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Preparing for the super changes

Tighter superannuation rules will apply from 1 July 2017 as part of the super reforms announced in last year’s Federal Budget.

The new rules include the introduction of a $1.6 million super balance cap for after-tax contributions; a maximum of up to $25,000 for concessional contributions; and the removal of the current “bring-forward” rule allowing $540,000 of contributions in one year.

Although the new rules will come into effect from 1 July 2017, individuals can take advantage of the current rules to top up their nest egg.

Individuals under 65 who wish to make a large contribution, in particular, those with inheritances or who have recently sold a property or other large asset can make the most of this last-chance opportunity to contribute up to $540,000 until 30 June.

From 1 July 2017, individuals will only be able to bring forward up to three year’s worth of after-tax contributions, i.e $300,000 over three years.

The bring forward rule can not be accessed by those aged between 65 and 74 who meet the work test, however, they can still make annual after-tax contributions.

Those with balances in excess of the $1.6 million cap will need to review their super before 30 June to continue to make after-tax contributions. Furthermore, individuals with a balance close to $1.6 million will only be able to bring forward the annual cap amount for the number of years that would take your balance to $1.6 million.

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Understanding various kinds of super fees

February 16, 2018

No matter the kind of superfund you opt for, you will be subject to super fees. Understanding how these fees work and the difference they can make to your next egg is vital.

When it comes to superfund fees, there are two factors you need to get your head around; the kinds of fees you are being charged and the rate of fees you pay. Opting for a superfund based on these two factors can see you retire with hundreds of thousands more money.

You should be aware of the various types of fees you are being charged. If you would like to find out the fees you are being charged, you should do two things. Firstly, Google your fund’s product disclosure statement and scroll through to the fees section. You should see a list of different types of fees, with an explanation of what they are, how they are applied, and how often they will be incurred. Secondly, you should log in to your superfund account and take note of all the fees being charged to you. Investigate how closely these correspond and correlate with the product disclosure statement.

If you feel there are discrepancies, do not hesitate to contact your superfund or financial advisor and ask for clarification. It is worthwhile doing your research and comparing the fees you are being charged against other super funds and what they charge. Being complacent and not paying attention to your super is extremely irresponsible; the dividends you will receive later in life for being diligent now outweighs the burden of taking time to be informed today.

Some of the common super fees across the board include:

Another major factor contributing to how much you accumulate in your super account throughout your working life is the rate of fees you pay. Plain and simple, some funds offer much lower fees than other, creating a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars when it comes time to retire.

Generally, funds are categorised into three groups; low super fees, medium super fees and high super fees. Ultimately, you want to be in a fund that charges low super fees. In saying this, it’s not only about super fees, as some funds have medium-high super fees but also perform better based on investment strategy, meaning you will get more back from your investments.