Super loophole benefits politicians, cheapest life insurance, best super funds, 10 ways to boost your super, planning checklists, latest changes
Highlights of the APRIL 2017 edition include:
- SUPER LOOPHOLE BENEFITS POLITICIANS AND SENIOR BUREAUCRATS. We have discovered a super loophole providing senior politicians and bureaucrats an unfair tax advantage when dealing with the $1.6 million transfer balance cap. Not a good look considering the stress the pollies (and senior advisers) have caused Australians by introducing so many super changes, and by also cutting the Age Pension payments to more than 300,000 Australians. See link below.
- INVESTMENT PERFORMANCE: 24 YEARS OF SG DELIVERS 7.43% A YEAR. A long-term annual average return of 7.43% has served Australian super fund members well. See link below for a table of returns covering each of the past 24 years. In a separate article, discover the best super funds in Australia.
- COMPARING SUPER FUNDS: TOP 20 CHEAPEST FUNDS FOR LIFE INSURANCE. In super funds, life insurance premiums more than double from the age of 45, until when you turn 55. The rates seem to be increasing again, so it may be worth shopping around for insurance. In a separate article, discover the top 20 cheapest super funds (that anyone can join) for income protection insurance.
- SUPERGUIDE CHECKLISTS: 10 WAYS TO SAVE YOUR SUPER, AND 10 MORE WAYS TO BOOST YOUR SUPER. We have updated 2 of our popular guides explaining helpful ways to boost your super. In separate articles, discover the 8 steps to super success, the top 10 must-know super facts, and 20 words that will make you sound like a super expert.
- INVESTMENT RETURNS: DOES YOUR SUPER FUND USE A CREDITING RATE OR UNIT PRICING? No set standard applies to how super funds calculate a member’s account balance (and allocated investment earnings). The most common methods used by super funds are unit pricing, or applying a crediting rate. Click on this article to discover the difference, and how it can affect the size of your super fund account.
- EXCESS CONTRIBUTIONS RULES: A QUICK SUMMARY. If you’re planning to make extra super contributions, you need to understand the financial (or other) consequences of exceeding those contributions caps. See link below.
- UPDATED FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE: SUPER CHANGES (JULY 2017) – PLANNING AHEAD FOR THE 2017/2018 YEAR. Substantial super changes take effect from 1 July 2017: you have 2 months left to investigate how the super changes will affect your superannuation and retirement plans. In separate articles, we also provide the 2017/2018 super rates and thresholds, and the latest income tax rates.
- UPDATED FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE: SUPERANNUATION CHECKLIST – WHAT SUPER RULES APPLY FOR THE 2016/2017 YEAR? With just over two months left of the 2016/2017 financial year, time is running out if you plan to take advantage of pre-July 2017 rules, especially in relation to making super contributions, or managing your super pension balance (see link below).
Note: You can find these articles, and many more, by clicking on the links below.
SPECIAL 2017 FEDERAL BUDGET EDITION
The 2017 Federal budget will be released at 7.30pm, Tuesday 9 May 2017. You can expect a special 2017 Budget edition of the SuperGuide newsletter in your email box later that evening, or in the early hours of 10 May 2017. We will report on any proposed changes, including the immediate cut in the company tax rate (to 27.5%) for businesses with turnover of less than $10 million, and the Age Pension one-off payment of $150 for couples, and $75 for single Age Pensioners.
Many thanks for your interest and support, with a special thanks to our thousands of subscribers who completed the recent SuperGuide subscriber survey.
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NEW BOOK: AGE PENSION MADE SIMPLE
Published in response to reader demand, Trish Power’s latest book covers all of the Age Pension rules.
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Amid the confusion surrounding the $1.6 million transfer balance cap on super pensions, and the short timeframes available to comply with this July 2017 change, a small but important loophole has been missed by the super experts. Read more
COMPARING SUPER FUNDS
A popular question from SuperGuide readers is: what is the best-performing super fund in Australia? Every month, quarter, 6 months or 12 months, you can read about the best-performing super funds, the best value super funds or the best super fund over the long term (‘long term’ meaning anything from 3, 5, 7, 10 year or even 15 years) on SuperGuide, and in the daily newspapers. Read more
In the past few years, life insurance premiums associated with super fund accounts have increased considerably. More Australians are shopping around for the best life insurance deal, and discovering that men sometimes get a different insurance deal to women, and as you age, your premiums jump dramatically. Read more
Very few people realise that most income protection insurance premiums more than double from the age of 45 to 55. For the best deals in income protection insurance from super funds that anyone can join, see the 4 tables in this article. Read more
Since Superannuation Guarantee was introduced more than 24 years ago, the average long-term median return generated on a ‘balanced’ super fund account has been 7.43% a year for the 24-year period to 30 June 2016, according to regular data released by superannuation ratings company, SuperRatings, and calculated by SuperGuide. Read more
Understanding why your super balance goes up and down is more than just checking fees, contributions and insurance premiums. It’s also knowing how – and when – your super fund calculates and applies investment earnings to your super savings. Read more
For the benefit of both our new and more experienced readers, we have compiled a list of 20 of the most important and/or popular terms in super, with related SuperGuide articles that you can click through to for more information, if you wish. Read more
Q: Where do I go to find a calculator that helps me work out how much co-contribution I will be entitled to, and how much super I need to contribute to get that co-contribution? I am also looking for something that shows the sliding scale for different income levels and different super contributions. Read more
The maximum superannuation contribution base is used to determine the maximum Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions that an employer is required to make under the super laws. Read more
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 (after-tax) contributions. You also need to understand the financial (or other) consequences of exceeding those contributions caps. Read more
With so much change surrounding the super rules from 1 July 2017, you may be tempted not to focus on your super and retirement plans because of these super changes – in particular, a cut in the contributions caps for both after-tax contributions, and before-tax contributions, and a new limit on super amounts transferred into pension accounts. Read more
Although it is tempting to ignore your super and retirement plans when the government constantly tinkers with the rules, now is the perfect time to review and/or reset your superannuation and retirement strategies. By reading this article, you can discover many ways you can boost your super savings while we endure the current government’s obsession with fiddling with the super rules. Read more
If you work as an employee, and you satisfy certain minimum requirements, your employer must pay Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions on your behalf, to a super fund. This article contains a list of 10 of the most important SG facts that you need to know. Read more
Just over eight years ago, in January 2009, we launched the SuperGuide website, and in March 2009 we published the first monthly SuperGuide newsletter. Since that time we have received thousands of questions, from our millions of visitors, on different aspects of superannuation. We try to represent as many questions as possible in the articles we publish, while also ensuring that we cater for those readers who are just beginning their superannuation education. Read more
The eight-step program to super success is a practical tool to help you make the most of your superannuation. Consider following this program to achieve success with your super. Read more
UPDATED FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE
With less than three months left of the 2016/2017 financial year, it is timely to consider whether you plan to take advantage of pre-July 2017 rules, especially in relation to making super contributions. Read more
Radical and substantial superannuation changes take effect from 1 July 2017: have you investigated how the super changes will affect your superannuation and retirement plans? Read more
This article lists the latest superannuation rates and thresholds for the 2017/2018 year, for the 2016/2017 year, and also for earlier financial years. Read more
The Australian income tax rates applicable for the 2017/2018 financial year, and for the 2016/2017, 2015/2016 and 2014/2015 financial years are set out in the tax tables below (lists the tax brackets and individual tax rates). We have also included the tax brackets and individual tax rates for the 2013/2014, 2012/2013 and 2011/2012 years at the end of the article in separate tax tables, for your reference and convenience. Read more
The Superannuation Guarantee rate remains at 9.5% for the 2017/2018 financial year (and also remained at 9.5% for the 2016/2017 financial year). The Superannuation Guarantee rate first increased to 9.5% from 1 July 2014 (the 2014/2015 year), and remained at 9.5% for the 2015/2016 year. Read more