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What is salary sacrificing?
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.
Do I have to pay myself superannuation if I'm self-employed?
No, self-employed workers don’t have to pay themselves superannuation. However, if you do pay yourself superannuation, you will probably be able to claim a tax deduction.
What are ethical investment superannuation funds?
Ethical investment funds limit themselves to making ‘ethical’ investments (which each fund defines according to its own principles). For example, ethical funds might avoid investing in companies or industries that are linked to human suffering or environmental damage.
What age can I withdraw my superannuation?
You can withdraw your superannuation (or at least some of it) when you reach ‘preservation age’. The preservation age is based on date of birth. Here are the six different categories:
|Date of birth||Preservation age|
|Before 1 July 1960||55|
|1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961||56|
|1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962||57|
|1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963||58|
|1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964||59|
|From 1 July 1964||60|
When you reach preservation age, you can withdraw all your superannuation if you’re retired. If you’re still working, you can begin a ‘transition to retirement’, which allows you to withdraw 10 per cent of their superannuation each financial year.
You can also withdraw all your superannuation once you reach 65 years.
Is superannuation taxed?
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.
How does superannuation affect the age pension?
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.
How do you calculate superannuation from a total package?
Superannuation is calculated at the rate of 9.5 per cent of your ‘ordinary-time earnings’. (For most people, ordinary-time earnings are their gross annual salary or wages.) So if you had a salary of $50,000, your superannuation would be 9.5 per cent of that, or $4,750. This would be paid on top of your salary.
As the Australian Taxation Office explains, some items are excluded from ordinary-time earnings. They include:
- Overtime work paid at overtime rates
- Expense allowances that are fully expended
- Expenses that are reimbursed
- Unfair dismissal payments
- Workers’ compensation payments
- Parental leave
- Jury duty
- Defence reserve service
- Unused annual leave when employment is terminated
- Unused long service leave when employment is terminated
- Unused sick leave when employment is terminated
Although the superannuation guarantee is currently at 9.5 per cent, it is scheduled to rise to 10.0 per cent in 2021-22, 10.5 per cent in 2022-23, 11.0 per cent in 2023-24, 11.5 per cent in 2024-25 and 12.0 per cent in 2025-26.
What happens if my employer falls behind on my superannuation payments?
Can I buy a house with my superannuation?
First home buyers are the only people who can use their superannuation to buy a property. The federal government has created the First Home Super Saver Scheme to help first home buyers save for a deposit. First home buyers can make voluntary contributions of up to $15,000 per year, and $30,000 in total, to their superannuation account. These contributions are taxed at 15 per cent, along with deemed earnings. Withdrawals are taxed at marginal tax rates minus a tax offset of 30 percentage points.
Voluntary contributions to the First Home Super Saver Scheme are not exempt from the $25,000 annual limit on concessional contributions. So if you pay $15,000 per year into the First Home Super Saver Scheme, you have to make sure that you don’t receive more than $10,000 in superannuation payments from your employer and any salary sacrificing.
What is the difference between accumulation and defined benefit funds?
A majority of Australians are in accumulation funds. These funds grow according to the amount of money invested and the return on that money.
A minority of Australians are in defined benefit funds – many of which are now closed to new members. These funds give payouts according to specific rules, such as how long the worker has been with their employer and their final salary before they retired.
Can I take money out of my superannuation fund?
Superannuation is designed to provide Australians with money in their retirement. The government has strict rules around when people can take that money out of their fund because it wants to prevent people eroding their savings before they reach retirement.
As a general rule, you can only take money out of your superannuation fund when you reach:
- Age 65
- Your ‘preservation age’ and retire
- Your preservation age and begin a ‘transition to retirement’ while still working
That said, you can take money out of your superannuation fund early based on one of these seven special conditions:
- Compassionate grounds
- Severe financial hardship
- Temporary incapacity
- Permanent incapacity
- Superannuation inheritance
- Superannuation balance under $200
- Temporary resident departing Australia
Can I choose a superannuation fund or does my employer choose one for me?
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.
What are concessional contributions?
Concessional contributions are pre-tax payments into your superannuation account. The payments made by your employer are concessional payments. You can also make concessional contributions with a salary sacrifice.
How much is superannuation?
Superannuation is currently 9.5 per cent – which means that your employer must pay you superannuation equivalent to 9.5 per cent of your salary.
The ‘superannuation guarantee’, as it is known, has been at 9.5 per cent since the 2014-15 financial year. It is scheduled to rise to 10.0 per cent in 2021-22, 10.5 per cent in 2022-23, 11.0 per cent in 2023-24, 11.5 per cent in 2024-25 and 12.0 per cent in 2025-26.
What are the age pension's residence rules?
On the day you claim the age pension, you must be in Australia and you must have been an Australian resident for at least 10 years (with no break in your stay for at least five of those years). The following exceptions apply:
- You’re exempt from the 10-year rule if you’re a refugee or former refugee
- You’re exempt from the 10-year rule if you’re getting Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance or Widow B pension
- You can claim the age pension with only two years of residency if you’re a woman whose partner died while you were both Australian residents
- You might be able to claim the age pension if you’ve lived or worked in a country that has a social security agreement with Australia