Super scuttlebutt and other rumours, ATO SMSF hit list, Contributions Quiz, age-based super strategies
Highlights of the NOVEMBER 2015 newsletter include:
- SUPER SCUTTLEBUTT AND OTHER RUMOURS. Is it just me, or does the new Liberal leadership sound like the old Liberal leadership? Fanciful notions by super illiterates are flooding the policy vacuum while the government ‘consults’ on tax reform and other policies. The ALP used the same tactics in testing out policies via selected media and using that approach landed the ALP in oblivion. At SuperGuide, we have an enduring policy of not reporting on rumours unless the ‘rumour’ is uttered by an official spokesperson of the government or opposition. Even so, this month, we have provided commentary on some of the super rumours doing the rounds.
- TAKE THE SUPERGUIDE QUIZ No 2: DO YOU KNOW HOW TO BOOST YOUR SUPER? In the second quiz in our series, we test your knowledge of the super contributions rules. Do you know the answers to the 15 questions? You receive a score and links to helpful articles.
- MAKING SUPER CONTRIBUTIONS: 20 POPULAR Q AND As. A compilation of some of our more popular contributions questions.
- RETIREMENT: CHOOSING THE RIGHT SUPER STRATEGIES FOR YOUR AGE. See article link for more information.
- SMSF COMPLIANCE: ATO’S HIT LIST FOR 2015/2016 YEAR. This article is a must-read for every SMSF trustee, especially now that SMSF penalties have increased again from the 2015/2016 year (see separate article). This edition also includes other important SMSF articles on contributions, investment and compliance.
- LESS AGE PENSION, AND PAID TO FEWER AUSTRALIANS. From January 2017, radical changes will hit our retired population. See link below.
- FINANCIAL ADVICE FOR SUPER: IS IT WORTH THE MONEY? See link below to find out what we think.
- SUPER FUNDS GAIN 3.2% DURING OCTOBER 2015. See link below.
Note: You can find these articles, and more, by clicking on the links below.
Many thanks for your continuing support and interest in SuperGuide.
SUPER SCUTTLEBUTT AND OTHER RUMOURS
In my view the question to ask when formulating a sustainable superannuation and retirement policy is: How do we offer Australians reasonable incentives to lock away their savings for decades (rather than spending it today and then later relying mainly on the Age Pension), and to ensure they maintain a comfortable life in retirement, including looking after their potential health costs, and possibly allowing for a longer life than expected? Read more
Q: It was reported on the radio that the government is going to “look” at transition to retirement strategies for middle and high income earners. Do you have any info on this? What would it mean to people who are already transitioning? Read more
Recently, financial publications have been reporting on the use of anti-detriment payments, and the possibility that the federal government plans to ban such payments. This speculation continues even though at the time of writing, we do not have an official government response to the 2015 Tax Discussion Paper (also known as Tax White Paper). Read more
Some leaders in the superannuation sector and in some economic think tanks are ignorant about SMSFs, including how the super tax rules work generally. Yet we have numerous pronouncements by various individuals and organisations about SMSFs not paying tax, or SMSF trustees not having the skills to manage their own money, or sometimes, simply, SMSFs are bad… just because… Read more
SUPERGUIDE QUIZ: BOOST YOUR SUPER
How familiar are you with the superannuation contributions rules? Do you know how much your employer should be contributing, and whether your employer’s contributions affect the amount that you can personally contribute? Read more
I receive many interesting questions from readers. I believe this contact with our readers makes our site even more useful because we enhance the SuperGuide website in response to the popularity of certain articles and topics, and in response to the types of questions that we receive. Read more
Asking whether property or super is the better investment is the wrong question. The right question to ask, is whether the tax savings offered by a super fund structure justify shifting most of your savings into a superannuation fund. Read more
Increasingly, we receive questions about whether it is worth getting financial advice if your only major asset (apart from your home) is your superannuation account. We are not in a position to say whether a particular individual should seek financial advice, but we can offer some general comments on the issue. Read more
Each year, the ATO publicises a list of compliance areas that the regulator intends to target when reviewing SMSFs during the financial year. This is the hit list for the 2015/2016 year. Read more
The change to the Age Pension rules is a bad example of ‘back to the future’ it seems, with a harsher Age Pension asset test taking effect from January 2017. The federal government expects 300,000 retired Australians will lose some, or all, Age Pension entitlements overnight. Read more
The median superannuation growth fund gained 3.2% in value for the month of October 2015, following a loss of 1.1% in September, and a dramatic 2.9% loss in value in August, according to superannuation ratings company, Chant West. Read more
Q: I am at the end of a divorce/property settlement. My ex has agreed to give me my share of his super. Does this have to go into a superannuation fund or can he transfer it to me in some other way? And can you please explain how super should be treated when a divorce happens, because it has been very difficult to find any information about this topic. Read more
SMSF trustees can expect harsher fines from this financial year (2015/2016 year) onwards with administrative penalties of up to $10,800 per trustee (including corporate trustee) for a breach of the super rules. Read more
The practice of calling self-managed super funds, ‘DIY super funds’ upsets the regulator, and also concerns many of the service providers making a living from helping individuals set up, and run, self-managed super funds (SMSFs). Read more
Each quarter the ATO releases self-managed super fund statistics derived from annual return data. Some of the more interesting data outlines the investments that SMSF trustees choose, and how much SMSF money is invested in the different asset types. Read more
If you run a self-managed super fund, you must ensure that your SMSF is audited annually by an approved SMSF auditor, registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). Read more
If your SMSF receives super contributions from an employer, or employers, on behalf of SMSF members, then your self-managed super fund should be SuperStream-ready… yesterday! Read more
Q: I would like to know who is the best SMSF specialist in my state, who I can get to do my SMSF audit and tax return, and give me the best advice on what to do in relation to running my SMSF. Read more
If you hold artwork, antiques, coins, or other collectibles within your self-managed super fund, then you need to be aware of new rules regarding storage and insurance that originally came into effect from July 2011, and will reach their full effect from July 2016. Read more