Retirement planning goal (super contributions and pensions)

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What to enter at the Retirement Planning step

At the Retirement planning sub-step (under the Cash flows & Goals step on the top menu) , for each individual, you can set options for:

  • Voluntary super contributions (e.g. salary sacrifice, deductible contributions, non-concessional contributions)
  • Retirement age or date
  • Drawing a pension
  • Including an estimate for the Age Pension

Note that instructions for investments in superannuation funds and SMSFs should be given at the Review super funds step (for more, see Superannuation and SMSF (Self-Managed Super Fund))

Websolve options

Data entry tips

  • You can use the Age Lookup table to find an individual's preservation age and Age pension age.
  • If you are unsure where to start with this section, the (robot) button is a good initial option. In many cases, Pathfinder will prefer to use excess funds for voluntary super contributions over any thing else in the case, and so the results will give you a good indication of the maximum contributions that the individual can afford while meeting other goals in the case. If the contributions seem inappropriate for the case (for example, if the individuals are a long way from retirement), you can return to the Retirement planning step and place more restrictions on the voluntary super contributions (see below for placing restrictions, and to copy a scenario, see How to make another scenario for comparison).

Retirement age or date

Set when an individual plans to retire
  1. Go to the Cashflows & Goals step (on the top menu), then the Retirement planning sub-step
  2. For each individual in the case, you can enter the retirement age or date (when you enter the age, the date will be calculated for you, and vice versa)
  3. Note that the Pathfinder uses the 'Retirement date' for the last date that the individual satisfied the work test.

Super contributions

Super guarantee

Set options for making voluntary super contributions

(i.e. salary sacrifice, self-employed deductible contributions, non-concessional super contributions)

  1. Go to the  Retirement planning sub-step (under the Cash flows & Goals step on the top menu)
  2. For the selected individual, find the Voluntary super contributions field. This field has options for controlling all voluntary super contributions:

ROBOT button - this button will contribute to super as much as the individual can afford if it will maximize their total wealth under the given assumptions. The best combination of before and after-tax contributions will also be calculated. You should check the results to ensure they are consistent with their risk profile. NONE button - no voluntary super contributions will be made for the entire analysis. SET TOTAL VOLUNTARY AMOUNT button - set a maximum contribution amount and Pathfinder will optimise between before and after tax contributions. DEFINE BEFORE/AFTER TAX CONTRIBUTIONS button - Separately control voluntary before-tax contributions and voluntary after-tax contributions. NOTE: For all options, by default, Pathfinder will not exceed contribution caps.

For more information on setting a specific amount in some years and optimising in others, see How to allow a value to be optimised in the series builder by using dash.

Pathfinder will not make contributions if they contradict the legislated threshholds (e.g. the annual concessional super deposit cap). Most options in Pathfinder allow you to keep within these thresholds without any special attention (e.g. , maximum). However if you set instructions that will force Pathfinder to contradict the rules, you will get an error in the 'Solve events' (which is visible at the 'Solve' step when you click the Start solve button). In some situations, Pathfinder may still produce results, but they will follow the legislation instead of your instructions, and it is strongly recommended that you adjust your inputs and run again to ensure robust results.

Use bring forward rules

Pathfinder will apply the bring-forward rule if all of the following apply:

  • The individual can afford to do so
  • They are eligible to do so as defined by government legislation
  • The options entered by you do not prevent Pathfinder from doing so. For the Voluntary super contribution options field, it is best to choose the button (rather than trying to restrict the contributions)
  • Using the bring-forward rule will maximise net wealth at the end of the analysis under the given assumptions and goals.
Allow or prevent the 'unused concessional cap carry forward' rule for voluntary concessional contributions

See How to include or exclude the unused concessional cap carry forward rule

Government co-contribution

The government co-contribution amount will automatically be calculated. However note that this co-contribution can only be made when:

  1. The income entered for the individual is under the co-contribution threshold
  2. The options entered in the Voluntary super contribution field allow non-concessional contributions to be made (i.e. 'None' has not been selected for all voluntary contributions or non-concessional contributions)
  3. In the results, it was found to be optimal to make a non-concessional super contribution

Pensions & income in retirement

Include/Exclude a transition to retirement pension

Start an account-based pension (ABP)
Include/Exclude spouse super splitting

To set the option for spouse super splitting:

  1. Go to the Cashflows & Goals step (on the top menu), then the Retirement planning sub-step
  2. For the selected individual, for the Allow spouse super splitting field, choose the appropriate option.
Government Age Pension

To include or exclude an estimate for the Age Pension for the scenario:

  1. Go to the Cash flows & Goals step (top menu), then the Retirement Planning sub-step.
  2. In the Age Pension section, for the Include Age Pension estimate field, choose 'Include' or 'Exclude'

Note that if an individual is receiving an Age Pension, you should not enter it as income as this will double up with Pathfinder's estimate.

If you choose to include an age pension estimate:

  • An estimate for the government Age Pension will be included in the results, this estimate may be zero.
  • The age pension estimate is based on the data entered in Pathfinder:

For more, see How to include or exclude the Government Age Pension

Pension income from other countries

If an individual is receiving a pension income from another country, this should be entered in Australian Dollars in the Income section of Pathfinder.

Retirement income before preservation age

If the individual is retiring before their preservation age, then Pathfinder will work out what assets it can draw on outside super to meet their expenses. This may be income from investments or selling investments or their partner's income. You can still allow Pathfinder to make deposits to super, if you choose the , Pathfinder will not make contributions to super if it means they will not have enough funds to meet their expenses before their preservation age.

Related items

Reading the results for retirement planning

See Retirement Planning and Build Super results

Strategy Development Service (SDS) options

If the case includes complex analysis that you are not able to do in Pathfinder yourself, it may need to be submitted to the Optimo Financial SDS. Complexities include, but are not limited to:

  • Defined Benefit pensions, including government super schemes such as PSS, CSS, military super, GESBE - Please contact us if you would like to model these types of pensions. We may be able to help you as part of our free support, but if the case is complex we will suggest you submit the case to the SDS.  Please note that we're not experts in these kinds of pensions, but as long as you know what the results should look like, then we're happy to work with you to find a way to get the results you need.