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Why making additional super contributions can benefit you come tax time

June 4, 2020  |  #Superannuation

Time is running out to make the most of your super for 2019-2020. Get in touch with your adviser ASAP if you are considering making additional contributions.

The end of the financial year marks the start of tax time but before then it’s beneficial to assess your super contributions in order to maximise your tax benefit and grow your super balance. We encourage you to make any additional contributions before June 20th to ensure your payment is received in time and your balance is adjusted before the June 30th cut off. Below we discuss types of contributions and strategies to maximise your return.

 

Why Make Additional Contributions

Your employer must pay 9.5% of your pay towards superannuation however you may wish to make additional contributions on top of this. The benefit of making additional contributions is twofold. Firstly, there are savings you can make on tax, as super contributions are taxed at 15% compared to your personal tax rate. Secondly, the more you invest and the earlier you invest, the more you will have for your retirement.

The tax benefits offered for contributions made to your superannuation fund are capped. The super contributions up to $25,000 per financial year are taxed at 15%, while any contribution above the limit attracts additional tax. If you have some extra savings you want to invest for your retirement, you earn more than $37,000 and less than $263,157, then extra contributions may be something you want to consider. Below we discuss the types of contributions and the strategies around implementing them.

 

Pre-Tax and After-Tax Contributions

In addition to the mandatory employer contributions to your super fund, you can also make extra super contributions. If you earn more than $37,000 and less than $263,157 per financial year, it could be beneficial to make extra contributions to your super account to save for retirement and obtain tax benefits.

Pre-Tax Contributions: Pre-tax contributions are taken out of your salary before you get paid, this means your taxable salary will be reduced and will provide you with a higher tax benefit. You can make extra contributions to the super fund by asking your employer to pay a part of your pre-tax salary into the super account. These contributions are termed as salary sacrifice or salary packaging and are taxed at a concessional rate of 15%, irrespective of your normal tax rate. However, please keep in mind that the total of employer contributions and salary sacrifice cannot be more than $25,000 per year.

After-tax contributions: The other alternative is to pay into your super fund from your after-tax salary. These super contributions are termed non-concessional as taxes have already been paid on your funds. You may be able to claim a tax deduction for personal contributions made from after-taxed dollars, but before you can claim you must have given your super fund a Notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction for personal contributions form (NAT 71121) and received confirmation from your fund. You can contribute up to $100,000 per financial year as after-tax super contributions if your superannuation balance is less than $1.6 million at the beginning of the financial year. The after-tax contributions made above the cap of $25,000 do not attract tax benefits; however, your savings will be working hard in the super investment environment.

If you are considering making additional contributions, speak with an adviser as soon as possible to ensure the paperwork can be processed in time.

 

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Strategies to Grow Your Super Contributions

Superannuation funds and super contributions form a strong foundation for life after retirement. If your super contributions are well managed, you can not only save taxes but also save more for your retirement. The following strategies can be used effectively to manage your super contributions and grow your investment balance.

 

  • Salary sacrifice and one-off contributions: The first strategy is to make additional contributions to your super account, either from pre-tax salary as salary sacrifice or from after-tax salary as one-off contributions. Both methods add to your post-retirement savings and can be tax advantageous. Your monthly take-home salary reduces, but your savings in your super account rise considerably. If you hadn’t set that up for this year but think you may want to for next, speak with an adviser to understand the impacts of that choice and then work with your employer.

 

  • Government Co-Contribution: If you earn less than $37,000 per financial year, you may be eligible for a low-income superannuation tax offset of up to $500 per year. Additionally, if you earn less than $52,697 before tax per year, you may be eligible for the government making a matching contribution to your after-tax contributions to your super fund.

 

  • Super Contributions on Behalf of Spouse: If your spouse earns less than $37,000 per financial year, you can make a super contribution to their super account to boost their retirement savings and earn a tax deduction for yourself. Super contributions of up to $3,000 into a spouse’s account can earn tax benefits of up to $540. Additionally, you may also submit a request to split your super contributions with your spouse to even up any significant balance differences.

 

  • First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS): Your super contributions can usually not be accessed before retirement. However, under the FHSSS, you can withdraw a portion of your super contributions to purchase your first home. You can withdraw up to $15,000 per year, or $30,000 in total, of your voluntary contributions to your super fund to reduce house affordability pressure. If you are purchasing with a partner, you can double those figures so between you there is up to $60,000 available to help with the initial costs of buying your first home.

 

  • Downsizer Contributions: If you are selling a family home that you have owned for ten or more years, you may contribute up to $ 300,000 of the sales proceeds into your superannuation fund. This amount does not form a part of the pre-tax or after-tax contribution caps and can help you save more towards your retirement.

 

It is essential to assess your super balance, super contributions, and strategies before the end of the financial year to avoid last-minute stress and maximise your tax benefit. An adviser can work with you to implement the best super contribution strategy for you. They can also review your super balance, check the insurance cover, assess your financial situation and ensure you are on the right path to retiring comfortably.  

 

Speak with one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you create a positive financial change

What you need to know

This information is provided by Invest Blue Pty Ltd (ABN 91 100 874 744). The information contained in this article is of general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regards to those matters and seek personal financial, tax and/or legal advice prior to acting on this information. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relations to products and services provided to you.