Consider prepaying next years Private Health Insurance before June 30th – EOFY Money Saving TIP #1


As a result of the introduction of mean testing of the Private Health Insurance Premium Rebate wewant to alert you to a one-off savings possibility in relation to the private health insurance rebate.

If you pre-pay your 2012/13 private health insurance premium before 30 June 2012, you may still be able to access the Government rebate.

As you may be aware, the Government currently provides a non-means tested rebate for private health insurance premiums. The rebate can be claimed directly from the insurer, or as a tax offset when you lodge your income tax return. the majority of clients claim it upfront and if you don’t then you may need to consider doing so this year.

The rebate is currently 30% for those under 65 and rising  from 35% to 40% of the premium depending on the age of the policy holder.

The Government has now passed the required legislation that will apply an income test to the availability of the rebate to any premiums paid on or after 1 July 2012. The more income you earn, the lower the rebate as follows:

Private Health Insurance Incentive Tiers (2011-2012) with effect 1 July 2012

Singles

<$84,000 

$84,001-97,000

$97,001-130,000

>$130,001

Families

<$168,000

$168,001-194,000

$194,001-260,000

>$260,001

Rebate
< age 65 30% 20% 10% 0%
Age 65-69 35% 25% 15% 0%
Age 70+ 40% 30% 20% 0%
Medicare Levy Surcharge
All ages 0.0% 1.0% 1.25% 1.5%

Note: The thresholds increase annually, based on growth in Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings (AWOTE). Single parents and couples (including de facto couples) are subject to the family tiers. For families with children, the thresholds are increased by $1,500 for each child after the first.

Singles earning $84,000 or less and families earning $168,000 or less will continue to receive the existing 30, 35 and 40 per cent rebate, depending on their age.

Once your ‘adjusted’ income is greater than $130,000 (or $260,000 as a family), no rebate will be available.

For a family with gross premiums of say $2,500, this will result in an increase to the out of pocket premium costs of $750.00

The current rebate applies to a premium ‘paid’ during the income year. Accordingly, it follows that if you prepay your 2012-13 premium on or before 30 June 2012, the current rules should apply and the rebate should be available.

If you are interested in this one-off savings opportunity, we suggest you contact your private health insurer to discuss the possibility of pre-paying next year’s premium and ensure that their is no penalty for prepayment and that their system can cope with the prepayment.

Increase to Medicare Surcharge levy for High Income Earners

For those without Private Health Cover be aware that  the Medicare levy surcharge for people without private health insurance will lift to 1.5 per cent of taxable income for those top earners without private health insurance cover. (see table above)

I hope this guidance  has been helpful and please take the time to comment. Feedback always appreciated.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AdvDipFS AMC

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

      

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.

The added value of franking credits in a SMSF Portfolio


 One of the least understood and core benefits of SMSFs are the value of franking credits attached to many blue chip share dividends.  You can tilt your portfolio to enhance the taxation benefits to your fund.

Targeting of imputation credits received predominantly from direct share investment in Australian, and to a lesser extent through managed funds is not that difficult. Franking credits (properly known as Imputation credits) can also be used to offset the tax payable on the taxable income of the fund if still in accumulation stage or refunds can be received from the ATO if in pension phase (don’t you just love receiving money from the ATO!)

The key point to understand around franking credits is the fact that the income tax rate for super funds is only 15% in Accumulation phase and 0% in Pension phase, while imputation credits from fully franked dividends can be as high as 30% of the gross dividend of an Australian share. This means that the franking credit covers the tax payable on the dividend received, and leaves a significant excess to be used to reduce the other tax payable by the fund or to be claimed as a refund

So how does it work in reality ?

So company Widget Ltd makes $1.00 profit and therefore is required to pay company tax at the rate of 30% on this $1 profit. Consequently the taxed $0.30 (30% of $1) will be paid in cash to the tax office and the company then records this $0.30 into their franking account. The franking account is only a record of what was paid and does not contain actual money. The company’s ability to frank its dividend will depend on the balance of this franking account. If the franking credit contains a surplus, the company may declare a fully franked (100% franked) dividend. If the franking account isn’t large enough, perhaps because it pays tax overseas, then the company may declare a partially franked dividend. That is, the dividend received by the SMSF is “grossed up” by the amount of the imputation credit to achieve a grossed up dividend. It is on this amount that tax is then assessed at 15% or 05 depending on the phase of your SMSF. The fund is then entitled to a tax offset for the franking credit.

Example: a worked example below of a SMSF that only holds Telstra shares and ANZ shares:

Dividend Franking Credits Taxable Income Accumulation Phase Taxable Income Accumulation Phase
TLS Shares $1260 $540 $1,800 $1,800
ANZ Shares $840 $360 $1,200 $1,200
Total $2100 $900 $3,000 $3,000
Tax @ 15% $450
Tax @ 0% $0
Less: Franking credits $900 $900
Excess Franking credits $450 $900

In this example, not only will the fund pay no tax on the dividend income of these two shareholdings, but it will have:

  • Accumulation Phase $450 of excess franking credits
  • Pension Phase $900 of excess franking credits ;

Which the SMSF Trustees can use to offset against other tax liabilities of the fund (such as other income, capital gains, and taxable contributions) or if  none exists, then the SMSF fund can receive a refund of this amount. (Love it!)

The 45 day rule

As the examples have shown fully franked dividends and franking credits make investing in Australian shares a very tax effective strategy. However, the ATO realises this and to prevent investors from abusing the system (called dividend stripping) they introduced the 45 day rule. The 45 day rule states that shareholder must hold shares for 45 days (not counting days of purchase or sale) for any franking credits over $5,000.

Beware of blind dividend chasing , you can hit a wall!

A word of warning before you decide to put your life savings into chasing shares with the highest dividends. While some high yielding dividend stocks may look enticing it would be useless if those shares drop in value (falling capital value). Always research the company and look for strong fundamentals, for example what does the company’s dividend history look like? Are the dividends growing year on year in line with the earnings per share? Is there long term potential for this company? Will earnings rise in the near term and are they sustainable.

Want a Superannuation Review or are you just 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 2016 the year to get organised or it will be 2026 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

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.

Superannuation Guarantee Age Limit to be Abolished in 2013


This change last November has gone under the radar but its needs to be highlighted as it will be especially important to Self Managed Super Fund members who run their own businesses as it will enhance their ability to tax plan and continue contributing to Super tax effectively.

The Government has announced that the 70 year age limit for superannuation contributions required to be made by an employer under the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act, 1992 will be abolished.  Currently, employers are not required to make any SG contributions in respect of employees once they attain age 70.

The Government had originally aimed to increase the age limit to 75 but has subsequently decided to remove the age limit entirely.

This is a win for older working Australians with the House of Representatives passing amendments to the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Amendment Bill 2011 that abolish the superannuation guarantee age limit.

From 1 July 2013, eligible employees aged 70 and over will receive the superannuation guarantee for the first time. This increases the coverage of the superannuation guarantee scheme to an additional 51,000 Australians aged 70 and over, who will get the benefit of the superannuation guarantee if they continue working.

“Making superannuation contributions compulsory for these mature-age employees will improve the adequacy and equity of the retirement income system, and provide an incentive to older Australians to remain in the workforce for longer,” Mr Shorten said.

A 1 July 2013 commencement date provides time for employers and older Australians to adjust to the new superannuation arrangements.

The changes will also ensure that employers will be able to claim income tax deductions for superannuation guarantee contributions made to employees aged 70 and over from 1 July 2013.

It ensures employers will not bear a higher cost in employing workers 70 and over compared with other workers.

Feedback always appreciated.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AdvDipFS AMC

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

       

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.

Superannuation Splitting to a Spouse already in or entering Transition to Retirement Phase


So I got a question about continuing to Super Split to a spouse who is over 55 and already using a Transition to retirement Pension but not fully retired.

If a client is over 55 with a TRIS/TTRAP Pension and an Accumulation Account as they are still working or not fully retired, can they continue to receive Super Splits from their spouse?

The answer is yes they can receive the splits into their accumulation account as they are between 55 and 64 and not retired which meets the eligibility rules. The ATO guidelines state:

“Which members are eligible to apply?
All your members are eligible, although it’s your decision whether to offer a splitting facility to all members. They can apply to split contributions regardless of their own age, but their spouse, to whom you transfer the contributions, must be either:

less than 55 years old
55 to 64 years old and not retired.”

The super contributions splitting provisions operate independently from the pension payment rules. So as long as each set of provisions are complied with, there shouldn’t be an issue.

The question was then asked “could the spouse then consolidate their TRIS/TTRAP and Accumulation accounts the following year and thereby moving those funds to pension phase and possibly accessing a higher maximum pension including the amount super split from their spouse.”

 I again believe yes as otherwise the accounting would have to quarantine Super Split amounts until 65 or retirement and the ATO have again said:

“There are no requirements for funds to specially report to us amounts that have been rolled over or received as a result of a contributions-splitting application”

 This clarifies the way to continue implementing two strategies:

  • When looking to maximise clients TRIS/TTRAP pensions – often to use the 10% to pay off debt
  • Ensuring a member can do rollbacks, consolidations and recommencements to maximise the amount in pension phase.

Make sure to get individual advice on your personal circumstances and be aware that the Super split amount will count towards the receiving spouse’s concession caps.

I hope this guidance  has been helpful and please take the time to comment. Feedback always appreciated. Click here to arrange a meeting/call back or contact our Castle Hill or Windsor offices for an appointment to discuss your needs.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

SMSF Specialist Adviser Follow SMSFCoach on Twitter Liam Shorte on Linkedin SMSFCoach on Facebook Google+

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.

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.

What can my SMSF invest in?


Control over investment decisions lies with the Trustees of the Fund.

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We find this is the main reason so many Australians are establishing their own Self-Managed Superannuation Fund or SMSF for short. The range of investments you can consider for your portfolio include almost anything you yourself could invest in as an individual including:

  • Direct investments  (such as shares, ETFs, cash, term deposits, hybrids, income securities, gold/silver bullion and bonds)
  • Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, Ethereum, initial Coin Offerrings (Just because you can doesn’t mean you should)
  • Direct property (Residential houses, villas, units, as well as Commercial property such as offices, warehouses, factory units, shops and land.)
  • Managed funds (retail or wholesale, domestic and/or international)
  • Private Unit Trusts
  • A business (non-related party to avoid hassle) and business property
  • Non-traditional assets such as coins, antiques, art , taxi plate licences, ATMs (some of these have been subject to major losses)

The first step is to ensure your Trust Deed allows you to invest in the items you are considering. I know it is a long boring document but you need to know its contents so go through it regularly to get a handle on it. If it does not specifically mention cryptocurrencies then you should have the trust deed updated to allow them as they may not fall under any other category.

Once satisfied the Trust deed does not exclude an investment, the types of investments the SMSF actually holds are determined by the fund’s investment strategy, which is formulated by you, along with the other members in the fund, and often advised by an SMSF Specialist Advisor™. The fund’s strategy should reflect your objectives, risk profile/tolerance, liquidity needs and the investments you intend to utilise. This is not set and forget or forged in stone. The investment strategy can be changed as often as you wish, to suit your changing circumstances and to take advantage of new investment opportunities. The fund can also incorporate different strategies to suit each of its members.

An important benefit of this having this ultimate control is that, during retirement phase, you can continue to invest in growth assets. This contrasts the approach of many retail providers, who lock ‘pension phase’ investors into income-producing assets such as cash and fixed interest, increasing the risk that the investor may outlive their retirement savings. This is coming back on the agenda now as many funds move to ”Lifecycle strategies” which I believe are dangerous in assuming that fixed interest is low risk when inflation is a real risk and bubbles can effect the capital value of even “conservative”options.

It is important to understand that there are certain regulatory limitations placed on SMSF; for example, a fund cannot borrow money to invest in assets such as property or shares unless the funds are provided through a Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangement (LRBA) .

A fund cannot acquire assets from related parties of the fund or invest in in-house assets; for example the fund could not purchase your assets (such as your house or residential investment property) from you. Other restrictions placed on the fund include the inability to lend funds to members or their relatives or to provide the assets of the fund as security for personal borrowing.

As part of our service, we can provide you with access to a range of investments for your SMSF.

Can I invest in equipment and leased it to my business?

Technically yes but there are so many ways you can get in trouble it may not be worth the hassle. I went into this in more debt in this article.

Can I buy a Classic or Vintage Car within my SMSF?

Again technically and theoretically yes you can, but it would be very difficult with many pitfalls. You’d also have to be able to prove to the ATO that the investment meeting the sole purpose test and was going to generate income for your retirement and not for personal enjoyment now! You can own but you or a related party cannot drive it even for maintenance purposes! If you invest in classic cars, they would have to be hired out to generate income. It would be difficult for you to drive. Remember if you are driving you need to be covered by the vehicle’s insurance, and that would make it obvious to the ATO you are using the car for your own purposes.

Can I use a property within my SMSF?

SMSFs are expressly forbidden from investing in the family home or holiday home for your personal use. But they are able to invest in investment properties – as long as the property is only used for investment purposes. Likewise properties within holiday resorts or golf courses can draw the ire of the ATO as again you may be seen to benefitting members personally rather than providing for retirement

This means fund members can’t go and stay in the property or rent it out to family members. The property should generally be managed by a real estate agent to satisfy the sole purpose test regulations unless you can show genuine evidence that you are managing it professionally yourself.

If I want to push the limits! Coins, jewellery, antiques, wine and art?

You can invest in coins – but you can’t display them if you want to satisfy the sole purpose test. Coins are collectables if their value exceeds their face value. Therefore, if bullion coins have a value that exceeds their face value and they are traded at a price above the spot price of their metal content, they will be a collectable and your SMSF must comply with regulation 13.18AA in relation to the investment

Likewise, you can invest in wine but you can’t drink it unless you are in pension fully retired and taking it out as a lump sum pension payment! If your fund acquired the wine on or after 1 July 2011 it must not be stored in the private residence of any related party. A private residence includes all parts of a private dwelling (above or below ground), the land on which the private residence is situated and all other buildings on that land, such as garages or sheds.

SMSF investments in art operate in a similar way. You can’t hang it in the hall at home, but you can rent it to a non-related company or an art bank that rents out artworks on an ongoing basis.

Here is a link to the ATO’s guidance on leasing and selling artworks:

ok so what about stepping into the Cryptocurrency or Bitcoin mania?

Just because it may be possible does not mean you should. If you want to then you need to do some major research and follow normal compliance rules to the Nth degree. Read my blog SMSF Research – BITCOIN, DOLLARS, GOLD: What Is the Future of Money?

Although it might seem like a good idea to use your super to invest in exotic assets, the value of these types of investments is notoriously volatile and the market for these asset classes is generally pretty illiquid. If you have special or professional knowledge in a particular subject then you may be able to put forward a better case than an ordinary person for engaging in those assets as part of your funds strategy. Again make sure that you are not using your SMSF or its assets to prop up your own business.

I hope these thoughts  have been helpful and please take the time to comment if you know of other investments as I know this is not an exhaustive list. Would love some feedback as well.

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.

Understanding transition to retirement pensions


If you have reached your preservation age you can use a transition to retirement pension to access your superannuation as a non-commutable income stream while you are still working. This may be particularly attractive if you have reduced your working hours and need to top-up your income to maintain your standard of living.

There was another great benefit of setting up the pension which was that all the funds supporting the pension move in to a tax exempt status. Yes that means those funds paid no earnings tax and in fact they received a full refund of any franking credits on your investments. For the average investor this can increase your returns by 0.5% to 1% a year risk free every year! However that tax free status will be removed as of 1 July 2017.

The strategy still remains effective for those needing a boost in income or those who can combine the pension with salary sacrifice.

What is a transition to retirement pension?

Transition to retirement pensions allow you to access your superannuation as a non-commutable income stream, after reaching preservation age (see below), but while you are still working.

The aim of these income streams is to provide you with flexibility in the lead up to retirement. For example, you may choose to reduce your working hours and at the same time access your superannuation as a transition to retirement pension that can supplement your other income. It may also allow you to salary sacrifice to give your retirement savings a boost.

Not all superannuation funds offer the transition to retirement pensions, so you need to check with your own fund to see if they do. You can also start one in a self-managed superannuation fund.

Are there any special characteristics?

These pensions are essentially like a normal account-based pension, but with two important differences.

Firstly, they are non-commutable, which means they cannot be converted into a lump sum until you satisfy a condition of release, such as retirement or age 65.

Secondly, you have a minimum pension amount you must withdraw each year but you can only withdraw up to 10% of the account balance (at 1 July). No lump sum withdrawals are allowed.

What is my preservation age?

Your preservation age is generally the date from which you can access your superannuation benefits and depends upon your date of birth.

Date of birth Preservation Age
Before 1 July 1960 55
1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963 58
1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964 59
After 30 June 1964 60

How are transition to retirement pensions taxed?

Transition to retirement pensions are taxed the same as regular superannuation income streams.

If you are under age 60, the taxable part of your pension will be taxed at your marginal rate, but you receive a 15% tax offset if your pension is paid from a taxed source*.

However, once you reach 60, your pension is tax-free if paid from a taxed source*.

  • Most people belong to a taxed superannuation fund. Some government superannuation funds may be untaxed and you will pay higher tax on pensions.

Can you still contribute to superannuation?

As long as you are eligible to contribute, you and your employer can still contribute to superannuation for your benefit. In any case, your employer’s usual superannuation guarantee obligations would still apply. You need to have an accumulation account to pay these amounts into.

Is a transition to retirement pension right for you?

Transition to retirement pensions can provide you with flexibility in the years leading up to your retirement and can help to boost your retirement savings in some circumstances.

People who might find the transition to retirement pensions attractive include those who:

  • have reduced working hours from full-time to part-time, eg down to three days per week. The reduced salary can be topped up with income from the transition to retirement pension
  • are able to salary sacrifice to superannuation – the outcome of combining the transition to retirement pension with salary sacrifice can be a greater build-up of superannuation savings by the time you reach actual retirement

The transition to retirement rules and associated strategies can be very complicated. It is recommended that you seek expert advice from your financial adviser before deciding if this type of income stream and strategy is right for you.

Want a Superannuation Review or are you just 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 2016 the year to get organised or it will be 2026 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 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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