New Centrelink Deeming Rates Announced From March 20th 2015


Centrelink

The Government has announced that from 20 March 2015, Centrelink will reduce the deeming rates applicable to allowances and pensions. The lower deeming rate will be reduced from 2 per cent to 1.75 per cent for pensioner and single allowees for financial investments of up to $48,000 and for pensioner couples with investments of up to $79,600.

The higher deeming rate will fall from 3.5 per cent to 3.25 per cent for amounts over the deeming threshold.

This is estimated to affect 770,000 pensioner and allowee recipients according to the Minister for Social Services, Scott Morrison. In the media alert, the Minister suggests that part-pensioners will receive an average increase of $3.20 per fortnight or $83.20 per annum.

In summary the new deeming rates will be as follows:

Deeming Rates from March 2015

Deeming Rates from March 2015

This will be received as welcome news to those pension, aged care users and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card recipients who, from 1 January 2015, have been caught by the extension of the deeming rules to account-based pensions.

It may also allow some people who were previously in receipt of the Low Income Health Card to become eligible for it again.

Future changes
The lower deeming rates may not be the end of Centrelink changes with respect to deeming. The Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 5) Bill 2014 was introduced into the House of Representatives on 2 October 2014. One of the measures contained within this bill was to reset the deeming thresholds to $30,000 for singles and $50,000 combined for pensioner couples from 20 September 2017. This was part of the measures proposed in the May 2014 Federal Budget. To date, the Government hasn’t had any success in moving this Bill through the House and on to the Senate.

Does it make a difference?

Overall, the changes to the deeming rates are a welcome measure for all pensioners and allowees who are not in receipt of the full allowance or age pension. This is especially so for those who own direct shares and/or who are not beneficiaries of the grandfathering of account-based pensions. What will be interesting looking forward is whether there are any interest rate cuts in the near future which affect the deeming rates.

Are you looking for an advisor that will keep you up to date and provide guidance and tips like in this blog? then why now contact me at our Castle Hill or Windsor office in Northwest Sydney to arrange a one on one consultation. Just click the Schedule Now button up on the left to find the appointment options.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

SMSF Specialist Adviser 

 Follow SMSFCoach on Twitter Liam Shorte on Linkedin NextGen Wealth on Facebook   

Verante Financial Planning

Tel: 02 98941844, Mobile: 0413 936 299

PO Box 6002 BHBC, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

5/15 Terminus St. Castle Hill NSW 2154

Corporate Authorised Representative of Magnitude Group Pty Ltd ABN 54 086 266 202, AFSL 221557

This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. This website provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

 

New changes to Superannuation in summary for SMSF Trustees


Firstly nothing to scary but some stings in the tail.    Tax Reform

Mr Swan and Superannuation Minister Bill Shorten fronted announced a tax exemption on superannuation earnings supporting pensions and annuities will be capped at $100,000, and anything above that level taxed at a rate of 15 per cent from 01/07/2014.

Based on a 5% earnings rate that would only impact on those with super assets of more than $2 million. Remember this is per account so for a couple each of them could have $2,000,000 without paying tax on their pension

The $100,000 threshold will be indexed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), and will increase in $10,000 increments.

Special Treatment for Capital gains on Assets purchased before 01/07/2014 ( Did not proceed)

-  For existing assets (such as property or shares) that were purchased before 5 April 2013, the reform will only apply to capital gains that accrue after 1 July 2024;

-  For new assets that are purchased from 5 April 2013 to 30 June 2014, individuals will have the choice of applying the reform to the entire capital gain, or only that part that accrues after 1 July 2014; and

-  For new assets that are purchased after 1 July 2014, the new limits will apply to the entire capital gain.

Higher concessional cap for people aged 60 and over brought forward

Accordingly, the government will bring forward the start date for the new higher concessional cap of $35,000  to July 1 for people aged 60 and over. Concessional includes employer SGC (9-12%) and Salary Sacrifice.

Individuals aged 50 and over will be able to access the higher concessional cap of $35,000 from the current planned start date of 1 July 2014.

The general concessional cap is expected to reach $35,000 from 1 July 2018 for those under 50.

Excess contributions tax to be reformed

Mr Shorten said the government will reform the system of excess contributions tax (ECT) that was introduced by the former government in 2007, to make it fairer and give individuals greater choice.

Under the current arrangements, concessional contributions that are in excess of the annual cap are effectively taxed at the top marginal tax rate (46.5 per cent) rather than the normal rate of 15 per cent.

Now you will pay tax on the excess contribution to match what you would have paid at your marginal tax rate. for example if you are on the 37% tax bracket you would pay ECT at 22% rather than 30% if you had to pay it on the top marginal rate of 45% (plus Medicare).

Income Streams will be Deemed like non-superannuation assets

Under the change announced today, standard pension deeming arrangements will apply to new superannuation account-based income streams assessed under the pension income test rules after 1 January 2015.

Instead of the concessional treatment of Account Based Pensions currently for those accessing an Aged Pension, they will be deemed like normal assets. This will affect those on the borderline of $55K income for a single person and $80K for a couple who previously benefited from deductible amounts on their account based or allocated pensions.

Extending concessional tax treatment to deferred lifetime annuities

The Government will encourage the take-up of deferred lifetime annuities (DLAs), by providing these products with the same concessional tax treatment that superannuation assets supporting income streams receive. This reform will apply from 1 July 2014.

Mr Swan also announced the Gillard government will establish a Council of Superannuation Custodians to ensure that any future changes are consistent with an agreed Charter of Superannuation Adequacy and Sustainability.

Here is the link to the full press release “A fairer superannuation system”

As always please contact me if you want to look at your own particular situation and we will break it down in plain English for you. We have offices in Castle Hill and Windsor but can meet clients anywhere in Sydney or online via Skype.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AdvDipFS

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

 Follow SMSFCoach on Twitter  Liam Shorte on Linkedin  NextGen Wealth on Facebook 

NextGen Wealth Solutions

Tel: 02 8853 6833,  Mobile: 0413 936 299

PO Box 6002 BHBC, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

 

ABN 20 060 778 216 • AFSL No.232686

Liam Shorte is a partner in NextGen Wealth Solutions, Corporate Authorised Representative of Genesys Wealth Advisers Limited, Licence No 232686, Genesys Wealth Advisers Limited ABN 20 060 778 216.

Important information :

The information in this article is provided for illustrative purposes only and does not take into consideration your personal circumstances. You are encouraged to seek financial advice suitable to your circumstances to avoid a decision that is not appropriate. Any reference to your actual circumstances is coincidental. Genesys and its representatives receive fees and brokerage from the provision of financial advice or placement of financial products.

Don’t depend on working longer to save for your Retirement Income


Looking to RetirementMany clients believe delaying their retirement is a solution to inadequate savings, but they often find themselves out of the workforce sooner than they’d planned. None of us has that crystal ball!

It is likely that the shortfall in retirement savings here in Australia stems in part from our “she’ll be right” attitude towards life, which leads us to believe that we do not need to start saving early and that somehow it will all work out ok.

Delaying retirement can be a powerful boost to your superannuation nest-egg. But relying on the ability to work for a few extra years to stretch retirement savings out a little longer is fraught with risk and does not reflect personal and family health or other issues that may arise. As an example I have had some clients forced to retire to look after their grandchildren due to the illness of the parent.

If you played with any retirement planning calculator or have spoken to an adviser, the “work a little longer” solution would have been investigated and many put it forward as the solution to the GFC “dip” (read plunge) in savings.

The concept is easy to grasp: By working longer then you originally planned, you get more years of concessionally taxed growth in your superannuation accounts especially if you used a Transition to Retirement Pension from 55 or 60. You can also continue to salary sacrifice and make non-concessional contributions while getting the benefit of the Senior And Pensioners Tax Offset (SAPTO) that I mentioned a few weeks ago here.

The idea is the longer you work and save and more you get into a superannuation income stream then your capital will last longer and you may also benefit from more Age Pension when required.

Back to reality with a jolt!

But there is a huge disconnect between workers’ expectations and retirement reality. Over half of the retirees surveyed in a US study last year said they left the workforce earlier than planned, and just 8% of them said that positive factors — such as the ability to afford early retirement — prompted the move. For the vast majority of early retirees, negative circumstances, such as personal or spouse health problems or company downsizing played a role.

40% of Australians will suffer a critical illness before age 65 (Cologne Life Re study). They will most likely survive but their retirement funding will be devastated.

The 2015 Productivity Commission report on post-retirement shows that about 40 per cent of Australians who retire between the age of 60 and 64 do so involuntarily, either because of their own or a family member’s ill health, or redundancy.

For those aged between 65 and 69 who retire involuntarily is not that different, while for younger age groups most people who retire do so involuntarily.

Retirement ages

Clearly, workers relying on delayed retirement are rolling the dice. Yet, most people discount the future so much that they’re willing to take that gamble. May hope that an inheritance will save the day but do not realise that age care costs and parents living longer may eat heavily into any expected inheritance.

Strangely the people most likely to plan on working a few more years to boost their retirement security may actually have the least ability to postpone their retirement. People who suffer an illness or injury  are more likely than those in good health to have pushed back their expected retirement date in recent years, according to  a report from consulting firm Towers Watson. Yet health problems or disabilities were cited by more than half of retirees forced to retire earlier than planned.

Don’t put you head in the sand – start now

As psychologists are quick to point out, we all have that inner voice that loves to procrastinate who loves to put off till tomorrow what we should do today – beause its “all too hard to get your head around”. Saving more today is a sure thing, and extra years in the workforce are anything but. If you know you don’t have enough, you should start saving more today, because that’s by far the less risky alternative.

Let’s look at an example using the Retirement Planner on the MoneySmart.gov.au site for a 55-year-old pre-retiree with just $30K in superannuation. If she earns $80,000, makes $17,500 annual salary sacrifice contributions (in addition to Employers SGC contributions of 9.5%)  and earns a 7.5% return pre retirement and 6.5% after, she could be looking at an Income in retirement of $32,143 by age 67 including the Age Pension. If she’s forced to retire at that point, she’s still in better shape than most Australian’s. And if she can continue working, she  counld improve on this lifestyle with a better retirement income.

Retirement Income

A final don’t is cancelling TPD or Income Protection insurances to save money while in your most productive earning years (read here for more on that subject). The loss of 5-10 years of earnings potential is one guaranteed way to destroy your lifestyle in retirement. Your ability to earn is your biggest asset

Are you looking for an advisor that will keep you up to date and provide guidance and tips like in this blog? Then why now contact me at our Castle Hill or Windsor office in Northwest Sydney to arrange a one on one consultation. Just click the Schedule Now button up on the left to find the appointment options.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

SMSF Specialist Adviser 

 Follow SMSFCoach on Twitter Liam Shorte on Linkedin NextGen Wealth on Facebook   

Verante Financial Planning

Tel: 02 98941844, Mobile: 0413 936 299

PO Box 6002 BHBC, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

5/15 Terminus St. Castle Hill NSW 2154

Corporate Authorised Representative of Magnitude Group Pty Ltd ABN 54 086 266 202, AFSL 221557

This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. This website provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

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