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Fund fees eating away at retirees’ cash

As interest rates plummet, retirees who are relying on interest from cash savings in their superannuation accounts may be losing out. The reason for this is that excessive fund fees can eat away at cash balances. Without decent returns from interest rates to offset these losses, the results for super funds can be grim.

Despite the fact that the Reserve Bank reporting that cash deposits in banks returned between 3.3%-3.7% in 2014, returns on cash deposits in super funds were hovering down at around 2.5%. For retirees, who so often elect to invest their super in cash for stability and a lower risk profile, this lower rate of returns can add up to significant losses.

You should always spend some time examining the fee structure of your superannuation fund and comparing it to similar funds. Do not be fooled by a fund that recently reported a year of high growth. To gain a comprehensive understanding of a fund’s performance, you should examine the returns from the past fifteen years, as there can easily be one-off flukes.

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Tax on super death benefits for dependants vs non-dependants

July 9, 2020

A super death benefit is the super paid after a person’s death, usually to a nominated beneficiary. These benefits are subject to different tax treatments, depending on whether the beneficiaries are dependant or non-dependant.

Superannuation death benefits will generally be received tax-free by tax dependants, who are considered to be:

Dependants will not have to pay tax on the tax-free component of their super in the event that they:

However, they will be taxed at their marginal rate if they receive a capped benefit income stream and:

Not all super death benefits are subject to tax; for non-dependants, there is a taxable portion. This component is largely made up of after-tax super contributions that the deceased member has made.

Super death benefit payments are subject to tax when:

Non-dependants must calculate how much money in the super account is a:

The amount of tax non-dependants pay will be based on their marginal tax rate, however, this amount may be reduced by tax offsets. For the taxed element of the taxable component, the effective tax rate is your marginal tax rate of 17% (whichever is lower). For the untaxed element of the taxable component, the effective tax rate is 32% or your marginal tax rate (whichever is lower).