Category: Superannuation | Blog

Most Australian employees are currently receiving superannuation contributions from their employers. As per the super guarantee, employers are required to contribute a minimum of 9.5% of an employee’s ordinary time earnings. Whether you are new to the work force or close to retirement, superannuation funds are important. Our team will provide you with the need-to-know information. We’ll research all ATO updates about superannuation and distribute it to our readers. Check back here periodically for important news.

Questions about your superannuation? Leave us a blog comment or ring our customer support team Monday through Friday!

Archive for the Superannuation | Blog category

6 Things To Know About Your Super Fund

Super young or super old – it’s important to know how your Super works.

Whether your Super Fund has been up and running for years or you just started learning the ropes, we’ll let you in on a few rules you should know.

 

Know that there is a Superannuation Guarantee.

Employers are typically required to contribute to your Super Fund at a rate of 9.5% of your ordinary time earnings*. It’s even been rumored that this rate will increase to 12% in upcoming years.

*Ordinary time earnings are what what employees earn for their ordinary hours of work. These include over-award payments, commissions, shift loading, and certain bonuses and allowances. Overtime is not considered part of ordinary time earnings.

 

Know that there are two types of Super contributions.

Concessional Contributions are payments made to your Super prior to your income tax being taken out. These contributions are taxed at a flat rate of 15% once they enter your Super fund and include:

  • Employer contributions
  • Salary sacrificed contributions
  • Other contributions in which you have claimed a tax deduction

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6 Ways To Find Your Lost Super Fund

Want a clue as to where you can find your lost super fund?

It sounds mad; you lost your money. However, it’s more common than you’d think. In fact, in 2015, more than 17 billion dollars worth of super funds went unclaimed.  

So the question is, how is it that easy to lose so much money?

The biggest culprit in losing a superannuation fund is switching jobs. Each time you start a new job, it is more than likely that your employer starts a new super fund account in your name unless you say otherwise. But once you misplace your original super fund, there are still ways to go about finding it again. Let’s take a look.

 

#1. Check the Lost Members Register

Sure, you have a super fund. But have you not contributed recently or not heard from a provider representative in regards to your fund? You may very well be considered to be a lost member and not even know it. The thing about a super fund is that in order to remain an active member, you must do one or both of the following:

  • Confirm your address at least once within a two year time frame.
  • Indicate that you would like to remain a member of your fund.

 

If you have been inactive, unable to contact, or transferred from one super fund provider to another as a lost member, than you are most likely on the Lost Members Register.

 

#2. Create a myGov Account

This is the most beneficial choice for you. On top of being able to locate any lost super, you’ll be able to see all super fund account overviews from one place and even combine multiple super funds into one ‘preferred super fund’. All you’ll need to do is create an account and link it to the ATO.

 

#3. Use the ATO Superseeker Tool

This is what you’re looking for if you want to locate your lost super; quick, easy and painless. All you need to have handy is the following information:

  • Your TFN
  • Your family name
  • Your given name
  • Your DOB

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How Superannuation Income Streams and Lump-Sums Affect Your Taxes

A quick overview of which super benefits are taxed, which ones aren’t, and when you can get a tax offset

It’s no secret that super funds are complicated, especially when it comes to lodging taxes. It’s hard to know what gets taxed, what doesn’t, and when you can get a tax benefit from what.

This brief article isn’t meant to be comprehensive (and it’s probably a good idea to speak to an accountant or financial planner about your super) but hopefully this breakdown will give you a good idea of how your super can affect your taxes.

Super benefits breakdown

Super benefits have two components: a tax-free component and a taxable component.

The tax-free component, as the name suggests, is always tax-free. The taxable component, on the other hand, may be taxed, but it depends on the on your age and the size of the benefit. Read the rest of this entry »

Can You Deduct Personal Contributions to Your Super Fund?

There are many age and employment requirements you must meet before you can deduct personal contributions to your super fund

Everyone knows that your super is money set aside for retirement and that generally your employer makes compulsory contributions to your super. However, you can also put your own money into your super. This is what’s known as a personal contribution.

It is possible to claim a deduction for personal contributions to your super when you lodge your tax return, but only if you meet certain age/employment requirements. Generally you must be age 18-75 and self-employed – that is, a sole trader or a partner in a partnership. However there are exceptions to both of these rules.

Requirements for claiming the deduction

In order to claim the deduction for personal super contributions you must meet the following requirements:

Are Taxes Withheld from Super Refunds?

Yes, your super refund will be taxed, and no you won’t be able to get it back. Here’s how much they’ll take.

When you work in Australia, your employer is required to withhold money for your superannuation fund – the government-mandated retirement program. If you were a temporary resident you can claim that money back in the form of a super refund – officially known as a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP).

Who can claim a super refund?

In order to claim a super refund you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • you visited Australia on a temporary visa (excluding visa subclasses 405 and 410)
  • your visa has ceased to be in effect
  • you have left Australia

Don’t worry, even if you claim your super refund, you can still return to Australia on a different visa. Read the rest of this entry »

Budget 2012 Recap: New super tax rules soak the rich, help the needy

The tax on concessional super contributions doubles for incomes above $300K

The pattern set in other parts of this year’s federal budget, as noticed in part 1 and part 2 of our budget 2012 recap, whereby low and middle income taxpayers gain while the wealthy lose, is confirmed when we come to superannuation.

A clear indication of the Gillard Government’s aptly dubbed “Robin Hood” intent is its introduction of the Low Income Superannuation Contribution.

Starting on July 1st, 2012, those with incomes of $37000 or less, roughly four million Australians, will effectively pay zero tax on their super guarantee contributions.

The Government will accomplish this aim by providing each taxpayer who qualifies with up to $500 in annual super contribution, equivalent to 15% of the total eligible concessional contributions made by an individual or her employer to their super savings.

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