Changes are coming to your super in 2021. Find out what to consider and how it will affect your retirement savings.
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The federal budget passed in October 2020 proposed a number of changes to Super in 2021 that are important to be aware of. These changes can affect the way you manage your funds or how you plan your retirement. Here we explain what these changes are and how they can affect your pension funds.
1. Increase the simplicity of super management
As we head into 2021, the federal government is proposing a number of changes to improve the way you manage and choose your super fund.
a) A standard super account
From now on you will be “pinned” to an individual super account. This has several important implications. Your new employers can no longer propose a separate fund for you, but your super will follow you when you change employers. This is helpful in reducing the number of fees involved, especially for young people who often have multiple accounts. Now if you are working in a new location the process is as follows:
- Your employer pays contributions to your “stapled” super fund by default.
- You can also propose a specific fund in a standard selection form.
- Only if you don’t have an existing fund AND haven’t nominated one can an employer nominate one for you.
b) A new ‘YourSuper’ comparison tool
The federal government will introduce an online super comparison tool. You can use this tool to compare the returns and fees of different funds. This will likely make choosing a fund a lot easier. The tool will also guide you to consolidate your super funds, if you haven’t already.
c) naming and shaming
In addition to the tool, the funds are subjected to an annual performance test. The government will prevent funds from accepting new members if they fail two tests in a row. The results of these tests will be publicly available.
This is supplemented by a large number of transparency changes. This includes reforms on how fund administrators provide details about their investment decisions. Funds act trustingly to supply their members. Hence, any transparency about their investments is probably a good thing.
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2. Changes for upcoming retirees
a) Abolition of the age requirement for work tests
From July 2020 you can make contributions to your Super at the age of 65 and 66 years without a full-time position. This gives flexibility to people approaching retirement but working part time. These can be franchise dues up to USD 25,000 or non-franchise dues up to USD 100,000.
b) Extension of the “Bring It Forward” rule
Retirees aged 65 and 66 can continue to contribute to their Super for 3 years after tax. This is capped at $ 300,000. You may also be eligible for a state contribution if you have a low or middle income.
c) Increase in the age limit for the spouse’s contribution
From July 2020, the age limit for voluntary spouse contributions was raised from 69 to 74 years.
3. Possible increase in the super guarantee
After all, more super may be due from your employer. This is a change that is pending confirmation in the May 2021 budget. Under this guideline, the Superannuation Guarantee is expected to increase from 9.5 to 10%. This is good news as it has been frozen at 9.5% since 2014 and it could mean bigger savings for you in retirement. However, there is concern that this will lead to a reasonable drop in wages.
In particular, the deadline for the early super-access system has now expired. As a result, you will no longer be able to withdraw from your account due to COVID-19.
The changes that come to your super can have an impact on which fund you nominate or how you plan your finances near retirement. These decisions can be difficult to make and often require professional security. Our super lawyers are experienced in making decisions about your superannuation and can also help you set up a self-managed super fund.