The July 1 Super Changes...

We're now only a few months away from sweeping changes to the superannuation and pension environment, but for most people, the impact of these changes will be either positive or neutral.

At the end of the day, super remains a very attractive place to save for retirement. So with all of the 'noise' surrounding the super changes coming on July 1st, its important to remember some basic super facts...

Fact 1:  While you are building your super, pre-tax contributions and investment earnings will generally continue to be taxed at the low rate of up to 15%, not your marginal tax rate of up to 49%. That alone is a massive advantage in favour of super versus other forms of savings.

Fact 2: When you eventually retire, you can still transfer a generous amount into a superannuation pension, where no tax is paid on investment earnings - and payments are generally tax-free from age 60.

The major changes the are occurring from July 1st, primarily revolve around 'limits' - limits on how much you can contribute to super (pre or post tax), and limits on how much you can start a super pension with (i.e. $1.6 million each).

In addition, the 15% contributions tax will be doubled if your income is greater than $250,000 - this single rule change is an unpopular one, and might be a 'game changer' for some higher income earners.

Moving closer to July 1, there is some work to do, especially if you run your own self-managed super fund. Please, contact your financial adviser asap to see if any of the upcoming changes will impact you, and if so, find out what action you need to take, before it's simply too late.

Rick Maggi