Superannuation should never be a “set and forget” strategy. With the new calendar year here, now is a good time to review circumstances and set some new goals to help boost retirement savings. There have been a few changes to superannuation, which applied from 1 July 2014. The following are some considerations.

Superannuation guarantee rate

On 1 July 2014, the super guarantee rate increased to 9.5% (up from 9.25% for 2013–2014).

Contributions caps

The general concessional contributions cap is $30,000 for 2014–2015 (up from $25,000 for 2013–2014).

Concessional cap for over 60s/50s

A higher concessional contributions cap of $35,000 applied for 2014–2015 for people aged 59 years or over on 30 June 2013, instead of the general concessional cap ($30,000 for 2014–2015). For 2014–2015, this temporary concessional cap of $35,000 also applied for those aged 49 years or over on 30 June 2014. This temporary $35,000 concessional cap (not indexed) will cease when the general cap reaches $35,000 through indexation (expected to be 1 July 2018).

Non-concessional contributions cap

This increased to $180,000 (or $540,000 every three years for those under age 65) from 2014–2015 (up from $150,000 for 2013–2014 or $450,000 over a three-year period).

Government co-contribution

A 50% matching applies whereby the Government will pay a co-contribution up to a maximum of $500 for a $1,000 eligible personal contribution for individuals with total incomes up to $34,488 for 2014-15 (phasing down for incomes up to $49,488).

Other considerations

Other issues to consider include the following:

  • reviewing arrangements to salary sacrifice super with employers;
  • protecting super accounts from identity crime (eg changing passwords for accounts that can be viewed online);
  • consolidating multiple super fund accounts to save on super fund fees. However, there may be good reasons to maintain multiple accounts (these should be documented); and
  • checking insurance and investment options to ensure they are still relevant.

Practitioners may want to also review the ATO’s Key superannuation rates and thresholds publication for more super issues to consider. The publication (last updated 8 December 2014) is available on the ATO website

Professional advice should be obtained before implementing a new retirement savings strategy. Please contact our office to discuss your circumstances. You can call us on (03) 9603 0066

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