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Retirement Income Streams

July 16 2024

A Retirement Income Stream lets you keep your super benefits with ESSSuper and convert them into a flexible income stream to suit your lifestyle in retirement.

How does a Retirement Income Stream work?

You can choose how much you receive and how often you'd like to receive your regular payments. Federal Government regulations set a minimum for the amount of income you can receive each year, depending on your age. You can choose any amount (up to your account balance) above the minimum and change the amount at any time.

To create a Retirement Income Stream, you simply roll over a superannuation lump sum into a Retirement Income Stream. The minimum investment to start your ESSSuper Retirement Income Stream account is $50,000. A transfer balance cap applies to the total amount of super an individual can transfer into a Retirement Income Stream.

If you have money invested in other super funds or wish to make a personal contribution to your super, you may wish to consolidate all of this into one, easy to manage account - that could save you fees and paperwork. You can then roll over all or part of your balance into a Retirement Income Stream.1

If you find that you require more income, your funds are running out, or you have another lump sum you would like to convert, you can open another Retirement Income Stream which will run alongside your existing one. Government legislation doesn't allow you to top-up your existing retirement income stream. If you are in this situation, contact us to discuss your options.

Once your Retirement Income Stream is in place, the balance will be affected in a number of ways:

  1. Investment returns will either add to, or subtract from your balance, depending on the market.
  2. Fees and other costs will also be deducted from your balance.
  3. The bulk of your funds are likely to go towards the regular payment into your bank account, or any lump sum withdrawals you make.

Payments will continue to be made until your account balance is exhausted. Before you begin your Retirement Income Stream, you should consider:

  • your financial needs in retirement
  • your balance
  • tax benefits and disadvantages
  • other income

1. You should check any insurance arrangements that may be forfeited, or any other effects this transfer may have on your benefits, before rolling your money into our fund.

Why choose an ESSSuper Retirement Income Stream?

The Retirement Income Stream is an easy and convenient way to continue your membership with ESSSuper when you retire:

  • There is no tax payable on any investment earnings in your account up to the transfer balance cap (see Tax & Super).
  • All income stream payments are tax free.
  • You can choose up to nine investment options, which range from shares to cash. You choose the mix that suits your circumstances.
  • You can withdraw lump sums as required but these are taxed as pension income payments for taxation purposes.
  • You can choose the frequency of payments.
  • You can select the level of income you need, however there are minimum amounts prescribed that you must take each year.

Partial withdrawals available anytime through Members Online

Partial withdrawals can be requested whenever you need to, by either logging into Members Online or over the phone.

About withdrawing from your ESSSuper Retirement Income Stream account(s):

  • For partial withdrawals, you must keep at least $6,000 in your account. Through Members Online, you can withdraw between $100 and $50,000 in one online request every seven days.
  • Proof of your identity has to be on file for all withdrawal requests. Please refer to our Proof of identity web page for more information.
  • To avoid amounts larger than the available balance being paid out, full withdrawals can't be requested within four business days before a regular income stream payment. Instead, please submit your request after receiving your next regular income stream payment.

Log into Members Online

If you have any concerns about withdrawing from your Retirement Income Stream, please contact us.


Emergency Services Superannuation Board ABN 28 161 296 741 (ESSB), the Trustee of the Emergency Services Superannuation Scheme ABN 85 894 637 037 (ESSSuper). The information contained on this web page is of a general nature only. It should not be considered as a substitute for reading the relevant ESSSuper Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) that contains detailed information about ESSSuper products, services and features. Before making a decision about an ESSSuper product, you should consider the appropriateness of the product to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs. It may also be beneficial to seek professional advice from a licensed financial planner or adviser. An ESSSuper PDS is available on our PDS and handbooks page or by contacting us.