Superannuation is a long term savings plan for people to accumulate wealth during their working life, to provide them with an income when they retire.

  • Most of us have some – how do we get more?
  • A superannuation fund is just a structure in which investments are held.
  • All super funds have special rules to ensure that they primarily provide retirement benefits (either pensions or lump sums).

THE ADVANTAGES:

  • Provide a tax-advantaged environment
  • Provide an effective estate planning vehicle.

THE DISADVANTAGES:

  • It is generally not possible to access your money until you retire from work, or after 55 years of age with a transitional pension
  • There are special rules about how the fund must be run.

 

Using salary sacrifice to increase Super contributions:

Concessional contributions (those made with pre-tax income):

  • are generally subject to 15% contributions tax in your super fund up to the cap and include:
    • employer contributions such as Super Guarantee and salary sacrifice contributions
    • personal deductible contributions for which a tax deduction has been allowed.

Concessional contributions cap

  • For the 2015/16 financial year the general concessional cap is $30,000 for those 49 and under. For members 50 years and over it is $35,000.

SMSFs or Do-It-Yourself Funds

  • Funds established for up to 4 individuals
  • Trustees of the fund are usually the fund members.
  • If you set up an SMSF, you’re in charge – you make the investment decisions for the fund and you’re responsible for complying with the law.
  • It’s a major financial decision and you need to have the time and skills to do it.

Consider professional advice!

PAYING BENEFITS…

Generally the SMSF can only pay a member’s super when the member reaches their ‘preservation age’ and meets a conditions of release, such as retirement. The payment is usually an income stream (like a pension) or a lump sum.

ADMINISTERING AND REPORTING…

Trustees have a number of administrative obligations – for example, annual audits of the fund, keeping appropriate records and lodging an annual return. Failing to meet these obligations may result in large penalties.