General Super News and Information

Superannuation Category In this area we keep all of the general information about superannuation and SMSFs, along with details of important super updates and changes.

Ordinary time earnings: What’s in, what’s out

The superannuation rules stipulate that an employee’s earnings base must be the amount on which minimum superannuation contributions are payable to avoid the superannuation guarantee charge (SGC). This earnings base is determined as “ordinary time earnings” (OTE). In general terms, this seems self-explanatory — that is, OTE is what an employee earns for their day-to-day […]

Beware of Division 293 shock

If your remuneration, including reportable fringe benefits and salary sacrificed superannuation contributions is in excess of $250,000 per annum, you may have an additional tax liability over and above the normal income tax payable on such earnings… Now that would be a fairly substantial salary package,  so it may seem like a good problem to […]

What is your “total superannuation balance” and why does it matter?

Recent superannuation reforms introduced a concept of “total superannuation balance”, which on the surface may give the simple impression that it is the sum of the balances of a person’s superannuation interests. However, this is not the case. What is the total balance relevant for? The total superannuation balance is relevant in determining a super […]

Departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) explained

Whether you’ve been on a working visa and have been slogging away bagging bananas in Tully for six months, or decided to quit your city job and move to Peru, your employer has been putting money aside for your superannuation. Among sorting out all your affairs, you’re probably also wondering what will happen to your […]

Early release of super savings for an emergency

Your super savings could potentially be accessed for emergencies. Severe financial hardship, terminal illness, specified compassionate reasons, permanent incapacity and other limited circumstances can serve as grounds for withdrawing pre-retirement or preserved super.  Strict rules do apply to accessing these funds. Overseen by the Department of Human Services, the “early release of superannuation” scheme allows […]

Not 100% ready to retire? ‘Try before you buy’ with a TTR strategy

Under the superannuation rules, there is scope to access some of your retirement savings in your super fund under an arrangement called “transition to retirement” (TTR). Under this arrangement, a super fund member can ease into retirement by reducing their working hours without reducing their income. If you are aged between your relevant “preservation age” […]

End-of-year Superannuation Strategy Checklist

To get your superannuation into its best tax position, for this year-end and into 2015-16 and beyond, consult this office on which strategies suit you best. But to start with, the following tips may help point your thoughts in the right direction. Maximise after-tax contributions Double-check your non-concessional (after-tax) contribution figures to make sure contributions […]

Your ‘lost’ super could be costing you money

A recent report from the Federal Treasury said there were around six million “lost” superannuation accounts holding a total of about $18 billion as at mid 2014. This figure represents roughly one in five of every superannuation account. A lot of working Australians may not even know that there could be super money out there […]

Super contributions and problems of excess

The treatment of excess superannuation contributions has been a contentious issue for some years, with many people falling victim to the punishing excess contributions tax through inadvertently going over the limits. The reasons this can happen include an employer making contributions that may fall within a different financial year, expense reimbursement or debt forgiveness which […]

What are “ordinary time earnings” for calculating the super guarantee?

The Tax Office stipulates that a business must use “ordinary time earnings” to calculate the minimum compulsory superannuation guarantee contributions for employees. It says that using ordinary time earnings will ensure all eligible workers are treated the same, and will have a fair amount of super guarantee put away. But what exactly is “ordinary time […]