Spike in questions about tax deductible personal super contributions

BT has seen a spike in queries from financial advisers about deductible personal superannuation contributions, in the June quarter.

This comes after the ability to claim personal tax deductions for superannuation contributions was expanded to more people starting 1 July 2017.

“The spike in queries for the June quarter is likely as clients are considering super as part of their end of financial year strategies” said BT Financial Advice Technical Consultant Tim Howard.

“More clients are likely looking into this option given 2017/2018 is the first full financial year in which this option has become available to more people, after historically being available only to those who were self-employed,” he said. Read more...

Around 20% of people making extra superannuation contributions

Just over a fifth of super fund members are making superannuation contributions beyond the compulsory level, but this is down on most recent years, research has found.

20.8% of super fund members – around 2.2 million people – made super contributions above the compulsory level in the 2017 calendar year, found Roy Morgan Research. This is up slightly from the 20.4% in 2016, but down from the recent peak of 25.5% in 2009.

“Making superannuation payments beyond 9.5% has been recognised by the government as necessary to provide adequate superannuation in retirement,” said Roy Morgan Research. Read more...

Don’t leave 2016/17 super contribution transfers too late, warns CFS

Super fund members making contributions for the 2016/17 financial year have been warned not to leave the transfer too late.

Colonial First State (CFS) says 22% of customers missed last year’s 30 June deadline when making non-concessional contributions via electronic funds transfer or BPAY.

CFS says people should make contributions well ahead of the deadline and predicts that some people will miss the deadline and need to withdraw the contributions or risk “hefty” amounts of tax.

“Despite requesting funds be transferred before 1 July, the standard 24 hour settlement period meant payments were delayed,” said CFS. Read more...

Time running out to take advantage of higher super contribution caps

The SMSF Association has warned SMSF members wanting to take advantage of the higher concessional and non-concessional contribution caps ending on 30 June 2017 that the money needs to be in their SMSF bank account before the end of the financial year.

“Trustees sometimes leave it until the last minute to make either concessional or non-concessional contributions, only to discover they have left it too late and those contributions become part of the following financial year’s contribution cap,” said SMSF Association CEO John Maroney. Read more...

Super contributions down on uncertainty on policy and slow wages growth

Total superannuation contributions are down over the past twelve months, likely due to uncertainty around policy settings and slow wages growth, according to the FSC/USB State of the Industry report 2017.

The report says that total contributions over the past twelve months are down 1.1% from previous levels, with employer contributions up 0.3% but failing to offset a 1.5% decrease in member contributions.

FSC and UBS ascribe this to slower wages growth and the recent uncertainty around superannuation policy. Read more...

SMSF contributions almost triple ahead of 1 July 2017 changes

Contributions to SMSFs almost tripled in the December quarter of 2016 according to the most recent SuperConcepts SMSF Investment Patterns Survey.

The survey indicates contribution levels to SMSFs increased to $8,550 in the December 2016 quarter – the same quarter that superannuation legislation passed the Parliament – compared to $3,040 in the September quarter.

SuperConcepts Executive Manager Technical & Strategic Solutions Phil La Greca said the increase in contributions was not surprising and anticipated contribution levels to continue to grow up to the changes taking effect on 1 July 2017. Read more...

SMSFs better able to monitor employer contributions: SMSFA

SMSFs have an advantage over other types of superannuation funds when it comes to monitoring employer contributions, according to the SMSF Association.

Australian employees may be missing out on billions worth of employer superannuation contributions, according to recent research released by Industry Super Australia and Cbus.

SMSF Association CEO Andrea Slattery said this was far less likely to be an issue for SMSF members, who can ensure that they receive all their employer contributions due to their direct involvement with their super fund. Read more...

Spouse superannuation contributions splitting

Spouse contributions splittingContributions splitting allows a super fund member to direct a portion of their superannuation contributions to their spouse, with some restrictions.

Though called contributions splitting this doesn’t accurately describe the transaction. Instead of what people may consider ‘splitting’ to mean, the contribution is still treated as received by the contributing super fund member and there is then a rollover from the splitting member to the spouse.

It is important to note that contributions split count against the contributions cap of the splitting member, so contributions splitting can’t be used to reduce excess contributions tax.

Government Superannuation Co-Contribution

The superannuation co-contribution is a super contribution from the government to encourage people to make additional personal superannuation contributions, which have not been claimed as a tax deduction. For the 2014/15 financial year the maximum government superannuation co-contribution is $500 for a $1,000 eligible contribution.

The superannuation co-contribution first applied in the 2003/04 financial year. In that year the co-contribution was set at 100% matching up to $1,000 – that is, if someone made a $1,000 personal non-concessional contribution and met the other requirements the government would pay another $1,000 into their super fund. For 2004/05, and running to 2008/09, this was increased to 150% up to a maximum of $1,500 – a $1,000 contribution would receive $1,500 in co-contribution. However this was decreased to 100% and $1,000 from 2009/10 and then further to 50% and $500 from 2012/13.

Notice of intent to claim a tax deduction for super contributions

Notice of intent to claim a tax deduction for super contributionsIn order for an individual to claim a tax deduction for a personal superannuation contribution a Notice of Intent to Claim must be submitted to their super fund.

The notice of intent to claim requirement is created by section 290.170 of the ITAA 1997, which says that:

You must give to the trustee of the fund or the RSA provider a valid notice, in the approved form, of your intention to claim the deduction.

Hence the notice of intent to claim is sometimes called a s290.170, or section 290, notice.