Guest Vonne9

Superannuation Funds

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    Guest Vonne9

    Looking for advice on Superannuation Funds - how do we compare companies (so many out there), how safe is our money, how do they calculate monthly payments on retirement, what is the minimum retirement age when you can start drawing on super etc.etc. . Any financial wiz kids out there who have some of the answers?

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    Hello.

     

    Yes you are right, there are lots of different Super funds to choose from.

     

    Basically Superannuation is just a wrapper around an investment that offers tax advantages as you are only taxed up to 15% maximum on earnings and certain contributions. With investments outside of Super you will be taxed up to your marginal tax rate.

     

    Industry funds offer low cost, simple Super funds. Generally you will be limited in investment options.

     

    Then there are retail funds, which are run through companies like ING, AXA and Colonial First State a subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank. With these Supers you have many investment options.

     

    Then there are what is known as Master trusts, wraps or platforms, these type of Supers offer access to as many as 700 different funds from fund providers across the world. There the ability to purchase shares direct from the Australian Stock Exchange and even the ability to invest direct in Term Deposits with Banks (in UK known as Fixed Rate Bonds). This option of course giving much greater investment choice and diversification.

     

    Of course the retail products do cost more to run but generally they offer more choice and are more sophisticated. You would usually opt for a Wrap or platform if you have at least over $10,000 as there may be a small account keeping fee if it is below that balance.

     

    You can access your Super when you meet preservation age below:

     

     

    Date of Birth

     

     

    Preservation Age

     

    Before 1 July 1960

     

    55

     

    1 July 1960 to 30 June 1961

     

    56

     

    1 July 1961 to 30 June 1962

     

    57

     

    1 July 1962 to 30 June 1963

     

    58

     

    1 July 1963 to 30 June 1964

     

    59

     

    After 30 June 1964

     

    60

     

     

     

    After the age of 60 Superannuation is TAX FREE.

     

    You can then access your money as a Cash Lump Sum, unlike the UK when generally the max is 25%.

     

    Or you can invest in to a Pension. Whilst it is in Pension phase it can continue to be invested as per your investment style ie Balanced, Defensice etc and you can draw an income but must take a minimum amount as below:

     

    Age

    Minimum payment as a % of account balance

    55 - 64 4 %

    65 - 74 5 %

    75 - 79 6 %

    80 - 84 7 %

    85 - 89 9 %

    90 -94 11%

    95+ 14 %

     

     

    Again if you are over 60 the income is TAX FREE and the investment earnings are TAX FREE.

     

    Anyone over preservation age and working should consider Transition to Retirement, you may have the ability to cut your working hours and still draw the same level of income or increase your Super balance through tax savings without making any physical contributions.

     

    People with much larger balance’s could consider a Self Managed Super Fund.

     

    This is where you have the option to invest directly in to investments for example residential property. The reason people may consider their own Self Managed Fund is that they believe they can achieve greater returns than Fund Managers or want to control their own money.

     

    All in all Superannuation is a much more sophisticated affair than the UK system and there are many strategies available to maximise your retirement money.

     

     

    Regards

     

    Andy

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