Superannuation Q and As

Trish Power (author of Superannuation for Dummies and DIY Super for Dummies) answers readers’ questions on super.

Set out below are all SuperGuide articles explaining Superannuation Q and As.

Super contributions: $1 million opportunity

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Q: I am aged 54. How much can I make in super contributions without attracting penalty tax? Is it $210,000 or $215,000 or some other figure?A: Before I answer your question in detail, for the benefit of other readers I will first explain the figures you quote in your question.The general … [Read more...]

Are you eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card?

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IMPORTANT: The government has indexed the income test thresholds for the CSHC, effective from September 2014. The income test thresholds will be now indexed annually from September of each year.WARNING: From 1 January 2015, new applicants for CSHC will need to include tax-free superannuation … [Read more...]

Salary sacrificing will not increase co-contribution entitlement

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Q: I understand salary-sacrificed super contributions must be added back in to assessable income for co-contribution purposes. Do you know anything about this?Yes, your understanding is correct. Salary sacrificed contributions count towards the co-contribution income test, and this has been the … [Read more...]

SMSFs: What is the proportioning rule?

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Q: I have come across a statement which refers to a proportioning rule. Could you please explain to me exactly what the proportioning rule is, who it applies to and when it applies, and how you do the calculations for a SMSF?The short answer is: the proportioning rule is a mechanism to calculate … [Read more...]

I’m retired. Can I make super contributions?

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Q: If I have retired from work and later on inherit a reasonable sum of cash, can I make a non-concessional contribution into my superannuation fund? OR is that only permitted while I am working, regardless of my age?A: For the benefit of other readers, I will first explain the meaning of a … [Read more...]

How can a SMSF live forever?

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Q: It has been suggested, that a family self-managed super fund (SMSF) can become a multi-generational tax haven, which can go on into perpetuity, provided that you establish a special corporate trustee, as well as an SMSF Will. I thought that the super money could not remain in the fund … [Read more...]

Age Pension: Deemed income falls again with lower rates and higher thresholds

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If you own financial investments and receive the Age Pension, or you hope to claim the Age Pension, then you need to be aware of a recent change to the deeming thresholds for the Age Pension income test, and another relatively recent change to the deeming rates applicable to financial investments. … [Read more...]

Age Pension: Assets test thresholds from 20 September 2014

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The UPPER asset thresholds for the Age Pension assets test increased again on 20 September 2014, which means more Australians may now be eligible for a PART Age Pension.A single person can own more than $770,000 in assets (excluding his or her home), and still receive a small PART Age Pension, … [Read more...]

Accessing super early: Terminal illness

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Q: I have a terminal illness. Can I access my super benefits?A: I’m sorry to read about your illness. The superannuation rules do recognise that super benefits can be accessed early under such devastating circumstances.For your information, ‘terminal illness’ for the purposes of accessing … [Read more...]

Can I access super early due to ‘severe financial hardship’?

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Q: I am in financial hardship. Can I withdraw my super to pay my expenses?A: I’m sorry to read about your circumstances. Yes, in certain circumstances individuals suffering financial hardship may be able to access a portion of their super benefits.You must apply to your super fund to claim … [Read more...]