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Changes to non-concessional super contributions

Non-concessional contributions to superannuation are contributions that are made from your income after tax. In the 2013-14 financial year the cap on non-concessional super contributions was $150 000, with contributions exceeding this being taxed at 46.5%. As non-concessional contributions to super have already been taxed this meant that contributions exceeding the cap were potentially being taxed at 93%.

Many Australians over the age of 60 were making substantial contributions to their super in order to take advantage of the tax breaks and accidentally exceed the cap.

In the 2014-2015 financial year, the cap on non-concessional super contributions will be raised to $180 000. The government has also announced that it will lift the non-concessional contributions tax. Individuals may withdraw their excess contributions, along with any earnings, and have these taxed at their usual marginal tax rate. This will apply to excess contributions made after 1 July 2013.

Further details of the plan have not yet been decided, as the government is consulting with the superannuation industry.

Posted on 6 June '14 by , under Super.

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Transition to retirement

The transition to retirement (TTR) strategy allows you to access some of your super while you continue to work.

You are able to use the TTR strategy if you are aged 55 to 60. You can use it to supplement your income if you reduce your work hours or boost your super and save on tax while you keep working full time.

  • Starting a TTR pension: To start your TTR pension, transfer some of your super to an account-based pension. You have to keep some money in your super account so that you can continue to receive your employer's compulsory contributions as well as any voluntary contributions you may be making.
  • Government benefits and TTR: The benefits you or your partner receive might be impacted if you choose to opt for this strategy. How and what exactly will change might become clearer upon discussing this with a Financial Information Service (FIS) officer.
  • Life insurance and TTR: In some cases, the life insurance cover you have with your super may stop or reduce if you start a TTR pension – check this before making any decisions or changes.

TTR can help ease your mind as you transition into retirement but it can be a bit complex. Before you choose whether you want to use TTR to reduce work hours or save on tax, or even if you want to use TTR altogether, you should figure out how this will impact all aspects of your finances.

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