(1) The taxation of superannuation benefits depends primarily on the age of the member.
(2) If the member is aged 60 or over, superannuation benefits (both lump sums and income streams) are tax free if the benefits have already been subject to tax in the fund (that is, where the benefits comprise a taxed element). This covers the great majority of superannuation members.
(3) Where a superannuation benefit contains an amount that has not been subject to tax in the fund (an untaxed element), this element is subject to tax for those aged 60 or over, though at concessional rates. This is relevant generally to those people (for example, public servants), who are members of a superannuation fund established by the Australian Government or a state government.
(4) If the member is less than 60, superannuation benefits may receive concessional taxation treatment, though the treatment is less concessional than for those aged 60 and over.
(5) Superannuation benefits may also include a "tax free component"; this component of the benefit is always paid tax free.
(6) Additional tax concessions may apply when superannuation benefits are paid after a member's death.