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Overview of the transfer balance cap

The transfer balance cap was introduced as part of the reforms to superannuation in the 2016 Federal Budget and will commence on 1 July 2017.

The cap applies to the total amount of super that has been transferred into the retirement phase. The cap will start at $1.6 million, and will be indexed periodically in $100,000 increments in line with CPI. If, at any time, you meet or exceed your cap, you will not be entitled to indexation.

Each individual with super interests in the retirement phase has a personal transfer balance cap that cannot be shared with anyone else. Individuals will have a transfer balance account which tracks the net amounts transferred to the retirement phase.

Individuals who currently receive a pension or annuity income stream that is close to or in excess of the cap, or start a retirement phase income stream after 1 July 2017 will be affected by the transfer balance cap. Those affected should seek advice as to how to reduce the value of their income stream before 1 July 2017 to ensure there is not an excess.

For those who will commence a retirement phase income stream after 1 July 2017, you must ensure:
– your account based pensions and annuities do not exceed the $1.6 million transfer balance cap
– you include income from certain lifetime pensions (usually paid from a defined benefit fund) in your income tax return if you are over 60, and may need to pay more tax
– if you have a mix of pension types, with a total value exceeding $1.6 million, you reduce any account based pensions to reduce the total value of all your pensions below the transfer balance cap.

Posted on 19 January '17 by , under Super.

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What to consider when consolidating your super

The ATO reported that 45% of working Australians were not aware that they had multiple super accounts in 2016. Having multiple super accounts is particularly common for individuals who have had more than one job. If this is you, it is important to identify and manage your super accounts because having more than one can be costly as a result of account fees from multiple funds.To combat this, you may want to consolidate your super, which moves all your super into one account. Not only does this save on fees, but it also makes your super easier to manage and keep track of.

Before consolidating your super, it is important to do the following:

Research your funds' policy
Compare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. Things to assess include:

  • Exit fees
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  • Investment options
  • Ongoing service fees
  • Performance of the funds

Check employer contributions
Changing funds may affect how much your employer contributes, as some employers contribute more to certain funds. Check your current accounts to see if changing funds will affect this. Once you have selected a super fund, regardless of whether you choose a new super fund or one of your existing ones, provide your employer with the details they need to pay super into your selected account.

Gather the relevant information
When consolidating your super, you will need to have the following details ready:

  • Your tax file number.
  • Proof of identity. This could include your driver's license, birth certificate or passport.
  • Your fund's superannuation product identification number (SPIN).
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  • Details of your previous fund.

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