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FIN5415 Superannuation and Retirement Planning

Semester 1, 2012 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business and Law
School or Department : School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Lujer Santacruz
Moderator: Aleksej Lukashenok

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at Note: This course is conducted within the Australian context and because of this, international students would be encountering concepts that are new to them and would require some effort to understand.


Superannuation plays a major role in the Australian Government's retirement funding policy. The ageing of the Australian population, increasing life spans, earlier retirement patterns and community expectations of higher living standards in retirement have all contributed to the strain on the provision of the old age pensions issued by the Government. The Government is keen to encourage greater provision for retirement, and superannuation is seen as a suitable savings vehicle. The Government aims to increase retirement savings by offering tax assistance to superannuation savings and through compulsory superannuation savings in the form of the Superannuation Guarantee contributions. There is also an ongoing thrust to simplify superannuation rules and to broaden the tax concessions.


Superannuation legislation has played a major role in the development of the Personal Financial Planning practice. This course provides a comprehensive review of the superannuation and retirement planning industry in Australia, including the Social Security system as it relates to pre-retirees and retirees. This course is aimed at helping students devise strategies for use in both the accumulation phase and the retirement phase with the objective of maximising benefits.


On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. describe an overview of the Australian superannuation environment including trends in the superannuation industry, the structure of the industry, the policy drivers behind the growth of superannuation as well as the demographics of retirement
  2. discuss the main elements of the regulation of the superannuation industry and understand disclosure and compliance regulations, and the role of different government agencies in the superannuation industry
  3. explain the various investment rules of superannuation funds and taxation of superannuation funds
  4. analyse the various ways in which individuals and employers can contribute to superannuation and identify situations where tax benefits are available, or tax penalties apply, to individuals as a result of contributing to superannuation, and calculate the relevant amounts
  5. analyse when payments can be made from superannuation funds to individuals or their beneficiaries, and the tax consequences of these
  6. analyse the various forms of retirement income streams and apply the basic tax assessment rules to them
  7. understand various Social Security payments that are available to pre-retirees and retirees and apply the Social Security rules to determine eligibility for assistance
  8. analyse pre-retirement and retirement strategies that aim to maximise benefits to superannuation members
  9. discuss requirements and strategies included in establishing and managing a self managed superannuation fund
  10. understand superannuation and other retirement issues as they relate to employers
  11. discuss special issues involved in superannuation such as divorce and residency.


Description Weighting(%)
1. The superannuation and retirement environment 7.00
2. Superannuation legislation and regulations 7.00
3. Investment rules and taxation of superannuation funds 7.00
4. Superannuation contributions 11.00
5. Superannuation lump sum benefits 11.00
6. Superannuation rollover and income stream benefits 11.00
7. Retirement and social security 10.00
8. Pre-retirement and retirement strategies 9.00
9. Self managed superannuation 9.00
10. Employer superannuation issues 9.00
11. Special issues in superannuation 9.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Jones, S 2011, Australian superannuation handbook 2011-12, Thomson Reuters, Pyrmont, New South Wales.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Beal, D 2008, Superannuation and retirement income planning, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, Queensland.
  • Leow, LP & Murphy, S 2011, 2011/2012 Australian master superannuation guide, 15th edn, CCH Australia, North Ryde, New South Wales.
  • 2011, Australian superannuation legislation, 15th edn, CCH Australia, Sydney, New South Wales.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 25.00
Directed Study 50.00
Private Study 90.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ONLINE QUIZZES 100 10 27 Feb 2012 (see note 1)
ASST (SHORT CASE STUDIES) 100 30 21 May 2012
EXAM A (MULTIPLE CHOICE) 20 12 End S1 (see note 2)

  1. These quizzes are to be administered throughout the semester and are to be completed online through the StudyDesk. Refer to the Introductory Book for details.
  2. The examination is scheduled to be held in the end-of-semester examination period. Students will be advised of the official examination date for Exam (Parts A and B) after the timetable has been finalised. The total working time for Exam (Parts A and B) is 2 hours.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    If you are an international student in Australia, you are advised to attend all classes at your campus. For all other students, there are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval of the examiner, then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    This is a restricted examination. Candidates are allowed access to specific materials during the examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing and drawing instruments; calculators which cannot hold textual information (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during the examination); English translation dictionaries (but not technical dictionaries).

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Assignments: (i) The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the examiner. (ii) Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within 24 hours if required by the examiner. (iii) The examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances. All applications for extensions must be accompanied by supporting documentation. In all circumstances no assignments will be accepted two calendar weeks after the due date. The examiner shall consider the statement accompanying a late assignment and decide on the outcome. (iv) The examiner will not accept submission of assignments by facsimile. (v) Assignments are to be submitted in the appropriate assignment folders.

  2. Referencing in assignments: Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at

  3. Course weightings: Course weightings of topics should not be interpreted as applying to the number of marks allocated to questions testing those topics in an examination paper. The examination may test material already tested in assignments.

  4. Deferred work: Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded: IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination); IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  5. Dishonest actions: (i) Any student who is alleged to have performed a dishonest action relating to any assessment in the course will have a course of action taken against him/her as outlined in the academic regulations. (ii) Pieces of assessment should be the work of individual students. Joint pieces of assessment are not permitted unless written approval has been obtained from the examiner. (iii) Dishonest action in relation to assessment includes: copying or attempting to copy the work of others; use of or attempting to use information prohibited from use in that form of assessment; submitting the work of another as your own; consciously committing acts of plagiarism, that is, taking and using another's thoughts or writings as one's own with intent to deceive, which occurs when paragraphs, sentences, a single sentence or significant parts of a sentence which are copied directly, are not enclosed in quotation marks and appropriately footnoted or referenced in the text; direct quotations are not used, but text is paraphrased or summarised, and the source of the material is not acknowledged by footnoting or other reference in the text.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access: Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at