University of Technology Sydney

79027 Retirement Planning (UG)

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Law
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject introduces students to the law relating to the Australian retirement planning. This includes the options and process relevant to retirement and the related areas of superannuation, employment termination payments and financial services regulation.

Superannuation is core to retirement planning and an understanding of this area of the law is essential for professionals working in the retirement industry. In this subject, students explore the law relating to contributions to superannuation funds, the various types of superannuation funds and their regulation by statute and learn how to apply retirement planning laws to real-life problems and how to calculate tax payable on superannuation benefits and employment termination payments. The nature of members’ interest in superannuation funds and the law relating to payment of lump sum or pension benefits to members in retirement is also considered.

The subject also deals with the taxation treatment of contributions, income of superannuation funds and benefits paid to members in retirement. In addition, the critical related area of the impact of superannuation on death, bankruptcy and family law are addressed. Finally, the increasingly important process of dispute resolution and determination of complaints is also considered

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Appreciate and demonstrate knowledge of the nature of the financial planning industry and its role in retirement planning, the rules governing contributions to superannuation, taxation of contributions and lump sum benefits, and accessing superannuation benefits;
2. Demonstrate understanding of the ways in which other areas of the law impact on retirement planning, including family law settlements and superannuation, payment of a superannuation death benefit to a dependant or non-dependant and the interaction between bankruptcy law and superannuation;
3. Critically evaluate issues in dispute between members and trustees of superannuation funds and the regulator and analyse options to resolve disputes;
4. Develop and clearly communicate effective strategies for retirement planning, including the relationships between taxation and superannuation and between termination of employment and superannuation;
5. develop strategies to advise on retirement planning.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes which reflect the course intended learning outcomes:

  • Legal Knowledge
    A coherent understanding of fundamental areas of legal knowledge, including the Australian legal system, social justice, cultural and international contexts and the principles and values of ethical practice (LAW.1.0)
  • Critical Analysis and Evaluation
    A capacity to think critically, strategically and creatively, including an ability to identify and articulate legal issues, apply reasoning and research, engage in critical analysis and make reasoned choices (LAW.3.0)
  • Communication and Collaboration
    Effective and appropriate communication skills, including highly effective use of the English language, an ability to inform, analyse, report and persuade using an appropriate medium and message and an ability to respond appropriately (LAW.5.0)

Teaching and learning strategies

Strategy 1: Preparation for class

Students familiarise themselves with the substantive law to be canvassed before each class by reading and reflecting on the prescribed materials. This process is guided by tutorial questions, which students engage with as they read the subject materials. The prescribed reading and proposed timetable for classes are set out in the Program (below). The seminar questions are available on UTSOnline. This is an essential learning strategy for this subject. Preparation for class enables students to develop knowledge that forms the basis of their participation in seminars.

Strategy 2: Participation in interactive seminars

The subject will be taught in a series of interactive seminars that explain key legal principles and outline the theoretical and legal issues involved. During class, students will discuss concepts and ideas that have been raised by the readings. In addition, students will discuss and analyse cases as a way to refine and develop their legal knowledge and communication skills. Practical examples will be discussed in order to provide students with an opportunity to develop their interpretation, analysis and problem-solving skills.

Each week students discuss the tutorial questions, which will cover material from the previous seminar. Each student is also required to present a case analysis of an assigned case during the session (see Assessment task 1).

Strategy 3: Research and class presentation

Students research a topic relating to law and retirement and present their findings to the class. Students also present their research on their allocated topic in an individual report. Participating in this research task and presentation (Assessment task 1) provides students with an opportunity to integrate the learning from their preparation for interactive seminars and the research conducted for their presentation. By drawing on their preparation in this way, students further test and develop their knowledge of retirement law together with their research skills. Students also develop skills in presentation and communication as they discuss their research, raise questions, contribute their observations and respond to their peers. In this way, students develop and test their learning while also obtaining feedback from their teacher and peers (see Feedback below).

Strategy 4: Feedback

Both formal and informal feedback will be provided throughout the session. Feedback comes from a variety of sources including: from peers in the class who respond to a student’s contribution in the class or on UTSOnline; from the teacher in response to a student’s questions in class, presentations and written assignments; and from personal reflection.

Students have an opportunity to test their understanding of the readings completed in preparation for the seminars by asking questions or contributing their observations. In this way, the teacher will address and explore students’ understanding and respond to students’ questions and observations while also providing feedback on students’ developing understanding.

Students will receive early feedback on the quiz (part of Assessment task 1).

Formal feedback is offered on students’ case studies, seminar presentations and test results providing an opportunity for students to implement suggestions in subsequent assessment tasks.

Subject Delivery

This subject is delivered as weekly 3-hour seminars.

Content (topics)

  • Overview of the financial services industry
  • Types of superannuation funds
  • Regulatory control of superannuation funds
  • Contributions to funds
  • Taxation of funds
  • Payments from superannuation funds
  • Self Managed Funds
  • Superannuation and marriage breakdown
  • Social Security considerations
  • Financial Services Regulation


Assessment task 1: Quiz, Case Analysis and Presentation.


The quiz completed in week 3 will provide students with early feedback on their understanding of the subject matter in weeks 1 and 2.


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

3 and 4

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

LAW.1.0, LAW.3.0 and LAW.5.0

Weight: 20%

Equivalent to 1,000 words.

  • Coherent application of introductory knowledge of retirement planning
  • Demonstrated understanding of recent developments in retirement planning
  • Demonstrated ability to read and analyse principles, statutory provisions and decided cases (SLO 3, GAs1 & 3).
  • Effectively apply principles, statutory provisions and cases to problem-solving scenarios. (SLO 4, GA5)

Assessment task 2: Case analysis and presentation 30% (Case Analysis 20%), Presentation (10%)


The case analysis and presentation provide students with an opportunity to develop and convey their understanding and analysis of the relevant legal principles. The written component provides students with an opportunity to develop their written communication skills. Presentation to the class allows students in the audience to give feedback and work collaboratively in providing feedback and further analysis in group discussions.


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

2, 4 and 5

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

LAW.1.0, LAW.3.0 and LAW.5.0

Weight: 30%

Presentation (10 minutes, equivalent to 1,000 words), Case Analysis 1,000 words

  • Ability to read and analyse a reported AAT or Court case (SLO 3, GAs1 & 3).
  • Effectively communicates the relevant details of the case to the class (SLO 4, GA5)
  • Effective use of technology, such as PowerPoint slides, in presentation (SLO 4, GA5).
  • Coherent application of facts, issues and the law (SLO 4, GAs 1 &
  • Applies principles and the law (statute and case law) to problem solving scenarios, in advising clients (SLOs 2, 3, 4 & 6, GAs 1, 3 & 5).

Assessment task 3: Final Exam


This task tests student’s knowledge and application of key legal principles and statutory provisions along with AAT and Court cases. It also tests students’ ability to apply retirement planning laws to problem-based scenarios and to calculate tax payable on superannuation benefits and employment termination payments.


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 3 and 4

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

LAW.3.0 and LAW.5.0

Weight: 50%
Length: 2 hours
  • Applies coherent knowledge of the principles and statutory provisions relating to retirement planning and, in particular, superannuation (SLOs 1, 3, 4 & 6, GA1).
  • Applies coherent knowledge and understanding of AAT and court decisions on reported cases (SLOs 1, 3, 4 & 6, GAs 2 & 3).
  • Critically analyses the issues arising in real-life problems and applies principles and the law (statute and case law) to finding appropriate solutions or responses, and communicating that in written advice to clients (SLOs 1, 3, 4 & 6, GAs 1, 3 & 5).

Minimum requirements

Students are expected to attain a satisfactory performance in all assessment components. Students must complete all parts of the assessment to pass the course.

Required texts

Stuart Jones, Australian Superannuation Handbook 2018-2019, Thomson Reuters

Recommended texts

  • Australian Superannuation Legislation, CCH, Current Edition
  • Australian Master Superannuation Guide, CCH, Current Edition
  • Australian Master Financial Planning Guide, CCH, Current Edition
  • Australian Financial Planning Handbook, Thomson Reuters, Current Edition

Other resources

  • ATO Legal database -
  • Australian Legal Information Institute (Austlii) -
  • CCH Online -
  • (Superannuation Law and Tax Library)
  • Thomson Tax and Accounting Online -
  • Centrelink -