Friday, 15 June 2007

3 simple but great ideas for your super

I recently received a brochure from my Superannuation fund, run by Zurich Australia Superannuation, on what it reckons are the top 3 ideas that would boost your retirement fund. I read it, and although the 3 ideas are very obvious, they are sometimes easy to forget. The top 3 ideas suggested are actually very good ideas and it is worthwhile sharing them.
  1. Co-contribution - The ATO has some great information on this. Essentially, for every $1 that you personally contribute to your super fund, the government will give you $1.50, up to a limited $1500 if your income is $28K or less. For those earning more than $28K, there is a sliding scale on how much you will get from them. Check out this table on the payment. Hey, why not accept free money? If you partner is not generating an income, consider contribution $1000 in your partner's Superannuation fund as the government will contribute the maximum.
  2. Salary Sacrifice - With salary sacrifice, money is taken out of you pay packet for your Superannuation personal contribution before tax is applied. This means that your taxable income is lower. Doing this has some tax effects on your money. The sacrificed salary is subjected to 15% superannuation contribution tax instead of the up to 46.5% marginal tax rate. It may also drop you down to the next marginal tax bracket, and because your taxable income is lower, the amount of free money (co-contribution) from government may also increased. This page shows the amount of tax you will be paying.
  3. Consolidation - With the current Australian population quite job mobile, the number of Superannuation fund starts to grow. This is especially true if you are switching between industries. All these Superannuation funds could charge fees. By consolidating all your Superannuation funds, you are only subjected fees from one Superannuation fund. I think that Zurich mentioned this to get more people to consolidate all their accounts into Zurich's account.
Your superannuation is a very important saving plan for your retirement, and the strategy that you put in place to make it grow is critical to how you will be living when you are in retirement.

Remember that as of 1 July 2007, any Superannuation withdraw for your retirement is tax free if you are 60 years or older. So make the most of it.

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