Federal Budget – Superannuation flexibility
The Budget has made changes that reflect that the current superannuation system is at a kilter with individuals current lifestyles, with the introduction of more flexibility to address this.
Individuals under the age of 75 will now be able to claim tax deductions for personal superannuation contributions. From 1 July 2017, individuals can make concessional super contributions up to the concessional cap. This will benefit partially self-employed individuals and partially wage and salary earners whose employers do not offer salary sacrificing.
The Budget will improve the superannuation balances of low-income spouses as the current spouse tax offset is extended to assist more families in accumulating superannuation. The current income threshold for the receiving spouse (whether married or de facto) will be lifted from $10,800 to $37,000.
A contributing spouse will be eligible for an 18 per cent offset worth up to $540 for contributions made to an eligible spouse’s superannuation account.
Catch-up concessional superannuation contributions will be introduced to allow those with lower contributions and interrupted work patterns to make ‘catch-up’ payments to boost their nest egg. This will apply to those with account balances of $500,000 or less whereby allowing unused concessional contribution caps to be carried forward on a rolling basis for up to five years.
Contribution rules removed for older Australians
Australians aged 65 to 74 will be able to access the bring-forward of non-concessional contributions, minimum work requirements for voluntary superannuation contributions and restrictions on spouse contribution from 1 July 2017. The incentive is to assist older Australians to make superannuation contributions appropriate to their circumstances.
Retirement income products
Barriers are being removed to endorse innovation in the creation of retirement income products. These income products can enhance the flexibility and choice for retirees to better manage risk and improve their standard of living in retirement.
From 1 July 2017, the tax exemption on earnings in the retirement phase will be extended to products such as deferred lifetime annuities and group self-annuitisation products.