Want a bigger super balance? Here are some things to consider

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Want a bigger super balance? Here are some things to consider

 

Your super is going to play an important part in your financial future and the more you have, the more likely it is that you can achieve the retirement lifestyle you have in mind.

You don’t need to depend on just your employer’s compulsory super contributions to see your super balance grow. There are things you can do now to maximise your super savings – and some of them don’t even require you to spend any of your money.

1. Find your lost super

There are over six million super accounts worth $16 billion waiting to be claimed [1]– and some of it could be yours. If you’ve had more than one employer over the course of your working life, you may have super sitting in multiple accounts and not even know it.

You can track your lost super down using the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)’sSuperSeeker tool.

2. Combining  super 

The ATO’s SuperSeeker also lets you combine your super into one account. This may reduce overall administration fees and make super simpler to manage.

Before you make any changes to your super, it is important to consider exit fees and how investments, tax and any existing insurance arrangements may be affected. A financial adviser can help ensure that you maintain adequate levels of insurance.

3. Salary sacrifice

This is where you arrange with your employer to pay some of your before-tax salary into your super fund. It can be a tax-effective strategy, but you must take care not to contribute more than your contribution limits. Income tax doesn’t apply to salary sacrifice contributions within the contribution limits – they are instead taxed at just 15%. Marginal tax rates can be as high as 49%*, so salary sacrificing can reduce the overall rate of tax that you pay.

4. After-tax super contributions

These come from sources that have already been taxed – for instance, savings, contributions made by a spouse, or the sale of an asset. Under certain limits, no additional tax is payable on these contributions. 

5. Take advantage of the Government’s co-contribution scheme

If you choose to make after-tax contributions and earn less than $50,454 during the 2015-16 financial year, the Government could boost your super balance by up to $500. You can find out more about your eligibility at the ATO website.

6. Get a Spouse Contributions Tax Offset if your spouse is a low income earner

If you have a spouse who is eligible, you could get a tax offset if you make a super contribution on their behalf. Your contribution up to a limit of $3,000 could give you a tax offset of up to $540. More information, including further details on the relevant eligibility criteria, is available at the ATO website.

As qualified advisers, we can guide you through all the ways you can make your super work harder for you. 

Finally, we recommend that you get professional taxation advice before undertaking any transactions.

* Includes the Medicare Levy plus other applicable levies.

[1] Australian Taxation Office (ATO)’s Super accounts data overview. Date accessed 15/09/15.

This information may be regarded as general advice. That is, your personal objectives, needs or financial situations were not taken into account when preparing this information. Accordingly, you should consider the appropriateness of any general advice we have given you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it. Where the information relates to a particular financial product, you should obtain and consider the relevant product disclosure statement before making any decision to purchase that financial product.

DISCLAIMER

This article has been prepared by Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFS Licence 232468 (Colonial First State) based on its understanding of current regulatory requirements and laws as at 6 October 2015. It may include general advice but does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Taxation considerations are general and based on present taxation laws and may be subject to change. You should seek independent, professional tax advice before making any decision based on this information.Colonial First State Investments Limited is also not a registered tax (financial) adviser under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 and you should seek tax advice from a registered tax agent or a registered tax (financial) adviser if you intend to rely on this information to satisfy the liabilities or obligations or claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under a taxation law. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement available from Colonial First State carefully and assess whether the information is appropriate for you and consider talking to a financial adviser before making an investment decision. Information taken from sources other than Colonial First State is believed to be accurate. No member of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia Group, its employees or directors, provides any warranty of accuracy or reliability in relation to the information or accepts any liability to any person who relies on it.