From 1 July 2017, a $1.6 million transfer balance cap will be introduced on the total amount that can be transferred into the tax-free retirement pension phase from accumulation. Superannuation balances in excess of the transfer balance cap can remain in the accumulation phase.
If you are in excess of the transfer balance cap before 1 July 2017, you will need to transfer the excess back to your accumulation fund or remove it from your superannuation before 1 July.
Equally, if you have a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) where at least one member is exceeding their transfer balance cap, the fund will no longer be able to segregate its assets for tax purposes to calculate exempt current pension income, and the proportioning method will have to be applied instead. Capital gains tax relief is available for SMSFs that reduce the amounts supporting superannuation income streams as a result, but it is only available until 1 July 2017.
If you are likely to be in excess of the transfer balance cap, seek professional advice before 1 July 2017.
Also from 1 July 2017, the tax exempt status of earnings from assets supporting transition to retirement income streams (TRIS) will be removed. Earnings from assets supporting a TRIS will be taxed at a maximum 15 per cent, regardless of when it commenced. You may want to seek professional advice regarding continuing with TRIS.