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Government uses administrative powers to raise fuel tax

Posted on November 24, 2014 by admin


The government has used its administrative powers to increase the tax that motorists pay on fuel. The controversial budget measure is currently encountering difficulty in the Senate, so the government has adjusted the indexation under the assumption that there will eventually be legislative approval. As of November 10, the tax on fuel was raised by approximately 0.5 cents per litre (from 38.143 to 38.6 cents). According to Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, the impact of the increased tax will be minor for most drivers. However, the Labour Party and the Australian Automobile Association have been quick to criticise the increase, claiming it is an unfair tax for Australian motorists.


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Don’t lose sight of super in divorce

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The superannuation gap between men and women in Australia is troubling, especially when women’s longer life expectancy is taken into account. The super gap is slowly closing amongst younger generations. However, the superannuation account balances of women over 55 continues to lag behind their male counterparts. When going through a divorce, superannuation is treated as property. It may be divided up by a court order or negotiated throughout a settlement process. Research indicates that women are far more likely to prefer retaining the family home than to pursue superannuation. For many women, it may be hard to rebuild super following divorce. This is especially true if they are caring for dependent children. Women should always carefully consider the long-term consequences of their choices in divorce settlements, and make a reasonable assessment of their ability to increase their superannuation. At every stage of life, women should consider making additional superannuation contributions whenever possible. Even small sacrifices early on in your career can make a huge difference to the nest egg that you have when you retire.


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Nobel laureate recommends changes to Australian super system

Posted on November 6, 2014 by admin


Robert Merton, who was awarded the Nobel prize for economics in 1997, has recommended that the Australian superannuation system needs to rethink the way that it communicates with people about their retirement savings. Merton, who has spent the last decade studying retirement savings systems, believes that the Australian system is too focused on lump sum amounts, and should be regarded to make investors think about their future income streams. “We are teaching people to look at the wrong number,” Mr Merton said in an interview. “What is a good retirement is measured by the standard of living you want in retirement, and standard of living is not defined by a pot of money but a stream of income. A good amount for retirement would be to sustain the standard of living you have become used to enjoying in the later part of your working life. That is an income goal; it’s not a wealth goal. Merton also claims that the Australian super system needs to improve services in the pension phase of retirement savings.He claims that too many products that are classified as low-risk investments actually have highly volatile income streams, and retirees are given insufficient information from superannuation funds […]


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Protect yourself from early super release scams

August 7, 2018

When it comes to protecting your nest egg, avoid getting caught out by a promoter of an illegal early release super scheme.

Early release super scheme scams will involve a promoter contacting you and offering to help you access your super early. They usually target individuals under significant financial pressure or those who are not knowledgeable about super laws and the repercussions and penalties involved in illegally accessing your super.

You can only access your super when you meet a condition of release.

Generally, when you:
– Are 65 years old (even if you have not yet retired).
– Reach your preservation age and retire.
– Reach your preservation age and begin a transition to retirement income stream while still working.

There are special circumstances where you may be able to access your super early.

These special circumstances include:
– Severe financial hardship
– Temporary or permanent incapacity
– Compassionate grounds
– Temporary residents leaving Australia
– Super death benefits (inheriting super)
– Super less than $200
– Terminal medical condition

To avoid falling for an illegal early super release scam, be wary if the promoter:
– charges high fees and commissions;
– requests identity documents;
– claims you can access your super and put the funds towards whatever you wish;
– and tries to persuade you to transfer or rollover your super from your existing fund to a self-managed super fund (SMSF) in order to access your super before you are legally entitled.