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AMP launches market-first retirement solution – MyNorth Lifetime
Super and retirement
18 October 2022

AMP launches market-first retirement solution – MyNorth Lifetime

  • Provides highest levels of lifetime income in the market
  • First retirement income stream that can be opened before retirement
  • Increases likely eligibility for age pension with at least a 40 per cent discount on Centrelink assets test

AMP today announces the launch of a market-first retirement solution, MyNorth Lifetime, an innovative new option for retirees that provides the peace of mind and certainty of higher income for life.

MyNorth Lifetime, available through the MyNorth Wrap platform, delivers on a key strategic priority for AMP to help more Australians achieve a better-quality life throughout retirement.

The unique design of MyNorth Lifetime provides higher rates of income to retirees by combining the flexibility of an account-based pension with the lifetime cashflow features of annuities.

Customers are paid an income for life, which incorporates the certainty of an annual bonus underwritten by TAL, one of Australia’s leading life insurers.

Customers and their financial advisers have complete control over investment choice and strategy, with access to North’s extensive investment menu. This ensures advisers can support their customer’s specific investment goals and retirement objectives, and make changes over time as circumstances change. The account provides an income for life because the guaranteed annual bonus rate ensures the balance will never be depleted.

MyNorth Lifetime includes options for retirees, pre-retirees and those transitioning into retirement:

  • The MyNorth Lifetime Income account: Provides a retirement income stream for life, for customers (and their spouses where selected).
  • The MyNorth Lifetime Super account: An accumulation account with no capital restrictions that lets customers plan and save for retirement while locking in asset test benefits.
  • The MyNorth Deferred Lifetime Income account: A tax-free accumulation account for customers who have satisfied a condition of capital release but do not wish to commence drawing down an income.

Edwina Maloney, AMP’s Director of Platforms, said:

“As an industry we’ve needed to do better to help Australians take full advantage of their hard-earned retirement savings, with too many fearful[1] their savings won’t last long enough.

“The MyNorth Lifetime Income account addresses this critical issue and is a game-changer for retirees and advisers.

“Developed by North’s team of retirement experts in close consultation with advisers, it’s a first of its kind solution which provides higher rates of income, for life.

“This gives greater peace of mind in retirement and the confidence to spend savings and live life to the full.

“Working closely with advisers to provide more retirees with this confidence is a priority, and we’ll continue to work with advisers as we invest in North, including its investment menu and functionality.”  

Ben Hillier, AMP General Manager Retirement solutions, said:

“We’re excited to bring MyNorth Lifetime to market – a unique retirement solution that provides income for life yet retains unmatched levels of flexibility to tailor to individual circumstances.  

“Importantly, MyNorth Lifetime has been designed to work seamlessly with other income sources like an account-based pension and the age pension. For many retirees, the 40 per cent plus discount on the Centrelink assets test will significantly improve their eligibility for the age pension.

“The different options also allow advisers and their customers to begin planning for retirement earlier, draw higher rates of retirement income and take advantage of superior tax and Centrelink strategies.

“Unlike alternative lifetime income products, this isn’t a set-and-forget solution that can’t be adjusted during a retirement, that will often last decades.

“We are also delighted to be partnering with leading Australian life insurer TAL, to provide our customers with confidence in their retirement through annual bonus payments which ensure income is payable for life.”

[1] AMP 2022 Financial Wellness research. Retirement Income Review.


How MyNorth Lifetime works

The MyNorth Lifetime Income account operates in a similar way to traditional account-based pensions, with wide investment choice, income flexibility and full account transparency. However, the account will pay income for life, because the balance is topped up with an annual cash bonus.

Market-linked income
Customers can work with their adviser to select investments held within their MyNorth Lifetime Income account, and their income will vary depending on investment returns. Customers can choose higher-risk investments with an expectation of higher, but more volatile income levels, or they can invest more conservatively with an expectation of lower, but more stable income.

Annual bonus
In addition to any income earned via investments within the MyNorth Lifetime Income account, customers will receive an annual bonus with rates guaranteed for life. The bonus is paid by 30 June every year and calculated as a percentage of the account balance. The annual bonus rates increase each year, and the only cost for these payments is the residual account balance after the payments of an optional death or exit benefit.

Customers will pay a $91 annual account fee and an 0.1 per cent annual fee which will be included as part of North’s $2,400 cap for individuals and $3,300 for families. Administration fees are the standard MyNorth Super and Pension administration fees, which are amongst the lowest platform fees in the market.

Age pension
The MyNorth Lifetime Income account qualifies as a lifetime income stream (a stream of regular ongoing payments that last until the end of life). Under the government age pension rules investment in the account will qualify for a 40 per cent upfront discount on the age pension assets test, i.e. the limit assets must fall under for age pension eligibility. This discount can significantly increase if customers utilise a MyNorth Lifetime Super account and/or a MyNorth Deferred Lifetime Income account before retirement.

Difference to an annuity
Like an annuity, MyNorth Lifetime provides an income for life for a client and their spouse where applicable. However, traditional lifetime annuities pay a fixed income for life, which requires investment in relatively conservative investments and the need to reserve substantial capital according to regulations. MyNorth Lifetime is different because it pays a variable (market-linked) income for life, and customers and advisers can choose from any investments on the North platform. This enables higher rates of income, and the flexibility to make changes over time to adjust for changing customer and economic circumstances.