Author Topic: question for superannuation brains - what about pension phase 0% tax  (Read 1849 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 77
Since investment return on superannuation in the accumulation phase is taxed at 15% and once in the pension phase it is taxed at zero percent wouldn't one expect to see an improved overall return for the same product.

In sunsuper for example you can invest in a range of products in either superannuation savings (accumulation phase) or in the income account (this is where they distribute a pension to you at 4% , 5% annually increasing with age).

So to compare the simplest products I compared the unit prices for the cash account, balanced index fund and Australian shares index. I compared the unit prices from August 30 2012 to Aug 30 2017. I used the money chimp return on investment tool Using the unit prices excludes any fees for example the income account charges you 0.1% to dole you out your money. It also ignores the effect of additions or withdrawals.

                                                           Cash return                    balanced return              Australian shares index
superannuation accumulation phase.            2.57%                           9.95%                            10.64%
superannuation income phase.                     2.97%                          11.00%                           11.51%

It is heartening to see the cash returns are about 15% higher but the balanced is about 10% higher and the shares only 8% higher.
Please feel free to correct my understanding if I am looking at this wrong. But this is what I find so difficult with superannuation funds is you cannot easily see what is going on with hidden fees etc. I would prefer to have a SMSF just so I can clearly see what is going on but we would have to rollover once retiring as we cannot retire in Australia. Therefore we would incur a CGT event.
Is superannuationfreak still around?


  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5904
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: question for superannuation brains - what about pension phase 0% tax
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2017, 10:59:06 PM »
Not all components of the return are income which is taxed at 15%.

Unrealised capital gains are not taxed, and realised capital gains are taxed at 10% (33.33% discounted CGT).

The options may have slightly different investment mixes... for example the in the Balanced option, it may have a range of 25-40% Australian shares. The accumulation fund may have the weighting at 40%, but the pension option may have it around 25-30%. The portfolio held may be different as well.

Fees may be higher in the pension option too, which could be a drag on returns.

Lots of different factors to consider.