Government passes ‘fairer’ super changes

Government passes ‘fairer’ super changes


The Australian Government has recently passed what it is calling the ‘most significant superannuation reforms in a decade’.

The reforms include the introduction of a $1.6 million transfer balance cap, which places a limit on the amount an individual can transfer into the tax-free earnings retirement phase and the introduction of the Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset, which is expected to boost the retirement incomes of around 3.1 million low income earners.

Under the confirmed changes, which will come into effect on 1 July 2017, the cap on concessional (before-tax) contributions will be decreased from $30,000 (for those under the age of 50) or $35,000 (for those aged 50 years old and over) to the flat rate of $25,000 per year.

From 1 July 2018, individuals with less than $500,000 in their superannuation accounts will also be allowed to make ‘catch-up’ concessional contributions. This is designed to help those with broken work patterns – many of whom are women – better save for their retirement. Previously, this option did not exist for those who had left the workforce.

The tax rate of 15 per cent for those who earn up to $300,000 and 30 per cent for those who earn income above that amount has also been changed. The new income threshold at which the higher tax rate will start will be $250,000.

The overall changes to concessional contributions are designed to level the playing field and provide more Australians with the opportunity to make full use of their concessional contributions cap.

The new annual cap for non-concessional (after-tax) contributions will be reduced from $180,000 to $100,000, and a new lifetime cap of $1.6 million will be introduced. Individuals under the age of 65 will be able to bring-forward three years of contributions.

The tax offset for spouse contributions will be allowed where the spouse’s annual income is less than $40,000. Previously, this offset was only allowed where the recipient’s income was less than $10,800.

After 1 July 2017, the tax-free transfer limit for a fund in pension phase will change to $1.6 million. Earnings will also be tax-free for those with balances of up to $1.6 million and balances above the $1.6 million mark will be taxed at 15 per cent.

The removal of the ‘10 per cent rule’ will also help ensure a level playing field for access to superannuation tax concessions irrespective of a person’s employment situation. According to the Government, this will be of particular help to contractors who also draw income from salary and wages.

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If you believe the matters discussed above are relevant to your business, please contact Darren Smith of our office to discuss further.


Darren is a Chartered Accountant with extensive experience, including working in the big 4 and medium sized firms before becoming a partner of a city based firm in 2000.

He has gained much experience and has extensive knowledge in providing business and taxation advice, superannuation planning, negotiation of sales and acquisitions of businesses and property development. His client base covers a wide range of industry groups.

Darren works with business owners to grow their businesses and create personal wealth within and outside of their business.


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