated) pension

If you’ve reached your preservation age (covered above), an account-based (or allocated) pension may allow you to draw a regular income from your super savings once you’ve permanently retired. You can also commence an account-based pension once you reach age 65 regardless of your work status or intentions.

If you’ve never had an account-based pension before, there’s currently a limit on how much of your super (or TTR pension) you can transfer into an account-based pension.



An annuity is another type of pension, which generally provides guaranteed payments over a set number of years, or for the remainder of your life, depending on whether you opt for a fixed-term or lifetime annuity.

The payments you receive from an annuity depend on factors such as the amount you put in and actuarial calculations, which look at economic and demographic factors to estimate future liabilities.


The government’s Age Pension

The Age Pension is a different type of pension altogether as it’s a government benefit paid to you, from between age 65 and 67, depending on when you were born and if you’re eligible.

The age at which you can access your super and the age at which you may be eligible for the Age Pension also most likely won’t be the same.


What age can you get the government’s Age Pension?

Date of birth

Age Pension eligibility age

Before 1 July 1952


1 July 1952 - 31 December 1953

65 and a half

1 January 1954 - 30 June 1955


1 July 1955 - 31 December 1956

66 and a half

From 1 January 1957


What other eligibility criteria applies?

  • You must be an Australian resident and physically present in the county on the day you submit your claim.


  • You also must have lived in Australia for at least 10 years and continuously, for at least five of those years.


  • You must satisfy income and assets tests.

The value of various assets you have and any income you receive will determine whether you’re eligible and the amount of money you’ll receive under the Age Pension.

Working out any potential tax implications and when government benefits might be affected isn’t always straightforward, we can help create a plan for your retirement.


©AWM Services Pty Ltd. First published August 2021

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