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Archive for superannuation Perth

Superannuation Statements – What to Check

Last financial year’s superannuation statements are hitting your mail boxes over the last week.

It is important that you check your details are correct. The type of information you should be checking:

  • What is your balance.
  • Is the balance trending upwards over time – remember the Centrelink aged pension will probably not provide enough for the niceties in life. Chances are you will be relying on your superannuation for a better quality of life in your retirement.
  • Are all this year’s superannuation payments showing on your statement?
    Only recently we had a client whose superannuation guarantee payments from his employer were going into a different fund to the one he thought. And in rare cases, unscrupulous employers have been known not to make their payments at all even though they have a legal requirement to do so.
  • Do you have insurance within your superannuation (life, income protection or total permenant disability)?  Is it still sufficient for your needs?
    Remember that insurance premiums within your super fund are paid from your superannuation returns rather than billed to your directly. This makes them a convenient form of extra financial security, but one which it is easy to overlook.
superannuation statements in Australia

It is important to understand your superannuation – and superannuation statements – at every stage of life not just as your retirement

If you have multiple small balances in superannuation it is a good idea to consolidate them. Before you do so check you are not going to lose important insurance cover.

Lastly, check that you have received all your statements because it is easy to forget the small balance accounts.
If you move addresses and a couple of your superannuation statements are returned to the superannuation company, you might not notice.  Small balance lost super can end up in lost super.

If you need more in depth help understanding your superannuation statement, determining the right insurances, finding and consolidating superannuation please contact our friendly staff at Approved Financial Planners in Perth and we will help you get your superannuation in order.

Understanding Superannuation

One of the many financial services we offer at Approved Financial Planners is help with your superannuation fund. Whether you choose self managed superannuation or any of the super funds available to you, we can provide sound financial advice.

How Superannuation Works

Understanding Superannuation in Australia

Money is placed into your superannuation account, also known as a “super account” or “super,” by you, your employer or both. The money in your super fund is then invested with the intent of it growing in time, even though it will occasionally return a negative result for the year. *

As a super grows, the money that was earned is reinvested and also earns a return; this helps your balance grow even more. On member contributions for which you claimed a tax deduction or on contributions from your employer, your tax is only 15% of any contribution up to $30,000 per year. The $30,000 limit is known as “concessional contributions cap.” *

If you are 50 years of age or older, your “cap number” is $35,000 per year. If a combination of certain contributions and your income is greater than $300,000 per year, you will be taxed at a rate of 30% on all contributions that are over the cap. *

This money is held for you until you die, retire or reach a certain age. Depending on your date of birth, this age is between 55 and 60 years old. Your benefit is then paid in either a lump sum or an income stream. *

Choosing Your Super Fund

Most Australians have the option of choosing their own superannuation fund. If you shift jobs, you can often take your super fund to your new place of employment. AMP Capital recommends checking with your new employer’s human resources or payroll department.

We Can Help You

If you would like to learn more about your super fund, call Approved Financial Planners on 08 6462 0888 today. We have a wealth of experience in helping people like you maximise their supers and their retirements.

*AMP Capital. Understanding Super. Make your super work harder for you.

Making the Right Choices as an SMSF Trustee

With over 80 years combined experience in the financial services industry, we have been providing advice on self managed superannuation funds (SMSF’s) to Perth area investors since self management of superannuation funds became an option in late 1999.

Recently, our parent company, AMP Capital, conducted research on what SMSF trustees considered to be the most difficult part of managing an SMSF. The research was conducted by Investment Trends.*

Right Choices As SMSF Trustee

Poll Results:*

Most Difficult Task:*

27%: Investment selection.
24%: Keeping track of SMSF rule and regulation changes.
23%: Administration and paperwork.
19%: Finding enough time to conduct investment research.

Other Questions:*

76%: Made at least one new investment with their SMSF in the previous twelve months.
35%: Made from 2-5 investment changes in the previous twelve months.
16%: Made between 6-10 changes in the previous twelve months.

Shift in Allocation of Assets:*

38%: Made what was termed a “substantial shift” in the allocation of their SMSF’s assets in the previous twelve months.
Of those 38%:*
24%: Became more defensive.
24% Became more diversified.
23% Changed due to optimism in Australian Shares Market.
22%: Tried to focus more on income.

Decision-Making:*

More than 50% created an SMSF because they wanted more control over their investments.
44%: Make all of the investment decisions on their own.
23%: Make decisions with one other person.
17%: Use a Financial Advisor for help.

Goals:*

41%: Long term goals.
39%: Funding additional personal goals.
37%: Meeting day to day living expenses.

Using a Financial Advisor

27% said they would consult a financial advisor if their SMSF wasn’t performing according to their needs. 48% said they would alter their investments on their own.*

Make the Right Choice

At Approved Financial Planners, we combine more than 80 years’ experience in the Perth market with the resources of our parent company, AMP Capital. To learn more or for a free consult, call us today: 08 6462 0888.

SMSF Trustee Source

Splitting Super Contributions with Your Spouse

Superannuation splitting is a concept that we have shared with a growing number of our Perth area clients. Known as “super splitting,” it is a way you can split your before tax or concessional super contributions with your spouse. The two most common types of concessional super contributions are your arranged salary sacrifice contributions and your employer’s mandatory contributions under the superannuation guarantee.*

Splitting Super With Your Spouse

If your super fund allows you to do it, you can split contributions to a different fund or within the same fund. While contributions can be split, your super fund’s account balance cannot. If you wish to split your contributions, you must be in a de facto relationship or married to the person with whom you are splitting your super contributions.*

To receive split contributions, your spouse must be under 55 years of age or between 55 and 64 but not retired (other conditions may apply). If your spouse is 65 or more years of age, you cannot split any superannuation contributions.*

Why Some Couples Split Supers

One of the more common reasons for super splitting is if the wife takes off work to raise a family. This allows her super to be boosted. This strategy can often help one be more prepared for changes in superannuation rules and/or taxes.*

If one spouse is older than the other, contributing to the older spouse’s super can provide faster access to the funds by building up the super of the older spouse. Also, contributing to the younger spouse’s super can help protect the younger spouse’s super funds from the means test.*

Talk to a Superannuation Expert

Everyone’s financial situation is different. Remember that your superannuation fund affects your lifestyle when you retire. At Approved Financial Planners, we have been helping clients in the Perth area with their superannuation funds since 2005 and have more than 80 years combined experience in financial planning.

To learn more or for a consult, call us today: 08 6462 0888.

Splitting Super Contributions—The What, the Why and the How!

Defined Benefit Super Scheme? Why a Super Checkup May Be Beneficial.

Many Government or public sector employees have PSS defined benefit superannuation funds. We would like to explain the difference between an accumulation-style superannuation fund, a defined benefit superannuation fund and a self managed superannuation fund.

When you retire, especially if you plan to stick around the Perth area, you don’t know how much money you will need to live the lifestyle you want. We feel it is helpful for those with defined benefit supers to understand their options.

Defined Benefit Super Scheme

What is a PSS Defined Benefit Super Fund?

A PSS defined benefit super is so named because the benefits you receive upon retirement will be “defined” or based upon final average salary (FAS), your contribution rate and the amount of time you were a PSS member. The Australian Government and other participating employers offer this kind of super fund.*

Why is it Different

Other super funds are invested for you. You can either gain money or lose money. The amount of money you eventually collect is dependent upon how much money is in your super fund. When you retire, you can collect your super as a monthly payment (retirement income stream), a lump sum or a combination of both.**

How a “Super Checkup” Could be Beneficial

There are many choices and options for you. We would be happy to have one of our financial advisors examine your situation and explain your options. You may want to keep your money in your current fund. You may want to invest it in another fund. You may want to invest it in a self managed superannuation fund.

We have a wealth of experience in helping people in Perth maximise their supers. To learn more or for an obligation-free consult, call Approved Financial Planners today: 08 6462 0888.


*Australian Government, “How PSS Works,” https://www.pss.gov.au/your-scheme/how-pss-works/#.VeVHHflViko

** Australian Securities and Investments Commission: How Super Works
https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/superannuation-and-retirement/how-super-works

The Basics of Superannuation

At Approved Financial Planners, we provide superannuation and self managed superannuation advice to our clients in the Perth area. We would like to present a short beginner’s guide to understanding superannuation. We have gone to the Government’s website, https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/superannuation-and-retirement/how-super-works, to gather some basic information that you may find helpful in understanding superannuation.*

Basics of Superannuation

What is Superannuation?

Superannuation is a process in which your employer currently pays 9.5% of your salary into a fund earmarked for your retirement. By 2025, this contribution would have increased to 12%. You are allowed to pay your own money into your super fund account to increase the fund. Money gained from super fund investments is usually taxed at a lower rate than the same investments made outside of your super.*

Choosing a Super Fund

Your money is usually invested into a super fund of your choosing. However, some employers decide where your funds will be invested. If you want to decide where your super fund will be invested, you must fill out a form from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). It is called a “Standard Choice Form.”*

Making Contributions

Your employer must base their contribution on your “ordinary time earnings,” which include all hours of work, over-award payments, allowances, commissions, bonuses and some paid leaves. You have the option of contributing extra to your super.*

You may do this by adding a lump sum into your account from your savings. You can also transfer funds from another super fund into your current one. You may also ask your employer to deduct a certain amount from your pay and contribute it into your super for you.*

Where Your Super Money Goes

The money goes from your super fund account into a super fund that invests your money to make money. Different super funds have different dynamics. Some are linked to the market, which makes them move up and down as the market goes. Some are more stable.*

Call 08 6462 0888 to learn more.

*ASIC, MoneySmart, “How Super Works.”

Benefits of Superannuation in Australia

Superannuation helps secure the future of many in Australia. Here are some of the benefits.

Superannuation is designed to help us prepare for retirement as part of a three-pronged approach. For many Australians, a well-conceived super fund can be the difference between comfortable retirement and a constant struggle in the years when it is the most painful. Here are some of the reasons why we like superannuation.

Benefits of Superannuation in Australia

Tax-Effective Savings

Superannuation is designed to help Australians become self-sufficient when they retire. It is set up with a series of tax breaks to encourage contributions.

Salary Sacrifice

Those who utilise salary sacrifice can reap huge savings because earnings that go towards salary sacrifice are only taxed at a rate of 15%. For someone in a tax bracket of 45%, this represents huge savings.

Tax-Effective Capital Growth

In most cases, the tax rate on money made through investments within a super fund are lower than the same investments outside of the super fund. While profit from an investment outside of the fund could be taxed as high as 46.5%, most super fund revenue is taxed between 10-15% depending upon the investment.

Lower Tax Rate During Retirement

When the super fund has started paying an allocated pension, there is no tax on capital gains or income. If retirement starts before the age of 60, the super fund will be responsible for a tax of 15% of the assessable amount until you reach 60.

Superannuation Benefits are Protected from Bankruptcy

If you have to claim bankruptcy, your super benefits are protected up to the Reasonable Benefit Limit (RBL) of your pension. This allows business owners and individuals to protect their assets against being seized by creditors during bankruptcy.

It must be noted here that firm rules are in place for those who try to manipulate this system in anticipation of declaring bankruptcy.

Approved Financial Planners can Help

At Approved Financial Planners, we specialise in superannuation funds. We can help you navigate the maze of regulations for a standard or a self-managed super fund. Your superannuation fund is too important to manage on the advice of friends, however well-meaning they may be or to start thinking about until you are ready to retire.

To learn more about how Approved Financial Planners can help maximise your super fund, call (08) 6462 0888.