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Downsizing boosts retirement super

Older Australians are taking advantage of the Federal Government’s 2018 family home downsizer measures, allowing proceeds from the sale of the family home to go into the tax-free environment of superannuation accounts.

The downsizer measure allows eligible Australians aged 65 and over to sell their primary residence (if they have held for 10 years or more) and contribute up to $300,000 (or $600,000 per couple) from the sale proceeds into their super.

You won’t pay tax on your downsizer contribution and it will not count towards your contribution caps.

You can make a contribution if you have a super balance greater than $1.6 million, but it will count towards your transfer balance cap.

The transfer balance cap is the amount of superannuation you can transfer into the retirement phase.

Learn more about the downsizer measure here.

You could draw an additional $15,000 per year

QSuper says its members have contributed more than $69 million to their super by downsizing their homes since the measure was introduced.

According to data released earlier this month, the average downsizer contribution among QSuper members was $220,000.

QSuper says a 65 year old adding $220,000 to their super would be able to draw an additional tax-free income of $15,000 per year until age 88.

Read more.

Seek advice first

The downsizing measure offers a number of benefits, but it may not be for everyone.

Your personal situation and other factors need to be taken into account.

That’s why you should seek financial advice before deciding whether to use the downsizing measure.

Finding a house to suit your needs

As we age, the family home can become more difficult to look after, more expensive to maintain and more difficult to move around in.

A lot of older people live in homes that are no longer suitable for their needs.

For example, it can be difficult – or extremely dangerous, climbing stairs after you’ve had a stroke.

Pensioners struggle with the cost of retrofitting their homes to make them safer and more age friendly.

The Age Pension means-test is the problem, and the government must do more to enable pensioners to boost their incomes.

Better housing for pensioners

Through the Better housing campaign, National Seniors Australia is pushing the government to go further and exempt up to $250,000 of excess home sale proceeds from the Age Pension means test.

Add your voice to the cause and receive regular updates from National Seniors Australia.

Join the campaign

How else can you help?

If you are not already a member, you can also help support our Better housing campaign by joining National Seniors Australia.

Our membership fees go towards our research and advocacy so we can fight for better conditions and outcomes for all older Australians.

We also run campaigns aimed at fixing pension poverty, reducing out-of-pocket health costs, cutting energy costs, and more.

As a National Seniors member, you’ll also access discounts, benefits and services to suit your stage of life.

Learn more

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