The must-read section of SuperGuide. These popular and compelling columns generate debate about issues affecting Australians planning for retirement, or living in retirement.

Each month, we draw attention to an area of our superannuation system that needs improvement or deserves recognition. Trish Power’s views in the columns are informed, and independent.

Below are some of our key THE SOAPBOX articles:

Set out below are all SuperGuide articles explaining THE SOAPBOX.

Financial advice: Only 34 (11 + 14 + 9) independent financial advisers in Australia


Note: This article is updated regularly when new financial advisers join the independence club (latest update August 2014). A financial adviser does not have to be a member of the IFAAA to join the SuperGuide list, provided they can declare that they satisfy the requirements of being an independent … [Read more...]

Temporary concessional contributions cap expanded to 50-somethings from July 2014

Superannuation alert

In July 2013, the federal government introduced a temporary concessional contributions cap of $35,000 for over-60s which has been expanded to 50-somethings from July 2014. Anyone in this age group may consider revisiting their superannuation contributions strategies in light of the higher … [Read more...]

Double contributions tax for high-income earners


Anyone earning more than $300,000 (including rental property losses and other items) now pays 30% tax on concessional contributions paid into a super fund, doubling the super tax bill for high-income earners. The regular contributions tax is a flat rate of 15%. Concessional contributions include … [Read more...]

Superannuation Guarantee: Many Aussies to miss out on SG increase


You can expect some difficult conversations between employers and employees in coming months as some salaried employees discover that the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) increase of 0.25% (taking the SG rate to 9.5%) will not benefit those employees on fixed remuneration packages. As occurred … [Read more...]

SG now paid for over-70s (since July 2013)


Since 1 July 2013, eligible employees who are 70 years or older have received Superannuation Guarantee (SG) payments from employers. The previous SG rules stopped SG entitlements when an employee turned 70 years of age. What this means is that since 1 July 2013, eligible employees aged 70 years … [Read more...]

Aged care a consideration for SMSF trustees


The Aged Care reforms due to come into effect on 1 July 2014 will see retirees paying more for their admission to, and ongoing care in, aged care facilities. The bottom line is that the cost of aged care will increase, particularly for part pensioners and self funded retirees. The aged … [Read more...]

Excess contributions: Happy ending to a horror story


Note: This article contains some good news for those worried about exceeding the contributions caps. The article also includes a summary of the Inspector-General of Taxation’s review into the ATO’s administration of the superannuation excess contributions tax. Any tax regime that can take 93% of … [Read more...]

Super tax refund for lower-income earners to be axed


SUPERGUIDE ALERT: The Coalition government is repealing the Low Income Super Contribution, and the government has confirmed this decision in the 2014/2015 Federal Budget. Under the draft legislation, the LISC will be payable for the 2012/2013 year only. We will update the website, and this article, … [Read more...]

Debt ‘levy’: More income tax for high-income earners


Update: The ALP has announced that it will support the Coalition’s decision to temporarily increase the marginal tax rate by 2 percentage points for those Australians earning more than $180,000. With the ALP’s support, the higher tax rate will become law, taking effect from 1 July 2014 until 30 June … [Read more...]

2014 Federal Budget: What the Age Pension changes means for you


The Federal Treasurer has made it clear: the Age Pension age is increasing to 70 years from 2035. Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey confirmed this significant change to the Age Pension rules in the 2014 Federal Budget on 13 May 2014. I am guessing that many of you reading this article are worried … [Read more...]