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Your super and the 2018 Federal Budget

Superannuation  |  9/05/2018  |   5 min read

The focus of the 2018 Federal Budget may be taxes, but that doesn’t mean superannuation has been forgotten. A variety of tweaks and changes have been flagged that aim to make superannuation more fair and responsive to individual needs. Collectively, these fall under the Government’s ‘protecting your super’ banner.

Although these revisions are relatively minor compared to the sweeping reforms of years gone past, they may have an impact on your long term financial outcomes. We’ve summarised the main points below, these are due to take effect July 1 2019.  

It should also be noted that these measures are just budget proposals at this stage and, therefore, are subject to their passage through parliament (with or without changes).

Changes to compulsory insurance

Superfunds often provide new members with default insurance coverage. If a member has multiple super accounts and a low balance, the associated insurance fees can eat into their savings. In response, the government has announced changes that will introduce an ‘opt-in’ insurance system for the following classes of members:  

  • Members with balances below $6,000
  • Members under 25 years of age
  • Members whose accounts have not received a contribution in 13 months and are inactive.

Following the July 1 2019 implementation, these members will have 14 months to decide whether they will opt-in to their existing cover or allow it to switch off.

A cap on passive fees for low balances

The government has announced a 3% annual cap on the passive fees charged to accounts with a low balance, i.e. those with less than $6,000.

You can learn more about Equip’s fee structure here

A ban on exit fees

Superfunds will no longer be able to charge exit fees for leaving the fund. Equip has already begun this process and will phase out these fees in the coming months. All funds will be required to abandon these fees by July 1 2019.

Transfer inactive funds to the ATO

All inactive funds with balances under $6,000 must  be transferred by superfunds to the ATO. This is designed to protect low balance members from fees, especially where people may have a number of accounts that that are lying dormant.

 

Additional super announcements

The items above reflect the headline news, but a number of smaller changes and updates are also proposed.  

A new retirement income framework

When superfunds offer Comprehensive Income Products for Retirement (CIPRs) they will be required to provide information to members about these products in a standardised / easy to understand format.

A one-year exemption to the work test

People aged 65-74 with superannuation balances below $300,000 will receive a one-year exemption from the work test (in the first year in which they would otherwise fail the work test). This will mean such members will continue to be able to make voluntary super contributions for that year.

High income earners can forgo the Superannuation Guarantee

From 1 July 2018, high income earners with multiple employers will be able to forgo some of the superannuation guarantee paid on their behalf (i.e. the compulsory 9.5% employer contribution to super) and receive wages instead. This is in order to avoid super guarantee contributions causing members to exceed their concessional contributions cap.

 

An Equip financial planner can help you get the most out of your super. For additional information about our services and fees please click here

 

This information is provided for general information only. It does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and should therefore not be taken as personal advice. You should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it and, if necessary, you should seek professional financial advice. Issued by Equipsuper Pty Ltd ABN 64 006 964 049 AFSL 246383.  MySuper Authorisation Numbers 33813823017672 and 33813823017518  (‘Equip’, ‘the Fund’ and ‘the Equip Rio Tinto Fund’).

Equipsuper Financial Planning Pty Ltd (“EFP”) (ABN 84 124 491 078, AFSL 455010) is licensed to provide financial planning services to retail and wholesale clients. EFP is owned by Equipsuper Financial Holdings Pty Ltd (ABN 11 604 515 791). You can obtain the EFP Financial Services Guide and/or Privacy Statement by contacting our Helpline 1800 682 626.

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