Superannuation

The aim of superannuation, since its introduction by the Keating Government in 1992, is to enable all working Australians to accumulate savings to fund their retirement. The most common means of contributing to superannuation is through employer superannuation guarantee contributions (SGC), which by law, must currently be paid at a rate of 9.5 per cent. There are plans to gradually increase this to 12 per cent by 2025.

Australians are encouraged to make contributions to superannuation by favourable tax benefits and many take advantage of these incentives by salary sacrificing to superannuation. This enables an employee to pay an amount of pre-tax salary into superannuation, which when taxed at 15 or 30 per cent, is often less than their own marginal tax rate. These are known as concessional contributions and are capped at $25,000.

Non-concessional contributions can also be made – these come from after-tax income. The current limit on such non-concessional contributions is $100,000 per year, although a scheme exists whereby $300,000 can be made in one year, as long as no other contributions are made in the following three-year period.

Other factors, such as age and hours worked, can determine whether an individual can contribute to superannuation.

Through investment of contributions by fund trustees, individuals hope to see their superannuation fund balances increase by payment of returns on investment and compound interest. As investments can go down as well as up, most people choose a mix of different investment types based on their risk profile.

ATO on the lookout for suspicious superannuation activity

The ATO outlines the steps being taken to stop the illegal early release of superannuation.

‘Government attacks on super deliberate and calculated’: Labor

Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers says the government is not concerned about higher wages.

Cutting super would result in massive tax hike, report finds

Modelling shows cutting super would result in Age Pension costs blowing out by up to $33b.

Call to tax retirees’ super income

ACOSS seeks a tax on retirees' superannuation earnings to fund aged care.

That extra you’re about to get in super, most of it will come from you

... but don't expect the ads to tell you that.

Lifecycle super products could cost members one-quarter of savings

Choosing the wrong super product could reduce retirement savings by up to $170,000.

Super funds go to war with the government

'It's time for the government to leave people's super alone,' says super chief.

Senator urges retirees to use their savings ‘more efficiently’

Retirement savings could be used in a better way, says senator.

Call for low-income earners to receive a $5000 super top-up

Groups want the government to pay for 'flawed' early access scheme.

How SMSFs invested in 2020 – and what this means for 2021

Investment specialist Chris Brycki analyses what happened in the SMSF sector in 2020.

How did your super fund perform in 2020?

Super delivered a positive return for the 2020 calendar year, a testament to funds' resilience.

Explained: When you can access your superannuation

The first retirement milestone you will reach is the age that you can start to access your super.

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