Do you need an income and to access lump sums?

If you get to retirement and want to take a regular ongoing income from your super, and you also want to access a lump sum, this may be possible.

You may choose to take a lump sum at the time you retire, or perhaps a few years afterwards. You may also choose to take more than one lump sum.

For example, you might have a mortgage when you leave work and choose to take a lump sum at retirement to pay that out. Then, perhaps 5 years later, you want a new car and decide to take another lump sum to buy that. And then, 20 years after that, you want to put a deposit on a place in your choice of aged care homes.

But, on top of those one-off expenses, you also need to use your super to live off and provide you with a regular ongoing income.

Let’s look at ongoing income

Your super money belongs to you and it’s up to you how and where you want to invest it once you’ve retired.

One of the options available to you as an ElectricSuper member is to invest some or all of your super money into an Income Stream when you retire. It’s up to you how much you want to put into an Income Stream. For example, you might choose to put some of your money into an Income Stream but take some as a cash payment to use for whatever you want . Or you might choose to put all of it into an Income Stream and draw lump sums out of that Income Stream when you need them.

It’s your money so you are able to access it when you need to, even if you’ve opened a new Income Stream account and moved all your super money into it.

An Income Stream is designed to keep your money in the ‘super’ environment, where it earns investment returns, just like your super did before you retired, and it will pay you your chosen amount of money at regular intervals. Read more about the basics of an income stream in our Income Stream article.

The government sets the minimum you need to take each year, but you can take more than the minimum if you want.

The minimum depends on your age. You can see the current minimum that you need to take if you have an Income Stream on the Income Stream page. The minimum is reviewed each year.

You may be able to get the aged pension too

You can potentially combine your regular payments from your Income Stream with a part- or full- age pension from the government to make sure your lifestyle in retirement is just what you hoped for. The age pension is means tested and income tested so even if you have an Income Stream, you may still be eligible for an age pension, depending on your assets and income.

If you open an Income Stream with ElectricSuper, you can choose to receive your money fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, twice a year or annually. You can change the amount and frequency you are paid as often as you need to. Your needs will probably change over time, and the amount you could receive in an age pension from the government could change over time too, so it’s handy that you can change your Income Stream payments to suit your life.

Even while you’re receiving your Income Stream in regular payments, you can still request one-off lump sum withdrawals be paid to you in addition to your regular payments.

For example, you might receive $1,600 a fortnight in regular payments from your Income Stream. Now, you’ve just seen a great deal on a caravan. It’s $40,000. What do you do? Well, you could request a one-off $40,000 lump sum be paid to you from your Income Stream. Your regular fortnightly $1,600 payment will continue without interruption to your bank account. The lump sum you’ve requested will be processed and transferred to your bank account too. If you’ve got the money in your Income Stream account, no problem!

How can you learn about your situation?

Our online calculator is so flexible!

Text saying try your info in the calculator next to a red monitor showing the calculator on a red background

You can enter your details, including your planned retirement age, how much you want to live off each year, what you have in super now, details about your spouse and so much more.

Using your personalised information means that you can get a good picture of what your finances in retirement might look like.

You can put information into the calculator about possible lump sums you might take out of your super after you’ve retired and you can see the difference it will make to how long your money might last you.


We have 3 animated videos available on demand. Each is 2-3 minutes long.

They are for people who are wondering what might happen if they access a lump sum from their super, or more than one lump sum at or during retirement. Will taking $20,000 at retirement mean a lifetime of tinned beans? Will paying off the mortgage mean you can’t afford a lifestyle you love in retirement? If you only have a modest super balance, will it last you long enough? The videos show you a few different case studies. You might be surprised at what you discover.

Watch one or all 3!

Want to know more?

We have a whole web page full of resources for people who are nearing retirement. You can access the Preparing to Retire page of our Learning Hub here:

You can also read more about it in our Preparing for Retirement Booklet which is downloadable as a pdf. Download the booklet here:

Image of a manila folder on a red background next to the words Download the booklet with a red download icon

Want to know even more?

Make a free appointment to talk to us. Book your appointment with our Member Services Team at a time and place that suits you online or by calling 1300 307 844. Our appointments are free for members.

We can’t give you advice but we can help you understand all of the information for your situation so you can make the most informed decision for you.

How do you set up an Income Stream?

If you wish to set up an Income Stream, use the Benefit Payment form. It instructs us on what you want to do with your super balance – including investing it in an Income Stream.

Use the form to nominate the bank account you want your regular payments to go into and to let us know how you want your Income Stream invested.

If you want to receive a lump sum from your super at retirement, you can use this same form to let us know how much you need to take now.

You can request to take a lump sum from your Income Stream in the online member portal or by using an easy form available from our website. It can take a few days to process your request so make sure you give yourself enough time when requesting a lump sum.

Not the right scenario for you?

Maybe accessing an ongoing income isn’t the right scenario for you.

You can learn more about the other 3 retirement scenarios by clicking on the buttons below:

Text says Learn more about accessing ongoing income click the blue button next to a round blue button To learn about accessing a lump sum click green To learn about leaving your super click gold


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