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Investing in your super

People often overlook the advantages of making significant concessional contributions to their superannuation. By investing large sums of money inside your super, as opposed to assets outside of your super, you may end up saving a significant amount on your tax bill.

Concessional superannuation contributions are voluntary amounts that you contribute from your after-tax income. These are different from non-concessional contributions or before tax contributions. If you are under the age of 50, you may contribute up to $30 000 before tax to your superannuation, and if you are over 50, the limit is $35 000.

When you make concessional contributions to your super you do not have to pay any additional tax, as you will have already paid tax at your marginal rate. You may contribute up to $180 000 of your after-tax income each year to your super.

The advantage to investing within your superannuation fund is that all investment returns will be taxed at the flat rate of 15%. If you are thinking about making investments that will serve you in retirement you may care to investigate making larger concessional contributions to your superannuation.

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News

Expert advice on early superannuation access as a result of COVID-19

April 2, 2020

Under the coronavirus stimulus package released and revised by the Australian Federal Government on 22 March 2020, individuals in financial trouble due to the negative economic impacts of COVID-19 will be able to access their superannuation funds early. However, while the option is available, it is recommended that individuals only consider withdrawing from their super in the case of absolute emergencies and treat it as a last resort.

With the new rules on superannuation, workers whose incomes are reduced by at least 20% due to the COVID-19 outbreak are allowed to take $10,000 out of their super for the 2019-20 financial year and another $10,000 for 2020-21. Individuals will also not need to pay tax on any withdrawn amounts and existing welfare payments will not be affected either.

While the introduced early access to superannuation funds may be inviting for newly unemployed workers, it is important to consider whether the temporary relief is necessary and worth foregoing super funds available for long term investment. For example, even when accounting for Australia’s slowing economy in the coming years, $10,000 is predicted to be worth over $65,000 in another 30 years.

Especially for younger workers who are less likely to have access to other savings, the choice to give up future savings for current comfort is a difficult one. Experts instead are recommending Australians to apply for the other payments and benefits made available to vulnerable Australians through the coronavirus stimulus package, such as added $550 fortnightly supplements to Australians on JobSeeker payments and other welfare recipients and pensioners.

Experts also predict that the Australian Government will introduce more stimuli for increased cash flow in the Australian economy and more payments for unemployed, struggling and vulnerable Australians in the case of COVID-19 becoming more of a serious economic issue. Hence, withdrawing funds from your superannuation account should be considered a last resort and not for the sake of unnecessary temporary relief.

In addition to being allowed early access into individual super funds, superannuation minimum drawdown rates will also be temporarily reduced by 50% for account-based pensions and others similar until 2021.

The Government has also reduced the upper and lower social security deeming rates by a further 0.25 percentage points, with upper at 2.25% and lower at 0.25% which will come into effect on 1 May 2020.