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THE SOAPBOX

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 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...]

Concessional contributions caps to be slashed from July 2017

On 3 May 2016, 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 … [Read more...]

2016 Federal Budget update: Superannuation changes likely to become law

SUPER ALERT! On 15 September 2016, Treasurer Scott Morrison and Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly Dwyer issued a joint media release announcing significant adjustments to proposed new superannuation policies. The change of heart on some super policies was as a direct result of … [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...]

Liberals to ban anti-detriment payments from July 2017

On 3 May 2016 (2016 Federal Budget), the Coalition government announced that it intends to abolish the anti-detriment provisions from July 2017.From 1 July 2017, subject to legislation, a super fund will not be able to pay a refund of a member’s lifetime superannuation contributions tax payments … [Read more...]

Liberals to impose $1.6 million cap on pension start balances

Note: The proposed policy will apply to both existing and new pension accounts from 1 July 2017, which means the policy will apply retrospectively. Based on federal treasurer Scott Morrison’s comments after announcing the 2016 Federal Budget, he claims this policy is not retrospective, that is, it … [Read more...]

Super tax refund for lower-income earners to extend beyond June 2017

In a welcome backflip, as part of its 2016 Federal Budget release on 3 May 2016, the Coalition government announced it will extend the Low Income Super Contribution (LISC) beyond its legislated expiry date of June 2017. The only change is that it will be renamed as the Low Income Superannuation Tax … [Read more...]

SG contributions 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...]