What are personal contributions?
A personal contribution is when you make an extra payment into your superannuation account. The difference between personal contributions and salary sacrifices is that the former comes out of your after-tax income, while the latter comes out of your pre-tax income.
A salary sacrifice is where your employer takes part of your pre-tax salary and pays it directly into your superannuation account. Salary sacrifices come out of your pre-tax income, whereas personal contributions come out of your after-tax income.
Superannuation is taxed. It is generally taxed at 15 per cent. However, if you earn less than $37,000, you will be automatically reimbursed up to $500 of the tax you paid. Also, if your income plus concessional superannuation contributions exceed $250,000, you will also be charged Division 293 tax. This is an extra 15 per cent tax on your concessional contributions or the amount above $250,000 – whichever is lesser.
Most people can choose their own superannuation fund. However, you might not have this option if you are a member of certain defined benefit funds or covered by certain industrial agreements. If you don’t choose a superannuation fund, your employer will choose one for you.
There are three different ways you can withdraw your superannuation:
- Lump sum
- Account-based pension
- Part lump sum and part account-based pension
Two rules apply if you choose to receive an account-based pension (also known as an income stream):
- You must receive payments at least once per year
- You must withdraw a minimum amount per year
- Age 55-64 = 4%
- Age 65-74 = 5%
- Age 75-79 = 6%
- Age 80-84 = 7%
- Age 85-89 = 9%
- Age 90-94 = 11%
- Age 95+ = 14%
If you want to work out how long your account-based pension might last, click here to access ASIC’s account-based pension calculator.
Most Australians who are of retirement age can qualify for the age pension. However, depending on the size of your assets and post-retirement income, you might be entitled to only a reduced pension. In some instances, you might not be entitled to any pension payments.
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