There are plenty of ways to maximise your superannuation contributions prior to your retirement at any time of your life. As the means of funding your nomadic lifestyle, your seachange or your downtime after retiring, you want to make sure your superannuation is equipped to handle it.
The Australian Taxation Office recommends that you should check how you can maximise your super at the bare minimum of 10-15 years before the age that you hope to retire so that you have the time you need to make a difference to your final super balance.
So, if you were thinking of retiring at your preservation age (which is the age that you can access your super), your superannuation should reflect the amount that you want to be able to access to fund that retirement.
While starting earlier does mean it may be easier to accumulate what you need to retire by the time of it occurring, it doesn’t mean that there’s a cutoff date or a deadline to have contributions in for maximised profits.
Here are 3 simple ways that you can make a difference to your superannuation fund which could impact your balance for retirement in the long-term(and the sooner you try them, the better).
Your employer is required by superannuation law to contribute 10% of your taxable income to your super each year. This allows you to build up a steady balance as you work without having to actively contribute yourself.
However, if you have a position that pays well enough and allows you to do so, you may also be able to speak with your employer about arranging for some of your income to be ‘sacrificed’ to your superannuation, and contribute additionally to the balance yourself. These are known as concessional contributions.
So, for example, your employer may pay you $1,500 as your base salary pay. They also make the 10% contribution for your superannuation and pay $100 in tax. That leaves you with $1350. If you elect to salary-sacrifice, you might wish to pay $100 from your before-tax income. This means that instead of being taxed at a $1,500 base salary, you’ll only be taxed from the $1,400.
There have been measures enacted to prevent additional super funds from being created for new employees who don’t elect to nominate a super fund – for those who may have existing multiple super accounts, it’s time to consolidate and combine them.
You can increase the rate that your super grows each year as a result of the compounding effect of additional funds and fewer fees, and ensure that your nest egg is nurtured by a provider that aims to grow. You just need to be sure to check that you don’t lose out on any benefits by transferring or consolidating to your chosen fund.
If you are willing and ready to start saving, your superannuation can become a tax deduction gold mine (if you are eligible for the deductions that you are applying for.
One such deduction is the spousal contribution deduction.
If you make a contribution to your spouse’s super (and they earn less than $37,000 per year) any contributions that you make to their super can provide you with a tax rebate of up to $540. You can also claim back on any contributions that you may have made directly from your bank account to your super until you reach the contributions limit (known as a cap).
Discussing with a specialist or your super provider about the best course of action for you and your needs may be the step that you need to take to ensure the potential growth of your fund.