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Managing longevity risk and your superannuation

Longevity risk is a common and important factor to consider when planning for your retirement funds. Longevity risk refers to the risk of outliving your savings and arises as people enter retirement, and in most cases, with a fixed amount of money to use during their retirement years. Managing your longevity risk is important because retirees often have no idea of how long they will need their retirement funds for. Here are a few strategies to help you manage your longevity risk:

Purchase an account-based pension:

An account-based pension is a regular income stream you can buy with the money from your super after you retire and reach your preservation age. When buying an account-based pension, you can choose how much of your super funds you’d like to transfer to the pension phase, the size and frequency of your payments (within a set limit) and how you want your money to be invested through your pension.

If you were thinking of purchasing an account-based pension to begin with, now may be the time as the Government is temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates for account-based pensions by 50%. The annual payment as a percentage of account balance currently has reduced rates between 2% and 7% (from age brackets from 55 to 95+ respectively).

Set up a lifetime annuity:

Lifetime income annuities and insurance products designed to provide income throughout your retirement. Annuities are bought from insurance companies with a lump sum of cash and in return, you can get regular income payments until you pass away or for the amount of time you’ve agreed upon.

To make sure you purchase the right annuity for your desires and circumstances, it is often wise to consult a financial adviser before making your decision or go through a reliable insurance broker. In the case that you’d like to avoid paying commission fees from an insurance broker, you can also purchase lifetime annuities from investment companies rather than a traditional insurance company.

Age pension as a safety net:

While there are a number of retirement safety net options available to retirees, age pension is the most obvious and most reliable. An age pension is a means-tested Government-backed safety net for retirees who are unable to fully provide for themselves in retirement. While a stable income stream to take note of, age pensions usually only provide their recipients with the bare minimum and hence considering some of the strategies listed above will give you more leeway with your funds and lifestyle after retirement.

Posted on 16 April '20 by , under Super.

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Spouse contributions – when are you eligible for a tax offset?

Contributions made on behalf of your spouse to a complying superannuation fund or a retirement savings account (RSA) may be eligible for a tax offset.

The 2019/2020 tax rules allow you to claim an 18% tax offset on super contributions up to $3,000 on behalf of your spouse. While you are able to contribute more than $3,000, there will be no spouse contribution tax offset over this amount. The amount you can claim depends on your spouse's annual income:

  • $540 for spouse income of $37,000.
  • $360 for spouse income of $38,000.
  • $180 for spouse income of $39,000.

The tax offset may be available for individuals who meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Your spouse's assessable income, fringe benefits amounts and employer superannuation contributions equate to under $40,000.
  • Contributions made on behalf of your spouse were not deductible to you.
  • You and your spouse were Australian residents at the time of contributions.
  • Your spouse did not have non-concessional contributions that equated to a higher amount than their non-concessional contributions cap, or they did not have a total superannuation balance of $1.6 million or more at 30 June 2018.
  • Your spouse is younger than their preservation age, or are not retired while being between 65 and their preservation age.

Under Australian superannuation law, your spouse can be either:

  • Your partner who you are married to and live with, or;
  • Your de facto partner, who you live with on a genuine domestic basis.

The spouse contributions tax offset can be claimed on your tax return.

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