Superannuation changes can affect everyone

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While there is a lot of talk from our Government around tinkering with superannuation, it's important to note that changes have the potential to affect nearly every one of us.

There are now more than 31.9 million superannuation accounts in Australia with over $117.5 billion contributed to superannuation in the year to June 2012. This brings the total pool of superannuation assets in Australia to a massive $1.4 trillion.

But with the talk of potential changes, is superannuation still a super way to save for retirement? Here are three reasons why.

1. Superannuation is still by far one the best vehicles to accumulate for retirement. If your employer is contributing to your super fund or you are salary sacrificing, instead of paying personal tax of up to 45% on this income, you are instead generally only paying 15% tax where you limit your contributions to $25,000 per year. A saving of up to two thirds on tax.

2. Where you are eligible to make personal contributions into your fund and aren't claiming a tax deduction, there is generally no contributions tax where you limit your contributions to no more than $150,000 per year.

3. Ongoing, tax on income and earnings on your investments in super is generally limited to 15% however this can be reduced to nil if you are structured correctly.

While there is a lot of noise, it's important to note that the proposed changes will affect less than 5% of super account holders. Whilst these are only proposed changes, the Government is first targeting high income earners where their personal tax rates are around 45%.

There is no doubt that super can be complex and with Super now being a trillion dollar industry, it's important to be proactive and find out how you can best strategise to minimise the impact of any changes.

Olivia Maragna is the co-founder of Aspire Retire Financial Services and has been recently named the Australian Adviser of the Year. She is providing finance advice as part of brisbanetimes.com.au's Good Advice project. Olivia's advice is general in nature and readers should seek their own professional advice before making any financial decisions.

Send your finance questions to Olivia at scoop@brisbanetimes.com.au or contact@aspireretire.com.au

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/blogs/good-finance-advice/superannuation-changes-can-affect-everyone-20130226-2f2oc.html#ixzz2N7RHrO2W

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