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Do you know where your super is?

Posted on February 21, 2019 by admin

If you’re not close to retiring, you may not be thinking about your super or where it is. Even if you are a way off from retiring, you should be keeping track of where your super has gone. $17.5 billion of super was lost in 2017-18, $420 million down from the previous year. If you are not paying attention to your super contributions, accounts and insurances, you may have lost super. You may also have unintentionally lost track of super if you have ever changed your name, address, job or lived overseas. It is not uncommon for people to have multiple super accounts they have acquired over the years of working at different companies. Having multiple unused accounts can result in high fees that drain your untouched super or you could lose track of it completely. It is in your best interest to consolidate all super into one account that suits your retirement goals. When closing unused accounts, you should be mindful of any termination fees, insurance policies, investment options, and ongoing service fees. If you have lost track of your super it may be held by either your super fund as a lost account or as an ATO-held account. […]

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Superannuation tips for each stage of your working life

Posted on February 14, 2019 by admin

A 2018 study revealed that almost 40% of Australians think they won’t have enough money to retire on – and that number is on the rise. Managing your superannuation fund can be confusing but it was found that 50% of us do not consult a financial planner. As we face different financial challenges at different points in our lives, how do you ensure you have enough to retire on? 20s to 30s:It is not uncommon for many people in their 20s and 30s to have multiple superannuation fund accounts accumulated through years of youth part-time work or otherwise. Now is the time to chase up on lost super. With one superannuation account, you not only can save on fees but it may also give you better investment returns. When combining and comparing your active accounts, be mindful of any termination fees, insurance policies, investment options, and ongoing service fees. 40s to 50s:You may find yourself earning more than you’ve ever earned before, but it is also a time where you may be juggling more living costs – from your mortgage to your growing family’s fees. Experts advise against decreasing your mortgage payments and encourage voluntary payments to your superannuation fund. […]

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Didn’t pay your employees’ super on time?

Posted on February 7, 2019 by admin

How to reduce the hassle of missing your employee’s super payment. The Super Guarantee Charge (SGC):The SGC may apply to employers who do not pay the minimum super guarantee (SG) to their employee’s designated superannuation fund by the required date. The non-tax-deductible charge includes the SG shortfall amounts with interest and a $20 administration fee for each employee. You will need to lodge your SGC statement within a couple of months of the respective quarter. While employers are able to apply for an extension to lodge and pay the SGC, the nominal interest will still accumulate until the extension is lodged. From this point, the general interest charge will apply until the SGC is paid off. What you can do to reduce your SGC:The nominal interest and SGC shortfall can be offset or carried forward by late contributions against the SGC in certain conditions. This excludes the administration fees, certain types of interest and other penalties. The late contribution is also not tax-deductible, nor is it able to be used as a prepayment for current or future contributions. However, you are able to carry it forward if the payment is for the same employee and is for a quarter within […]

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How to get out of a SMSF

Posted on January 31, 2019 by admin

Sometimes a self-managed super fund (SMSF) isn’t for you. While that is ok, getting out of an SMSF can be a tricky and complicated process. Every individual involved in an SMSF is responsible for their part. No decision can be made on their behalf or outsourced to another member or industry professional. Once deciding to leave your SMSF, you must approach carefully to avoid penalties and damages or disruptions to the remaining member funds. To successfully remove yourself you will need to: Notify the ATO within 28 days Remove all assets from the fund, whether paid out or transferred to a new account, leaving it empty Have a final audit of your fund Complete your reporting

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SuperStream to be extended to SMSF rollovers

Posted on January 24, 2019 by admin

First introduced in 2015, SuperStream is a government standard for processing superannuation payments electronically in a streamlined manner. Currently, SuperStream can only process rollovers between two APRA funds electronically but a change coming into effect on 30 November 2019 will now see this process extend to self-managed super funds (SMSF). This means rollovers between an APRA fund and an SMSF can be processed through SuperStream later this year, and the time taken could even be reduced to three days. The streamlining of the rollover process between all funds aims to increase efficiency and reduce compliance costs. An example of this is the removal of the requirement to draw a cheque when rollovers are made from an SMSF to an APRA fund. Further, direct transfers between funds will give greater confidence when tracking the whereabouts of your money. For a fund to receive a rollover, trustees will have to provide the ATO with the fund’s requested information – such as ABN, bank account details and internet protocol address – at least 10 business days before the fund receives the rollover.

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Superannuation for Women

Posted on January 18, 2019 by admin

It’s no secret that the median super balance for Australian women at the time of retirement is significantly lower than that of their male counterparts. The Australian Commission & Investments Commission (ASIC) have reported that men retire with about twice the amount as women. The discrepancy is reportedly even higher between Mums and Dads. Between lower wages and a higher likelihood of having an interrupted working life for women, women also tend to live longer and thus require more super to cover more years. Unfortunately, between personal finances, business financial capabilities, and governmental policies, actions to close this gap can be limited. Where viable, private companies can consider: continuing paying superannuation to staff during parental leave. paying full-time super benefits to part-time parents. This has already been implemented by Viva Energy (a Shell subsidiary). From the ABS, women are much more likely to be working part-time than men. increasing the percentage of base salary put toward their employees’ super accounts.

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A guide to consolidating your super

Posted on December 20, 2018 by admin

Merging your super is vital to maximising your retirement savings. Changing jobs over the years will put you at risk of losing some of your super if your previous employers have set up accounts you have forgotten about. Fees will erode the balances on these inactive accounts and result in you losing your hard earned super. You should also consolidate to maximise the interest accrued on your single super balance. Merge your super with this checklist and keep your super savings on track for success. Research your fund’s policyCompare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. You should assess: Exit fees Insurance policies Investment options Ongoing service fees Performance of the funds Rollover processOnce you have made your decision, you can combine your super balance by: Requesting to merge your accounts through your chosen super fund Apply through your myGov account or the ATO Keep in mind that funds will take time to process your request and rollover.

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Authority for super complaints introduced

Posted on December 14, 2018 by admin

The new Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) will make it easier for individuals and small businesses to make complaints about their superannuation financial firms. The Coalition government has responded to criticisms of previous dispute resolution bodies by creating a new financial disputes framework. AFCA has been described as a “one-stop shop” that will improve outcomes for consumers and increase the efficiency of the dispute resolution process. AFCA’s jurisdictionAFCA has been given authority over a range of complaint areas including: Superannuation annuities Corporate, industry and retail super funds SMSFs (handled under investments and advice jurisdiction) Approved deposit funds Small funds Retirement savings accounts Trustees, insurers and decision makers of relevant super bodies What you can make complaints aboutYour super complaint to AFCA must adhere to its governing rules. AFCA has specific time limits for complaints but no monetary limits. You can make complaints about: The advice you were given about a superannuation product Fees or costs that were incorrectly charged or calculated Information you weren’t given about the product including fees or costs Errors in the information provided to you; for example, if your benefit statements are incorrect Decisions your super provider has made Payment of a death benefit Giving instructions […]

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Employer SuperStream checklist

Posted on December 7, 2018 by admin

Employers must make superannuation contributions on behalf of their employees. SuperStream is the ATO’s electronic and standardised solution that streamlines the super payment process. Using SuperStream for employers means: You can use one online channel to pay multiple funds Less room for error during data entry, due to fewer steps Transactions reach funds faster ObligationsYou must make contributions to a super fund through a SuperStream solution unless you are eligible for the following exemptions: Personal contributions if you are self-employed or a sole trader and make after-tax contributions to a super fund for yourself Contributions to your SMSF where you’re a related party employer. For example, if you are an employee of your family business and your super guarantee contributions go to your SMSF. Step-by-step guideOnce you have decided that SuperStream is right for you, the following steps will help you stay compliant: Choose an option: you can choose from a payroll system, your super fund’s online system, a super clearing house and a messaging portal Collect information and update your records: refer to the ATO for an exhaustive list of the information you will need from your employees Pay the SuperStream way: pay as soon as possible so you […]

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ATO warns of illegal early super release

Posted on November 29, 2018 by admin

The ATO has issued a warning to the public regarding illegal early release of super schemes, which are subject to severe penalties. There are strict rules around when you can access your super so your current decisions do not jeopardise your quality of life in retirement. The ATO has reminded the public you may only access your super early if you have experienced severe financial hardship or you have reached the preservation age and have stopped working. How these schemes workThe promoters of these schemes: Encourage you to transfer or rollover your super from your existing super fund to an SMSF to access your super before you are legally entitled to Target people under financial pressure or those who do not understand super laws Claim you can access your super and put the money towards anything you want which is not true Charge high fees and commissions, presenting the risk of losing some or all of your super to them May request your identification documents which can result in identity theft Penalties:Penalties apply to promoters and individuals who illegally access their super early. If you illegally obtain your super early, it is included in your assessable income even if you […]

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