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.

Super update: Catch-up concessional contributions from July 2018

Any Australian considering making super contributions from July 2017 needs to be mindful that the annual concessional (before-tax) contributions cap will be much lower than previous financial years. From 1 July 2017 (subject to legislation), the annual concessional contributions cap will drop to … [Read more...]

2016 Federal Budget update: Superannuation changes likely to become law

SUPER ALERT! On 15 September 2016, the federal government announced significant adjustments to proposed new superannuation policies. The change of heart on some super policies was in response to the Treasurer consulting with Liberal MPs, and interest groups (and presumably also in response to the … [Read more...]

Concessional contributions caps to be slashed from July 2017

As part of the 2016 Federal Budget, the Coalition government announced it intends to scrap the over-50s concessional (before-tax) contributions cap of $35,000 and replace it with a $25,000 cap, and reduce the general concessional contributions cap (for under-50s) to $25,000, from its current … [Read more...]

Super contributions: What’s going on with the over-50s concessional cap?

SUPER ALERT! In the May 2016 Federal Budget, Treasurer Scott Morrison announced the end of the over-50s concessional (before-tax) contributions cap, taking effect from 1 July 2017. For the 2016/2017 year, the over-50s cap continues to apply. Continue reading for more information on the over-50s … [Read more...]

Burden for retirees: Monitoring $1.6 million transfer balance cap

Note: Moving towards July 2017, most retirees will need to monitor two lifetime superannuation amounts – their transfer balance cap, and their transfer balance account. The proposed policy will apply to both existing and new super pension accounts from 1 July 2017, which effectively means the policy … [Read more...]

Financial advice: Only 82 independent financial advisers in Australia

Note: This article is updated regularly when new financial advisers join the independence club (latest update October 2016). 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...]

Super for beginners: 14 monkeys stop women creating a dream retirement

For so many women, the needs of other people usually come first — children, partner, parents, friends and even workmates. Often, for a woman to think about her own needs, she has to face a health challenge, financial stress or a relationship breakdown.Too dramatic, perhaps? I don’t think so. The … [Read more...]

Temporary concessional contributions cap for over-50s, ends 30 June 2017

In July 2013, the federal government introduced a temporary concessional contributions cap of $35,000 for over-60s, which was then expanded to 50-somethings from July 2014. The over-50s cap of $35,000 will no longer apply beyond the 2016/2017 year (subject to legislation).A concessional … [Read more...]

Great news! Seniors Health Card income thresholds increased, again

Effective from 20 September 2016, the income test thresholds for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) have increased for the third time in 13 years, and will continue to be indexed every September. The new indexed income test thresholds appear later in the article.The CSHC is available to … [Read more...]

New income test rules mean less Age Pension

Note: This article explains the current Age Pension income test rules. (If you are seeking information on the changes to the Age Pension asset test rules taking effect from January 2017, then see the SuperGuide article Age Pension: 300,000-plus Australians to lose entitlements from January … [Read more...]

Excess contributions rules: A quick summary

If you plan to make superannuation contributions to a super fund, you need to be mindful of the contributions caps for both concessional (before tax) contributions and for non-concessional contributions. You also need to understand the financial (or other) consequences of exceeding those … [Read more...]

Temporary Budget Repair Levy: More income tax for high-income earners until June 2017

Note: Previously, in rare bipartisanship, the ALP supported the Coalition’s decision to temporarily increase the marginal tax rate by 2 percentage points for those Australians earning more than $180,000. The higher tax rate became law, and applies from 1 July 2014 until 30 June 2017 (3 financial … [Read more...]