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Boost your super account
You don’t want to end up with multiple super accounts – because with each new account comes another set of fees and an increasing likelihood that you’ll lose track of the money you have invested. Consolidating your accounts allows you to keep track of your accounts, avoid any unnecessary duplication of insurance cover and helps with your retirement planning with all your accounts in the one place. Consolidating your super accounts is easy:
- You can view all your super accounts and search for your lost and unclaimed super via SuperSeeker, a government sponsored service at www.ato.gov.au/superseeker. You may even be able to transfer your super into one account using this service.
- Complete a Request to Transfer form for each of the super funds you wish to transfer into your Bendigo Super account. You can also apply to transfer your insurance cover into your Bendigo super account subject to certain terms and conditions. Please refer to the respective Insurance Guide for Bendigo SmartStart Super and Bendigo SmartOptions Super for more information on transfer of insurance cover.
- Keep your super together. If you would like your employer to pay your contributions into your Bendigo Super account, fill in the Standard Choice Form and provide it to your employer. A copy of this form is available on our website.
One way to increase the amount you will have when you retire is to increase the amount you contribute regularly to your super.
It is compulsory for employers to contribute 9.5% of your salary as superannuation, but many people will require more than that to live comfortably in retirement. Depending on your circumstances, many advisers recommend that you make additional contributions from your salary. You can do this by making personal after-tax contributions or through salary sacrifice.
Depending on your circumstances, it may be a good idea to contribute one-off payments, such as employment bonuses, to your super.
The earlier you start making regular contributions, the better off you may be. Not only will you have more time to accumulate, you’ll also benefit from compound returns on your earlier investments. This means you’ll not only earn interest on the money you contribute, but also on the cumulative interest earned on those funds.
To avoid paying more tax than you need to, make sure you provide your tax file number to your super fund. If you don’t provide it, only Superannuation Guarantee contributions will be accepted and these contributions will be taxed at the highest marginal tax rate.
|Contribution type||Tax to pay (as at 1 July 2014)|
|Employer contributions¹||Taxed at 15% when paid into the fund – subject to concessional contributions cap.|
|Salary sacrifice contributions¹||Taxed at 15% when paid into the fund – subject to concessional contributions cap.|
|Personal contributions||No tax payable on the first $180,000² contributed per year (or $540,000 over three years if you’re 64 or younger – conditions apply). Additional contributions are taxed at 49%.|
|Self-employed contributions¹||Fully tax-deductible up to the age of 75 (terms and conditions apply) – subject to concessional contributions cap. For more information, please refer to the ATO website.|
|Spouse contributions||If your spouse’s³ taxable income is $13,800 or less, and you contribute up to $3,000 to their super account in a financial year, you can claim a tax-offset4 of 18% on the spouse contribution. You’ll boost their super balance and receive a tax benefit too. For more information, please refer to the ATO website.|
|Government Co-contributions||No tax payable as the contribution has already been subject to income tax.|
1 Subject to the maximum concessional contributions cap. The standard cap is $30,000 for the 2014-15 financial year, however, if you are aged 49 years or older on 30 June 2014, the cap is $35,000. Any contributions above this cap is taxed at the highest marginal tax rate and will count towards the non-concessional contributions cap.
2 Subject to indexation for future years.
3 A spouse includes a person who, although not legally married to you, lives with you on a genuine domestic basis as your husband or wife. It does not include a person to whom you are married but who lives separately and apart from you on a permanent basis.
4 The tax offset reduces up to an income of $13,800, at which point it cuts out. To be eligible to make contributions for your spouse, your spouse must be under 65 years old if they are not working or under 70 years of age and has been in paid work for at least 40 hours over 30 consecutive days during the financial year in which you want to make the contribution for your spouse.
A co-contribution is a payment the government makes into your super fund when you make a personal contribution. If you earn a taxable income of $49,4881 or less in the 2014-15 financial year, the government will match your personal contribution up to a certain limit. For current income thresholds and contribution rates please refer to the ATO website.