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Salary sacrificing your super

Contributing extra to your superannuation is a good way to boost your retirement funds.

One of the ways you can add more to your super is through salary sacrificing. Salary sacrifice is an arrangement with your employer to forego part of your salary or wages in return for your employer providing benefits of a similar value.

Salary sacrificing your super means your employer will redirect some of your salary or wages into your super fund instead of to you.

These salary sacrifice contributions are taxed at a maximum rate of 15 per cent, which is generally less than your marginal tax rate. The sacrificed amount will not be considered a fringe benefit if the super contributions are made to a complying super fund.

There is no limit to the amount you can salary sacrifice (provided there are no limitations in your terms of employment); however, you must be wary of the concessional (before-tax) contribution cap. If you go over the cap, you may have to pay additional tax.

Keep in mind, the salary sacrificed amounts count towards your concessional contributions cap, in addition to your employer’s contributions (i.e. compulsory employer contributions).

Generally, excess contributions will be included as taxable income, taxed at your marginal tax rate plus an excess contributions charge. Note, that your age may affect the concessional contributions cap, how the cap applies and what options you may have.

Individuals should also consider whether the amount sacrificed will attract Division 293 tax. This tax applies when you have an income and concessional super contributions of more than $300,000, or over $250,000 from 1 July 2017. Division 293 tax levies 15 per cent tax on taxable contributions above this threshold.

If you do choose to salary sacrifice into super, remember contributions don’t count when the payment is sent, only when it is received by your fund. Make sure your fund receives all your contributions by 30 June.

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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.