COVID-19 Stimulus Package #2 reduction in Minimum Pensions and Deeming


Corona Virus Stimulus Package 2

 

On Sunday the 22nd March the Morrison Government announced it is temporarily reducing the minimum pension drawdown requirements on superannuation income streams for the rest of the 2020 Financial Year and all of the 2021 Financial Year. This affects Account-based Pensions, Transition to Retirement Pensions, Allocated Pensions and Market Linked Income Streams

The measure will benefit many retirees not just SMSF members by reducing the need of to sell equity and bond investments that have taken a hit to their value in the last month to fund their minimum pension drawdown requirements.

There are some tips and traps for those running their own funds so please read the detail carefully.

Minimum annual payments for super income streams for 2019/20 and 2020/21 Financial years.

Age at 1 July

Standard 

Minimum % withdrawal 

50% reduced

minimum pension 

Under 65

4%

2%

65–74

5%

2.5%

75–79

6%

3%

80–84

7% 

3.5%

85–89

9%

4.5%

90–94

11%

5.5%

95 or older

14%

7%

FINER DETAILS with TIPS and TRAPS

Here is some of the finer detail on how these measures will work, along with some tips and traps to consider when taking withdrawals for the rest of this financial year and the full 2020-21 financial year:

  • The measures are forward looking so if a pension member has already taken your minimum pension for the year then they cannot change the payment for this year but they can get organised for 2020/21. So, no you can’t try to sneak a payment back in to the SMSF bank account!
  • If a pension member has already taken pensions payments of equal to or greater than the 50% reduced minimum amount, they are not required to take any further pension payments before 30 June 2020.  For example, many would have taken quarterly or half yearly payments. If they add up to the 50% reduced minimum then you do not need to take anymore payments this financial year.
  • If you still need your pension payments for living expenses but have already taken the 50% reduced minimum then, it may be a good strategy for amounts above the 50% reduced minimum to be treated as either:
    1. a partial lump commutation sum rather than as a pension payment. This would create a debit against the pension members transfer balance account (TBA).  Please discuss this with your accountant and adviser asap as some funds will have to report this quarterly and others on an annual basis. OR
    2. for those with both pension and accumulation accounts to take the excess as a lump sum from the accumulation account balance to preserve as much in tax exempt pension phase as possible going forward to future years.

Let’s look at an example:

Example – 50% reduced minimum pension options

Jenny (66) has an account based pension from her Self Managed Super Fund – The Morrison Pension Fund. The balance of her pension at 1 July 2019 was $800,000, which requires her to take a minimum pension payment for the 2019/20 financial year of 5% ($40,000). Her husband Scotty is still working but will have a large pension on retirement.

Thanks to the Stimulus Package Part #2 she can take a 50% reduced minimum pension for 2019-20, meaning that Jenny is only required to draw down $20,000 before 30 June 2020. As Jenny still needs the income and usually takes her pension every month so has already taken $30,000 for the year. There is still room to use a strategy and benefit. Jenny can now stop the monthly payments for April-June and take a Partial Lump Sum Commutation  of $10,000 to cover her income needs but this will now reduce her Transfer Balance Account by $10,000 as well freeing up the ability to add more to pension phase at a later date (such as on the death of Scotty)

If as of 1 July 2020 Jenny’s Pension account has dropped to $600,000 as a result of the impact of the coronavirus on financial markets, Jenny’s now has the option to do some planning for 2020/21 financial year as well. Based on the 1 July balance Jenny’s 50% reduced minimum pension for the 2020-21 financial year is calculated at $$15,000 or $600,000 x 2.5%. So, she can take the $15,000 via monthly pension payments of $1,250 and her remaining income needs for the year of $25,000 via combination of one or more Partial Lump Sum Commutations during the 2020/21 year. Plan ahead with your adviser to document this properly.

The result of this change is that Jenny can still meet her income needs but will be able to free up some of her Transfer Balance Cap for future use.

More details on this package here Supporting Individuals and Households –Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates

Changes to Deeming Rates

In Stimulus Package #2 the government approved new lower Deeming Rates for Centrelink/DVA income tested benefits. the measure is a further 0.25% drop in Lower Rate to 0.25% and the Higher Rate to 2.25% 

On 12 March, the Government had already announced a 0.5 percentage point reduction in both the upper and lower social security deeming rates. The Government will now reduce these rates by another 0.25 percentage points.

As of 1 May 2020, the upper deeming rate will be 2.25 per cent and the lower deeming rate will be 0.25 per cent. The reductions reflect the low interest rate environment and its impact on the income from savings. The change will benefit around 900,000 income support recipients, including around 565,000 Age Pensioners who will, on average receive around $105 more of the Age Pension in the first full year the reduced rates apply.

What are the new deeming rates?
Situation Deeming rate
Single 0.25% on the first $51,800 of your investment assets, plus 2.25% on your investment assets over the amount of $51,800
Couple 0.25% on the first $86,200 of your combined investment assets, plus 2.25% on your investment assets over the amount of $86,200

Examples provided by Government:

Helen is a single part-rate age pensioner
Helen receives a single part-rate Age Pension. She has $200,000 in financial assets with $175,000 held in a term deposit which returns 1.5 per cent and the remainder in a cash transaction account earning a negligible rate of interest.

Under the former deeming rates, Helen’s Age Pension would have been reduced by $8.50 per fortnight as her income was above the income test threshold. With the change in deeming rates Helen has less deemed income and will now be eligible for a maximum rate Age Pension.

Leslie and Brian are an age pensioner couple
Leslie and Brian are an age pensioner couple. They have $550,000 worth of financial assets. They hold $300,000 in a superannuation account with a conservative investment strategy which returned around 5 per cent last year. They have invested $130,000 in a term deposit with an annual return of 1.5 per cent and hold the remainder in a cash transaction account earning a negligible rate of interest.

Under the former deeming rates, Leslie and Brian’s Age Pension would have been reduced by $65 each per fortnight. Under the new deeming rates, Leslie and Brian’s Age Pension will only be reduced by around $32 each per fortnight.

More details on this package here Supporting Individuals and Households –Reducing social security deeming rates

LASTLY BUT IMPORTANTLY PLEASE BE CAREFUL ABOUT CLICKING ON LINKS IN SMS MESSAGES OR EMAILS. IF YOU WANT TO CHECK ANY ATO/CENTRELINK/Government OFFER THEN GO TO YOUR ADVISER/TAX AGENT OR THE ATO/CENTRELINK WEBSITE DIRECTLY TO VERIFY IT.

Looking for an adviser 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. Do it! Make 2019 the year to get organised or it will be 2029 before you know it.

Please consider passing on this article to family or friends. Pay it forward!

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 Viridian Select Pty Ltd ABN 41 621 447 345, AFSL 51572

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.

Retirement Planning Tips for 2017 onwards


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Retirement planning is vitally important and with the new rules it may be more important to start as early as possible. New limitations on contributions to super will mean you must be actively making additional contributions sooner. Then when you have been working hard to get money into the super environment, and have complied with all the rules and contribution caps, you want to ensure you are maximising your opportunities when you start to draw on your super savings for a retirement income stream.

What are the changes?

  • A maximum limit of $1.6 million is permitted to be transferred into retirement income stream products.
  • Excessive balances can remain in super in accumulation phase
  • Earnings on assets supporting transition to retirement income streams will be taxed within super

Limits on amounts that can be transferred into retirement income streams

There has been considerable talk in recent times about whether a limit should be placed on the amount that can be accumulated within super and afforded tax concessions. Rather than simply place an arbitrary ceiling on how much can be held inside super, the Government has instead targeted potentially excessive superannuation balances by limiting the amount that will be eligible for the nil tax on earnings concession. From 1 July 2017, the maximum amount that can be placed into retirement income streams will be $1.6 million. For anyone who has started income streams and account balances exceeding that limit, there will be a requirement to roll-back (or withdraw) amounts to bring them in line with these new maximums. The current tax free status of earnings on assets supporting superannuation income streams will only be available to the extent that the income streams are within this new limit.

Excessive balances can remain in superannuation

There is a lot of media hype and some misconceptions floating around at present. It’s important you understand that if you are in the fortunate position to have more than $1.6 million in super, you aren’t forced to withdraw the additional benefits. Amounts above the $1.6 million threshold can remain in super, but must remain in the accumulation phase. Earnings will be taxed at the standard superannuation tax rate of 15% which for many people will be better than paying their marginal tax rate on the earnings if they take the funds out of the system.

Also remember if you have $1.6m in pension then if you take the excess funds out of your SMSF then you will not have an opportunity to put the funds back in as you will be blocked form making further non-concessional (after tax) contributions.

For some, it may be worthwhile to explore taking some of the excess out in to your own names after July 2017 if you have a low level of assets outside in your personal names or through family trusts. But remember if you’re minimum pensions from  the remaining money in superannuation pensions is more than you need to live on then these funds can build up quickly outside of the system and you could be come taxable now or when the first spouse passes.

Earnings on assets supporting transition to retirement income streams will be taxed within super

Despite considerable speculation, the Government has not removed the ability to commence and run transition to retirement (TTR) income streams. TTR income streams are available to you once you reach your preservation age. They allow you to access your super in the form of an income stream without the need to retire or alter your employment arrangements. However, the Government has opted to reduce the concessions available for these income streams. From 1 July 2017, instead of earnings on assets supporting these income streams being exempt from tax within the super environment (as would apply to all other income streams within the new $1.6 million threshold), earnings will instead remain subject to the standard 15% tax rate that applies to funds in accumulation phase.

So for those accessing their super via a TTR so they can salary sacrifice more of their wages back to super within the new $25,000 limit from 1 July 2017, then this is still a very valid strategy. How ever if you have the savings and can manage without accessing your super balance then it may be better to move your fund to accumulation phase.

Look for opportunities to change from a transition to retirement income streams to a full account based pension

If you retire before 60 or leave any one employer after age 60 then you can switch your TTR to a full tax free pension. So think about your situation and do you or can you do marking of exams, AEC electoral role work, stocktaking, Christmas short term employment, part-time survey work, bar work, filling in for family in a business while they go on holidays. If you can document a work arrangement and it genuinely ceases then you can meet that further condition of release which could move your fund in to tax free earnings phase again.

Summary

What hasn’t changed is the tax treatment of superannuation benefits received by individuals from their retirement savings. Payments received after reaching age 60 will continue to be received tax free. To ensure you get the right advice for your situation give us a call on 02 9984 1844 or click here to schedule an appointment

We have offices in Castle Hill and Windsor but can meet clients anywhere in Sydney or via Skype.

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 Viridian Select Pty Ltd ABN 41 621 447 345, AFSL 51572

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.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Reminder: Minimum annual payments for Superannuation Income Streams in 2014 / 15 including SMSF Pensions.


Yes the Government have been messing about with the system so much over the last few years that many clients have been totally confused and had to confirm their minimum pension payments for last year so I thought I would just remind everyone of this years limits so they can put their payment plans in place.

How much to take to stay compliant with your pension

How much to take to stay compliant with your pension

If you started a pension or annuity on or after 1 July 2007, a minimum pension amount is required to be paid each year. There is no maximum amount other than the balance of your super account, unless it is a transition to retirement pension in which case the maximum amount is 10% of the account balance.

The minimum payment amounts will not be reduced for the  2014-15 year. The following table shows the minimum percentage factor (indicative only) for each age group.

Age

Minimum % withdrawal (2014-15)

Under 65

4%

65-74

5%

75-79

6%

80-84

7%

85-89

9%

90-94

11%

95 or more

14%

Note that these withdrawal factors are indicative only. To determine the precise minimum annual payment (especially for market linked income streams), see the pro-rating, rounding and other rules in the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994.

For rules and limits on other Payments from super here are the relevant links to the ATO site.

Low rate cap amount

Untaxed plan cap amount

Minimum annual payments for super income streams

Preservation age

Super lump sum tax table

Super income stream tax tables

Are you looking for an advisor that will keep you up to date and provide guidance and tips like in this blog? Then why not 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. Please reblog, retweet, put on your Facebook page if you found information helpful.

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 Viridian Select Pty Ltd ABN 41 621 447 345, AFSL 51572

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™ 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 Viridian Select Pty Ltd ABN 41 621 447 345, AFSL 51572

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.

What happens if I don’t take the minimum pension?


The Australian Tax Office (ATO) in January 2013 released guidance on the consequences of trustees not paying minimum amounts from account based pensions, including the loss of tax exempt status. It has issued two documents on starting and stopping a superannuation income stream (pensions) for self-managed superannuation funds. Tax Free

 (more…)

ATO backs off on SMSF property crunch | | MacroBusiness


In November 2011, a draft tax ruling (TR2011/D3) by the ATO caused concern among Self Managed Superannuation Fund trustees and property investors in particular. The ruling suggested that the pension tax exemption …

See the full article on www.macrobusiness.com.au

Superannuation — tax certainty for deceased estates – Government MYEFO announcement good for SMSFs


The release of draft taxation ruling TR 2011/D3 in July last year caused much concern when it suggested that the pension exemption ceases automatically upon death (unless a reversionary pension was in place).

Under those proposed rules if an SMSF member died with assets carrying unrealised Capital Gains, even if the deceased were receiving a pension, upon death the pension would cease (unless the pension qualified as an auto-reversionary pension). If SMSF assets were then sold/transferred, the SMSF would have CGT implications.  (more…)

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