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Super housing legislation

The First Home Super Saver (FHSS) Scheme and the downsizing contributions into superannuation measures passed Parliament on 13 December 2017.

As of 1 July 2017, individuals can make voluntary concessional and non-concessional contributions into their super fund as part of the FHSS Scheme. The scheme may help first home buyers save faster due to the concessional tax treatment within super.

From 1 July 2018, individuals can then apply to release their contributions, along with associated earnings, to help purchase their first home.

The downsizing contributions into super measure allows individuals who are 65 years and over to make a contribution into their super after selling their home.

Contributions of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of your main residence can be added into your super fund. Your spouse may also be able to make a contribution.

To be eligible for a downsizer contribution, you must have entered into the contract of sale on or after 1 July 2018 and have owned the home for 10 years or more.

Downsizer contributions will be taken into account for determining eligibility for the age pension.

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News

Protect yourself from early super release scams

August 7, 2018

When it comes to protecting your nest egg, avoid getting caught out by a promoter of an illegal early release super scheme.

Early release super scheme scams will involve a promoter contacting you and offering to help you access your super early. They usually target individuals under significant financial pressure or those who are not knowledgeable about super laws and the repercussions and penalties involved in illegally accessing your super.

You can only access your super when you meet a condition of release.

Generally, when you:
– Are 65 years old (even if you have not yet retired).
– Reach your preservation age and retire.
– Reach your preservation age and begin a transition to retirement income stream while still working.

There are special circumstances where you may be able to access your super early.

These special circumstances include:
– Severe financial hardship
– Temporary or permanent incapacity
– Compassionate grounds
– Temporary residents leaving Australia
– Super death benefits (inheriting super)
– Super less than $200
– Terminal medical condition

To avoid falling for an illegal early super release scam, be wary if the promoter:
– charges high fees and commissions;
– requests identity documents;
– claims you can access your super and put the funds towards whatever you wish;
– and tries to persuade you to transfer or rollover your super from your existing fund to a self-managed super fund (SMSF) in order to access your super before you are legally entitled.