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What is Stronger Super?

The Federal Government has introduced changes to the superannuation system designed to make Australia’s superannuation system stronger and more efficient.

These reforms are called Stronger Super and have been introduced following a Government review of the country’s superannuation system in 2009.

From now until June 2016 the legislated changes will aim to simplify the superannuation system in a bid to help protect and maximise superannuation retirement income.

There are a number of important elements involved in the Stronger Super reforms:

SuperStream

SuperStream is designed to improve the processing of superannuation transactions and to reduce the time it takes for these transactions to occur.

The concept behind SuperStream is to reduce error and remove human involvement from the system.

Superannuation Guarantee rate rise

The Superannuation Guarantee rate is scheduled to increase to the 12 per cent target over the coming years. From 1 July 2014, this rate will become 9.5 per cent.

The upper age limit for paying the Superannuation Guarantee to an employee has also changed. Employers must now continue to pay eligible employees super if they are over 70 and continue to work.

SuperSeeker

SuperSeeker is a tool that has been developed to help people track their lost super.  The ATO reports that more than $17 billion sits in lost and unclaimed super funds.

This program will also allows individuals to electronically transfer the lost super into an account they choose.

Posted on 13 December '13 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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