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Super guarantee frozen

Over the past week, the government has confirmed its decision to freeze the compulsory superannuation guarantee at 9.5% for the next seven years. It will rise to 10% in 2021 and then increase incrementally before plateauing at 12% in 2025. Previous to this, the superannuation guarantee was planned to reach 12% by the 2019/20 financial year.

In light of these changes, individuals may have to reconsider their approach to superannuation if they want to maintain their current retirement plans. If it is possible for you in your current circumstances, you may want to consider salary sacrificing into your super. This is also known as making concessional, or before tax, contributions. The advantage of salary sacrificing into superannuation is that it will be taxed at the low rate of 15% (as long as it is below the concessional contributions cap), which for most people is far less than their marginal tax rate. Even salary sacrificing as little as $10 a week into your superannuation can go a long way in counteracting the impact of the frozen superannuation guarantee.

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Proposed measures to increase retirement savings 

December 11, 2019

Currently, people aged 65 to 74 can only make voluntary superannuation contributions if they meet the ‘work test.’ This means they must report themselves to be working a minimum of 40 hours over a 30 day period within the financial year to qualify.

The government has proposed that from 1 July 2020, individuals aged 65 and 66 will be able to make voluntary concessional and non-concessional superannuation contributions without meeting the work test. This approach will enable participants nearing retirement to increase their superannuation savings regardless of their working arrangements.

As well as this, the government also proposes to increase the age limit for receiving spouse contributions from 70 to 74, to be implemented on 1 July 2020. Currently, people aged 70 and over cannot receive any contributions made by another person on their behalf, and the change will give older Australians greater flexibility to save for their retirement.