Retirement forecasts, Seniors Health Card, popular SMSF investments, Age Pension changes, property and super
Highlights of the SEPTEMBER 2017 edition include:
- COMMONWEALTH SENIORS HEALTH CARD THRESHOLDS INDEXED. The income thresholds for CSHC eligibility are indexed once a year, on 20 September, which means more Australians are now eligible.
- AUSTRALIA NOT READY FOR AGE PENSION AGE OF 70 YEARS. The Coalition government still intends to increase Age Pension age to 70, if it wins the next election. In a related article, find out why Age Pension age has increased from July 2017 for many Australians.
- RETIREMENT AGE RECKONER: DISCOVER YOUR PRESERVATION AGE AND AGE PENSION AGE. Due to popular demand, we have created a reckoner that gives you the age you can access your super, and the age you can claim the Age Pension and WHEN you will reach those ages. Just choose your date of birth, and presto!
- RETIREMENT FORECASTS FROM YOUR SUPER FUND: 6 FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW. Most Australian workers will be receiving annual member statements from super funds, and many will notice a retirement forecast or estimate on the statement. Essential reading for all fund members.
- PORTFOLIO DISCLOSURE: WHAT’S YOUR SUPER FUND INVESTING IN? Not long now, before your super fund will have to share all of its investment secrets.
- SMSF INVESTMENT: WHAT ASSETS DO DIY SUPER TRUSTEES PREFER? Fascinating reading for all SMSF trustees, and for other investor readers.
- AGE PENSION RATES AND THRESHOLDS INCREASE. See our series of articles for the latest Age Pension rates, and latest increases in thresholds for Age Pension income test and assets test.
- REVISITED: IS PROPERTY A GOOD INVESTMENT FOR YOUR SMSF? As part of our special series on property, we revisit the merits of property investing.
- PROPERTY AND SUPER: WHAT’S THE DEAL? (15 POPULAR Q&As). Nearly everything you need to know about property and super.
- OPTIONS, CFDS AND COLLECTIBLES. See links below for what you can and can’t do in your SMSF.
Note: You can find these articles, and more, by clicking on the links below.
Many thanks for your interest.
The current Coalition government has a policy commitment to increase the Age Pension age to 70 years, but could not get it through the previous parliament, and has not attempted to push it through this parliament. The policy is still current for the Liberals, and if they win the next election with a clear majority, expect the Age Pension age to be increased. We outline their plans, and the timeframe, and why Trish Power thinks Australia is not ready. Read more
We receive a steady stream of emails seeking information about investing in property via an SMSF. In response to this continued interest, we have revisited the popular question, is property a good investment for your SMSF? Read more
RETIREMENT AGE RECKONER
The Reckoner is easy to use. Just choose your year of birth, month of birth and actual day of the month of your birth by clicking on the small arrows in the Reckoner, and scrolling down to the correct year, month and day. Read more
Effective from 20 September 2017, the income test thresholds for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) have increased for the fourth time in 14 years, and will continue to be indexed every September. Read more
Effective from 20 September 2017, the Age Pension rates have increased, and the Age Pension income test and assets test thresholds have increased. Read more
Australians are currently receiving annual member statements from their super funds. When opening these statements, many super fund members will see a comforting projection of how much their account balance is likely to be when they retire, and how much income this account balance will provide each year in retirement. Read more
A significant trend is that the number of Australians setting up SMSFs is not stalling as predicted by many in the super industry only a few years ago – more than 28,000 SMSFs were established during the 12 months to June 2017. Read more
You may find this difficult to believe but there are only 5 types of super funds in Australia, and most Australians can only choose from 3 of these super fund types. Read more
INVESTMENTS AND SUPER
With trillions of dollars tied up in Australia’s super funds, you’d think it would be pretty easy to find out where all that money is invested. But that’s not the case, with a survey last year by carbon reduction activist group, Market Forces, finding among the 50 largest super funds, 83% of their assets were not disclosed publicly – or even disclosed to their super fund members. 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
We receive many questions from readers about investing in property using superannuation money. Questions range from: ‘Can I withdraw my super to buy a house to live in?’, right through to ‘How can I use my super fund to borrow money to invest in property?’. Read more
As a property and share investor for 30 years, I believe the use of borrowing can be a legitimate means to purchase assets, but gearing is not an investment in itself: it is simply a means to invest with associated costs and extra risk. Read more
Q: Can a SMSF buy/sell call/put options? I understand that CFDs are not permitted because it breaches the charge over asset regulation. However, is that true that options are derivatives and in giving shares as a collateral (when writing options) to the Options Clearing House, it will be treated differently (an exemption) as long as the SMSF has a derivatives risk management statement? Read more
If you hold artwork, antiques, coins, or other collectibles within your self-managed super fund, then you should be aware of the rules regarding storage and insurance that originally came into effect from July 2011, and took full effect from July 2016. Read more
AGE PENSION CHANGES
The Age Pension rates, effective from 20 September 2017, and applicable until 19 March 2018, are set out in the tables in this article. Read more
The UPPER assets thresholds for the Age Pension assets test increase from 20 September 2017, which means, from that date, more Australians are now eligible for a PART Age Pension. Read more
The UPPER income thresholds for the Age Pension income test increases again from 20 September 2017, which means more Australians are now eligible for a PART Age Pension. Read more
The Age Pension age effectively increased to 65 years and 6 months (from its current 65 years) on 1 July 2017, and it will progressively increase to age 67 by July 2023. Read more