November 29 2023
Thinking about retirement?
Contact us to discuss your options today.
No one knows your SERB Scheme better than we do.
The SERB Scheme (State Employees Retirement Benefit Scheme) members are eligible state employees who joined the scheme between 1980 and 30 June 1988.
How your SERB Scheme works
Throughout your working life, both you and funding from your employer will contribute to your SERB Scheme.
Your end benefit is calculated using a formula which takes into account a number of elements, including your:
- Trigger event (eg. resignation, retrenchment, or retirement)
- Salary, and
- Period of service
Grow your super - see the strategies that can make the difference.
As a SERB Scheme member you have a number of options, resulting in:
- Part lump sum payment, part life pension
- Lump sum payment
You can transfer* your lump sum benefit into our award-winning Accumulation Plan or take out an Income Stream. Our Accumulation Plan will give you the flexibility to continue to receive contributions if you are still working, increase your insurance cover** and nominate beneficiaries.
Find out more about our Accumulation Plan
SERB Scheme members who are under age 60 always have disability cover. After applying for a benefit, ESSSuper will determine whether you're eligible for:
- A temporary pension (with payments that don't reduce your retirement benefit)
- A permanent disability pension and a lump sum payment from the Beneficiary Account, or
- Commuting a permanent disability pension into a full lump sum benefit.
About temporary pensions
If you're eligible, a temporary pension may be payable:
- If it appears you're likely to substantially recover from your injury, disease, or infirmity
- For a maximum period of up to one year (as long as you don't finish employment and medical evidence supports continuation of the benefit).
ESSSuper will make a decision on a disability claim after you've attended at least two independent medical examinations with Board-approved doctors.
To learn more or complete an application form, please refer to our Claiming a disability benefit (defined benefit) fact sheet, available in the 'Looking after your loved ones' section of our Publications web page.
Working part-time in the transition to retirement
As you approach retirement, it can be helpful to make changes at work to ease the transition.
One way to do this is by reducing your hours or changing to a more flexible role. To make the transition gradual, you can consider:
- Talking to your employer about your options, e.g. purchasing extra leave
- Discussing your needs with your family, and
- Meeting with a Financial Advisor† to make a plan.
If your super is in one of our State Super funds, reducing your hours is unlikely to have an impact on the Final Average Salary used to calculate your retirement benefit, although it will impact your benefits by reducing the rate at which your super accumulates.
Planning for your future can be a daunting task, but you're not alone. Contact us for expert information and financial advice about your super from one of our Financial Advisors.† You may also benefit from meeting with a Member Education Consultant for general advice about your ESSSuper account.
On the other hand, if you want to increase your take-home pay before retiring, you could:
- Work extra hours at your current job
- Look for additional work outside of your current job (which may be subject to approval by your current employer), or
- Ask for a pay rise.
However, before taking any action to increase your take-home pay, it's important to consider:
- Talking to your employer about overtime options
- Checking your conditions of employment
- How much tax you will need to pay on any extra income
- The impact on your work/life balance.
Accessing your superannuation while working
If you'd like to reduce your work hours without decreasing your income, accessing your super while working could be an option. You may be able to access a transition to retirement pension such as our Working Income Stream to do this.
To access a Working Income Stream you need to:
- Have some or all of your super in an accumulation account (not a defined benefit), and
- Have reached your superannuation preservation age.
It's crucial to be aware that drawing on your superannuation while still working will mean having less money when you retire.
You can learn more about transitioning to retirement on the Government's Moneysmart website.
Thinking about retirement?
Your entitlements and options are dependent on your circumstances, and the complexities can be confusing. It's important that you receive accurate information - remember, no one knows your SERB Scheme better than ESSSuper.
We can help you understand your options in detail, and if you need, we can refer you to our Financial Advisers†, who can advise you on which option is best for your personal situation.
Be in the know: Find out more about our advice† and education services today