Returning to Work After Retirement: What Are the Rules?

Returning to Work After Retirement

Look at you go you little productivity machine!  You’ve substituted caravanning and sleep-ins with researching returning to work after retirement.

Well, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to explain to you all the rules around working after retirement.

Returning to Work After Retirement

Returning to work after retirement can be done, but you need to ensure it’s done in the right way and in accordance with superannuation rules and regulations.

It’s not uncommon to want to return to work after retirement, even if only on a part-time or casual basis.

Going back to work after retirement is generally not an issue. Think about it. Why would the Government not want you working, earning, paying taxes and relying less on Age Pension entitlements? You just need to ensure you understand the superannuation retirement rules.

Can I Retire and Then Return to Work?

You can retire and then return to work. In fact, you can retire whenever you want, at any age, and recommence work at your leisure – there’s no rules preventing you doing that.

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The only time retirement rules come into play is when you would like to (or have already) accessed your superannuation and then plan on returning to work.

There are three ways in which you might be able to retire, access your super and then return to work. These are:

1. Retiring at Age 65 and Returning to Work

If you have attained age 65, you have automatically satisfied a superannuation condition of release, meaning you can access your super in full with no restrictions.

Age 65 allows you to not only access as much super as you like, but you do not even need to be retired or stop working to do so.

The minute you turn age 65, you can access your super as a lump sum or income stream.

Read more about the superannuation lump sum withdrawal rules and superannuation income streams.

2. Retired After Your Preservation Age and Returning to Work

One of the definitions of retirement is retiring after reaching your superannuation preservation age with no intention of returning to full-time or part-time work ever again.

You satisfy this definition of retirement by signing a declaration that this is true and correct and all of your circumstances at that time suggest that you intend on retiring.

So, under these circumstances, can you return to work?

Well, technically, yes.

Firstly, you said you wouldn’t return to part-time or full-time work. But there’s nothing stopping you from casual work, which is defined as less than 10 hours in any given week (not an average).

Secondly, just because your intention at the specific time you retired was not to return to work; isn’t it possible that your intentions could change over time? You might decide that you retired too soon and would like to go back to work after an early retirement, your retirement savings may have declined at a faster rate than anticipated and you want to stem the flow by returning to work. You might even find that returning to work after retirement is better for your mental health.

The point is, your intentions are allowed to change, provided that your initial intentions to never return to work after accessing your super were genuine at that point in time.

3. Ceasing An Employment Arrangement After Age 60

Another lesser-known definition of retirement for superannuation purposes is having an employment arrangement come to an end after reaching age 60.

This allows you to have complete, unrestricted access to your super yet continuing to work – effectively retiring and returning to work, but still getting full access to your super.

The only condition in this instance is that an employment arrangement came to an end and you were over age 60 when it ended. For example, this might mean quitting a job with one employer and starting work with a completely different employer, or closing down a business and going to work as an employee with another company.

Confused About Returning to Work After Retirement?

If you’re still confused about whether you can return to work after retirement, I think you should watch this video I made, which explains things in more detail.

Can I Access My Super at 60 and Still Work Full Time?

Yes, you can access your super at 60 and still work full-time. You don’t even need to be aged 65 or retired. To do this, you simply use your super to commence a transition to retirement pension.

Once you reach age 60, you can use your super balance to commence a transition to retirement (TTR) pension, even if you are still working full-time. You do not need to stop working or change jobs, because a TTR pension is specifically designed to allow you to transition into retirement.

A TTR allows you to access between 4% and 10% of your account balance each year, which can be used to supplement other income, pay down debt, or implement tax-effective retirement planning strategies.

Learn more about TTR Pensions.

Our financial planning firm, Toro Wealth, specialises solely in helping 50 to 70 year-olds optimise their financial position in the lead up to retirement. If you’re interested in learning more about our service and cost, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about returning to work after retirement and the benefits of working past retirement age.

Can I Return to Work After Retirement?

Yes, you can return to work after retirement. It is possible that your intentions or circumstances have changed and you have decided that you would prefer to return to work, even if you have already accessed your superannuation or are receiving Age Pension payments.

Can You Work After Retirement Age in Australia?

Yes, you can return to work after retirement age in Australia. There is no requirement for you to cease work once you reach retirement age, even if you have already accessed your super or are receiving Age Pension payments.

What Are the Rules for Working After Retirement?

The rules for working after retirement are that you need to ensure you are not in breach of superannuation rules if you plan on accessing your super. Apart from that, there is no restriction on you working after retirement.

What Happens if You Work After Retirement?

If you work after retirement, you will earn more money, presumably need less (or none) or your super and investments to cover living expenses and possibly even be building up more of your retirement nest-egg. There is no penalty for working after retirement. However, it may result in you receiving less in Age Pension payments.

Is it Good to Work Past Retirement Age?

It is good to work past retirement age if you would like to build up more wealth towards your eventual retirement, make your super last longer and if you receive fulfillment from your job. However, working past retirement age could result in you doing a job during what should be some of the best years of your life, spent with friends, family and grandchildren.

Can I Still Work and Get the Old Age Pension?

Yes, you can still work and get the Old Age Pension. The Centrelink Work Bonus and Income Free area allow eligible single people the ability to earn $490 per fortnight without affecting Age Pension payments and couples the ability to earn up to $300 per fortnight each under the Work Bonus and $336 per fortnight combined under the pension income free area.

What Are the Benefits of Working Past Retirement Age?

The benefits of working past retirement age are that you will be drawing down less on your super and investments and potentially contributing more to your retirement savings, which can allow you to eventually have a higher retirement income or leave a greater inheritance to your loved-ones.

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Hi, I hope you enjoyed reading this article.

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Thanks for stopping by - Chris