Firm News

How Super For Contractors Can Work

Posted on May 5, 2021 by admin

Contractors who run their own business and sell their services to others have different obligations to their super than what employees in a business may usually have. A contractor (also known as an independent contractor, a subcontractor, or a subbie) who is paid wholly or principally for their labour is considered to be an employee for super purposes, and may be entitled to super guarantee contributions under the same rules as other employees. A contract may be considered ‘wholly or principally for labour’ if: You’re paid wholly or principally for your personal labour and skills You perform the contract work personally You’re paid for hours worked, rather than to achieve a result If hiring a contractor to perform solely their labor for a fee, the employer may also have to pay super contributions on their behalf. In this sense, if you are a contractor who is being contracted to an outside business than your own to perform your usual work or labour, your employer must contribute to your super the same way they would any other employee. This could be seen in an example of an electrician who runs their own small business, or is employed by a small business […]

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What Is A Retirement Planning Scheme?

Posted on April 21, 2021 by admin

With a significant number of Australians approaching retirement and looking at the best ways to maximise their retirement assets and income from their super for it, retirement planning makes sense. Unfortunately, there are those who want to target people approaching and planning for their retirement with schemes designed to ‘help’ retirees and prospective retirees avoid paying tax by channelling their income through a self-managed super fund. Retirement planning schemes are designed to help people avoid paying tax on the income earned through their assets (often in an illegal manner). Those schemes may seem like a simple get-rich-quick solution in maximising assets and income for retirement but can put people’s entire retirement savings at risk. Anyone can fall prey to a retirement planning scheme. Anyone who is looking to put significant amounts of money into superannuation can be at risk of being ensnared, particularly those who are over 50, and who are: SMSF trustees Self-funded retirees Small business owners Professional service providers Individuals who are involved in property investment Checking for standard features of retirement planning schemes can be an excellent way to avoid becoming tangled in one. Retirement planning schemes usually: Are artificially contrived and complex, with SMSF members often […]

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Super Co-Contributions Boost On Behalf of A Spouse

Posted on April 14, 2021 by admin

Marriage and de facto relationships come with a number of perks – but did you know that if your partner earns less than you or is not currently working, you could contribute to their super fund savings? Many households in Australia, either as a result of unemployment, maternity/paternity leave or by choice, have single income households. As a result, the retirement savings held in super for one member of these households may not be increasing as exponentially fast as the working member. The good news is that, when in a relationship, a spouse can boost their non-working partner’s super fund with their own contributions. The best part? It could be a tax write-off for the working spouse. Under Australian superannuation law, a spouse can be a legally married partner with whom you live or your de facto partner. That gives additional benefits to those in de facto relationships, who can choose (if one member of the relationship isn’t working or earns less) to boost their partner’s super fund. A spouse must also be younger than their preservation age or between 65 and their preservation age and not retired. There are two ways that someone can help their partner’s superannuation grow: […]

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What to do with your Lost Super

Posted on March 18, 2021 by admin

After COVID 19’s impact on the world, an influx of employees who had lost their jobs fell into the job market. Many of these came from companies that couldn’t afford to continue their employment. As a result, many individuals had to seek alternative employment, or draw from their super. Some individuals took on multiple jobs to pay bills, and others drew from the super that they had accumulated in the government’s early release scheme specifically for coronavirus related income loss. Super is held by superannuation funds, and accumulates as a result of how much super an employer pays to the employees’ funds. Many Australians may find that they actually possess multiple super accounts as a result of having “lost” their super accounts during changeovers. It can also happen as a result of changing names, moving addresses, living overseas or changing jobs. Australians can use the ATO’s online tools to: View details of all of their super accounts, including lost or unclaimed amounts Consolidate eligible multiple accounts (including any super held by the ATO) Withdraw your super held by the ATO when certain conditions are met. As superannuation funds often have fees associated with their upkeep, as well as insurances that […]

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Pros and cons of home reversion

Posted on February 24, 2021 by admin

Super (AU): Pros and cons of home reversion Home reversion is when you sell a share of the future value of your home whilst still living there. You receive a lump sum payment and continue to own the remaining share of your home equity. Pros You are able to continue living in your home after you sell the share You can conduct renovations or maintenance that your home may need with the lump sum payment you receive You can use the lump sum for any urgent needs such as medical treatments The lump sum could help you secure accommodation till your home sells Cons You will own the lower share of the equity in your home Transactions and costs can get complicated and it may be hard to navigate that Your eligibility for Age Pension might also be influenced Your ability to afford aged care could be affected You might end up eating into money that you need for the future – such as for medicare You might be locked into fewer options if your circumstances change If you are the sole owner and someone else lives with you, they may no longer be able to live in the house […]

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What is the transfer balance cap?

Posted on February 17, 2021 by admin

The transfer cap refers to the amount of money that can be transferred from your superannuation account to your tax-free ‘retirement phase’ account. At the moment, the transfer balance cap is $1.6 million and all individuals have a personal transfer balance cap of $1.6 million. Exceeding the personal transfer balance cap means that you have to: Commute the excess from one or more retirement phase income streams. Pay tax on the notional earnings related to that excess The amount in your retirement phase account may grow over time, due to investment earnings. Although this may grow beyond the personal transfer cap, you will not exceed the cap. However, if you have already used all your personal cap, and then your retirement phase account goes down, you cannot ‘top it up’. The rules applied to capped defined benefit income streams are different from other income streams – this is because you can’t usually transfer or commute excess amounts from other streams.

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Choosing investment options in your super

Posted on February 14, 2021 by admin

Many Australians ignore the decision of choosing investments for their super and often end up in the ‘default’ option as they make no effort to choose otherwise. Default options that aim for ‘balanced’ or ‘growth’ investments tend to have 60-80% of funds invested in shares and property. This approach for investment is based on the best-suited strategy for a large number of members across the years they will be investing. However, the default options may not be the best for your financial circumstances and risk profile. Understanding different investment options and how risk assessments work will help you choose better investment options. Further, aim to change investment options over time rather than sticking to the same one. For example, you could consider changing options once you begin receiving a pension.

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SMSF Pensions

Posted on February 3, 2021 by admin

SMSF funds can provide pension or lump sum benefits during retirement. Retirement is a condition of super release if you have reached your preservation age. Depending on your date of birth, your preservation age will be between 55 and 60. The benefits from your super are tax-free once you are over the age of 60. If you plan to start a super pension income stream, then the funds from your accumulation account need to be transferred to your retirement account to fund your pension. Your retirement account has a cap of $1.6 million, so you can transfer that amount as a lump sum but no more. The earnings on these funds are tax-free. Each year, you need to withdraw a minimum percentage of your account balance from the retirement fund. This minimum percentage will depend on your age. Alternatively, you can start your Transition-to-retirement pension if you have reached your preservation age but you are still working. However, unlike the funds that support your super pension once you begin retirement, these are taxed at 15%.

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Calculating how much super you will need when you retire

Posted on January 27, 2021 by admin

Calculating how much super you will need will help you decide whether you should be contributing more to your super. You can utilise salary sacrifice schemes to increase contributions, especially if you are not using your entire salary. There are two main factors that impact the amount of super you will need when you retire: Costs in retirement Consider the major costs that you will need to continue paying during retirement. Examples include: Paying off your mortgage Rent Renovating your income Travel Medical costs Estimate how much money you will be needing for each of the aspects that apply to you. Make sure that your estimations are as realistic as possible. Some things, such as medical costs, may be difficult to accurately estimate, so try to keep a higher margin. The lifestyle you want Think about what sort of lifestyle you want once you retire and consider how much money that will require. The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia provides an estimation of how much money you will need depending on what sort of lifestyle you want: Single and modest lifestyle: $27,987 a year Single and comfortable lifestyle: $43,901 a year Couple and modest lifestyle: $40,440 a year Couple […]

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Basics of SMSF investing

Posted on January 20, 2021 by admin

Setting up an SMSF fund is the simplest step. Establishing a fund which delivers you consistent returns from your investments is much more difficult. Investing successfully involves determining precise goals and picking investments which will effectively achieve those goals. The advantage of SMSFs is that you can build a portfolio which reflects your short-term and long-term goals in response to changing market conditions. In an SMSF fund, your investment options are: Australian and international shares (listed and unlisted) Residential or commercial property Cash and term deposits Fixed income products Physical commodities Property Collectibles Before you begin investing, consider what might be the best way to diversify your portfolio. How you portion your investments will depend on your funds, the market, and your goals. Regardless of what your plan is, diversification should be a priority. Choosing an SMSF as opposed to an industry or retail super fund provides you with more flexibility, but also with more responsibility. Researching before investing is key if you want the best out of your SMSF.

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