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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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Expanded super for older Australians

April 12, 2019

The 2019-20 Federal Budget has placed a strong focus on the growth of the economy whilst also having the intention to look after older Australians.

Older Australians will benefit from the work test exemption age being extended from age 64 to 66. The work test requires an individual to work at least 40 hours in any 30 day period in the financial year in order to make voluntary personal contributions.

This change in age will now allow individuals aged 65 and 66 who previously didn’t meet the work test to contribute three years of after-tax contributions in a single year, meaning up to $300,000 can be injected into an account with less than $1.6 million in super (tax-free pension threshold). This adjustment aligns with the increase for the Age Pension from 65 to 67.

Spousal contributions can now be made until age 74, up from age 65, without having to meet the work test. Under spousal contribution regulations, an individual can claim an 18% tax offset of contributions up to $3,000 made on behalf of a non-working partner. A further $3,000 can be contributed but with no tax offset.