When the new 2018-19 Federal Budget was released, there were a whole lot of people (us) out there that were all like, “say whaaaat?!” And now we all have to work out what on earth it all means. Luckily it’s not always WHAT you know, but WHO you know — and we’re best buds with the Adeladies at Statewide Super, who just happen to be experts on the topic.

Lisa Palmer (Head of Financial Planning, face of Statewide Super’s Super Money Makeover, and all-round legend) has given us the lowdown on the top Budget announcements that may affect you and your super, and she’s even thrown in some handy tips for free!

1 :: It’s time to consolidate!

If you have more than one super account (i.e. if you’re still holding onto that super account you set up when you got your first job at 14), this is the year to get organised and roll all your super into one account. The Government announced that from 1 July 2019 inactive super accounts with balances under $6,000 will be transferred to the Australian Tax Office. The ATO will use data matching to connect people with their inactive super accounts. However, if you work casually or seasonally, you may have inactive low balance accounts which may be affected. It’s best to review your super balance early, and inform your fund if it’s your intention to remain with them. Where it isn’t, consolidating all your super into your chosen super account can save you money in the long-run.

2 :: Consider your insurance options.

The Government has proposed to remove the default opt-ins for insurance cover for people under 25, as well as those with a super balance under $6,000, or an account that hasn’t received a contribution in 13 months or more. While this may prevent you from paying some unnecessary fees on accounts that aren’t active, you’ll need to consider whether you have adequate insurance coverage. If you fall into an opt-in category for life insurance, contact your super fund to ensure you have the adequate level of cover you need (you know, just to be on the safe side).

3 :: No more disincentive to work.

A change to the Pension Work Bonus will lift the ‘earned income’ level for pensioners, which means they can earn up to $300 per fortnight without reducing their Age Pension payments. The change will come into effect from 1 July 2019. Additionally, it has been proposed that retirees aged between 65 – 74 with a superannuation balance below $300,000 will be able to make voluntary super contributions during their first year of retirement.

4 :: Housing incentives.

There’s good news for homebuyers at both ends of the housing spectrum. If you’re a first homebuyer, you may already know that the First Home Super Saver Scheme commenced in July 2017. This means you can make both voluntary before-tax and after-tax contributions into your super account to save for your first home, provided you meet certain eligibility criteria. Since the start of July this year, first homebuyers are able to withdraw these funds and associated earnings to put towards their first home. Head to the ATO site for more information and eligibility criteria.

At the other end of the spectrum, those who are looking to downsize and are 65 or older, can now put up to $300,000 (per person) into super from the sale proceeds of their house. So, in essence, couples can effectively put up to $600,000 into their super, provided they meet certain eligibility criteria. Visit the ATO site for more details about the scheme and eligibility criteria.

5 :: Will I have enough super?

Finally, the end of the financial year is a great time to consider whether you have enough super to comfortably fund your retirement. You can use our handy retirement planner calculator to work out how much money you’re likely to earn from your super, and how adjusting your contributions can impact your super bank balance.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON STATEWIDE SUPER

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This is not an exhaustive list of superannuation announcements resulting from the 2018-19 Federal Budget. It is important to understand that many of these measures are still to be legislated and therefore may not actually come into effect. For more information about superannuation changes, visit www.ato.gov.au/Super/. For more information about the 2018-19 Federal Budget, please visit www.budget.gov.au.

Statewide Super is the only industry superannuation fund based in South Australia and open to all Australians, providing financial planning advice directly from its headquarters on Victoria Square. Statewide Super members are entitled to quality in-house financial planning advice, some of which is included as part of their membership. So, if you’re one of Statewide Super’s 149,643 members, call 1300 65 18 65 and make a time to have your financial health assessed today.

Statewide Superannuation Pty Ltd ABN 62 008 099 223 (AFSL 243171) Trustee and RSE Licensee of Statewide Superannuation Trust ABN 54 145 196 298 (“Statewide Super”). In deciding whether to acquire, or continue to hold, a Statewide Super product, please consider the applicable Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) available at statewide.com.au or by calling 1300 65 18 65. Issued in August 2018.

This is a sponsored post. The information provided contains general advice which does not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation or needs. Before investing, you should consider the appropriateness of this general advice with regard to your personal circumstances. You may also wish to obtain independent financial advice. This blog is not intended to be, and should not be construed in any way as, investment, legal, or personal advice.

Factual information and general advice may be provided by representatives of Statewide Super. Statewide Super has engaged Industry Fund Services Limited ABN 54 007 016 195 AFSL 232514 (“IFS”) to facilitate the provision of both personal and general financial advice. Financial Planners, Associate Financial Planners, and Member Solutions Advisors based at our Member Centre in Adelaide are Authorised Representatives of IFS. IFS is responsible for any advice given to you by its Authorised Representatives. Fees may apply. For further information and a copy of the applicable Financial Services Guide, visit http://www.statewide.com.au or call 1300 65 18 65

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