Small Business Glossary

RSA - Retirement Savings Account

A Retirement Savings Account, or RSA, is a type of superannuation account with tax benefits for retirement savings.

In the realm of small business, understanding financial terms is not just a necessity, but a tool for success. One such term that holds immense significance is the RSA, or Retirement Savings Account. This term, often heard in the corridors of finance and business, is a beacon of hope for many, a promise of a secure and comfortable future. This article aims to shed light on the intricate details of an RSA, its implications, and its relevance to small businesses in Australia.

An RSA is a special type of account that is specifically designed to provide people with a means to save for their retirement. It is a long-term financial commitment that requires consistent contributions over a period of time. The goal is to accumulate a substantial sum that can be used to fund one's lifestyle after retirement. Now, let's delve deeper into the world of RSAs and explore its various facets.

Understanding the RSA

The Retirement Savings Account is a type of investment account that allows individuals to save for their retirement in a tax-efficient manner. It is a government-approved scheme that encourages people to save for their future. The money you put into your RSA grows over time, thanks to the power of compound interest, and the earnings are tax-deferred until withdrawal.

RSAs are typically offered by banks, building societies, life insurance companies, and certain other financial institutions. They are designed to be low risk, meaning they generally offer a lower rate of return compared to other investment options. However, the primary attraction of an RSA is its relative safety and stability, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer to avoid risk in their retirement savings.

Features of an RSA

RSAs come with a host of features that make them an attractive option for retirement savings. One of the key features is the tax benefits. The contributions you make to your RSA are tax-deductible, which means you can reduce your taxable income and potentially pay less tax. Additionally, the earnings on your RSA are tax-deferred, meaning you don't pay tax on them until you start making withdrawals in retirement.

Another notable feature of an RSA is the flexibility it offers. You can choose how much you want to contribute and when, within certain limits set by the government. This allows you to tailor your retirement savings plan to suit your financial situation and goals. Furthermore, you can generally access your RSA funds once you reach the preservation age, which is currently set at 55 years in Australia.

Types of RSAs

There are two main types of RSAs: accumulation RSAs and pension RSAs. Accumulation RSAs are where your contributions and the earnings on them accumulate over time. You can make regular contributions to this type of RSA and the money is invested on your behalf. When you retire, you can choose to receive your RSA funds as a lump sum, a regular income stream, or a combination of both.

Pension RSAs, on the other hand, are designed to provide you with a regular income in retirement. You transfer your accumulated RSA funds into a pension RSA when you retire, and then receive regular payments from it. The amount of these payments can be adjusted each year to account for inflation and changes in your financial circumstances.

RSAs and Small Businesses

RSAs play a crucial role in the financial planning of small businesses. For small business owners, an RSA can serve as a valuable tool for ensuring their financial security in retirement. By regularly contributing to an RSA, they can build a substantial nest egg that can provide them with a steady income in their golden years.

Moreover, RSAs can also be beneficial for small businesses in terms of employee retention. By offering RSAs as part of their employee benefits package, small businesses can attract and retain talented employees. This can give them a competitive edge in the market and contribute to their long-term success.

Setting up an RSA for Your Business

Setting up an RSA for your small business involves several steps. First, you need to choose a provider. This could be a bank, a life insurance company, or another financial institution. It's important to compare different providers and consider factors such as fees, investment options, and customer service.

Once you've chosen a provider, you'll need to fill out an application form to open an RSA. This usually involves providing some personal and financial information. After your application is approved, you can start making contributions to your RSA. You can set up regular contributions from your business earnings, or make lump sum contributions as and when you can afford to.

Managing Your RSA

Managing your RSA involves keeping track of your contributions and the performance of your investments. It's important to regularly review your RSA to ensure it's on track to meet your retirement goals. This may involve adjusting your contributions or changing your investment options.

It's also important to keep in mind that while RSAs are generally low risk, they are not completely risk-free. The value of your RSA can go up and down with changes in the market. Therefore, it's important to have a diversified investment portfolio and not rely solely on your RSA for your retirement savings.


In conclusion, an RSA is a powerful tool for retirement savings. It offers tax benefits, flexibility, and a relatively safe and stable investment option. For small business owners, an RSA can provide a means to secure their financial future and ensure a comfortable retirement.

However, like any financial decision, it's important to do your research and consider your individual circumstances before deciding to open an RSA. Seek advice from a financial advisor if you're unsure. Remember, the key to a successful retirement is planning and preparation. So start early, contribute regularly, and watch your retirement savings grow.

Why waste time on financial admin when Thriday can do it for you?

Already have an account? Login here
Thriday Debit Card