Steps to Boost the Growth of Your Superannuation
One can employ several ways to grow their super fund. The choice is yours when it comes to the amount you are willing to contribute in order to get a higher amount of pension when you retire. Placing your money in a superannuation fund is a good way to invest your financial resources so that you have your means for subsistence upon retirement. The government itself has setup an environment encouraging people to provide for themselves as they retire. The government has laid down schemes to help people realise that investing in superannuation is very rewarding. When you have already joined the workforce, chances are you have an existing super fund account. If you want to grow super fund or increase your contribution, there are several ways to do it.
Strategies to increase your superannuation
- Deliberate increase of contribution. You can pay contribution as much as you want to your super account. This is usually done by paying from your after-tax salary therefore making your contribution tax free. If you already make personal contributions to your super fund, you can increase the amount you invest as your salary increases. Contribute additional money gradually to your fund so as not to abruptly sacrifice your salary. You can also increase your super by paying money from savings such as sale of assets, inheritance or unpaid leave when you resign or retire directly into your super fund.
- Be eligible for government co-contribution. The government encourages individuals to save and invest their money for retirement. Through the government’s super co-contribution scheme, low and middle income earners making personal contribution to their super account are rewarded. You are eligible for this scheme if your income is less than $31,920 and you contribute $1,000. If you fall under this category, the Government will make a co-contribution of a maximum of $1,000 to your superannuation account. Those earning over $ 31,920 but not more than $ 61,920 are entitled to co-contribution but with a reduced ceiling. You can check you eligibility for this scheme by visiting the site http://www.ato.gov.au/super.
- Automatic salary deduction. Salary sacrifice is done by requesting your employer to automatically contribute a portion of your salary to your super fund. This option is done instead of personally paying your contribution from after-tax salary. This scheme has advantages since this can reduce your taxable income which in effect reduces the tax you pay. It may even increase your take home pay. But before you consider this scheme to grow your super fund, you should ask your employer if this method is available to you.
- Combine your superannuation into one fund. If you have worked several jobs, chances are you have contributed to various funds that you may have lost track of. You need to take time to contact all you super funds and consolidate your superannuation and realise savings at the same time. This is a wise management to grow super fund account from multiple sources of contributions and reduce fees and charges.
- Find unclaimed super. There are several lost super accounts out there. You can be one of the owners of those and you need to take it back. You can track down you unclaimed superannuation and consolidate it with your present account. In this way, you can increase your super and live a comfortable life upon retirement. You can contact the Australian Tax Office for assistance to help you locate your lost super accounts.
Contribution limits to be aware if
While growing your super fund account is a good idea, you need to know that the government has set contribution limits both for employer contribution (concessional) and member contribution (non-concessional).
- Under 50 years old - $ 25,000
- Over 50 years old - $ 50,000
- 75 and above – no limits but only accept mandated or award contributions
For member contribution limits (non-concessional) starting July 7, 2007, a cap of $150,000 per annum on non-concessional contributions applies. Members who are under 65 years old can make a single year contribution of up to $450,000 and then nothing for the next two years under a specialised scheme. Members aged 65 to 74 needs to meet the work test every year and can contribute to a maximum amount of $150,000. Those who are over 75 years old cannot make non-concessional contributions neither those who have not supplied their superannuation with tax file number.
It’s never too late to grow your super
Knowing the benefits of super funds, one should make a habit to make an effort to save for retirement. You always have the opportunity to supplement your super fund and enjoy its benefits when you retire. A little sacrifice that you make today will allow you to live a comfortable life when you grow old. While you are able to work and undertake a job, do it to prepare for the future which is uncertain. The best way to face your retirement is by doing the right financial decisions today.
Choosing a super fund
Disclaimer: Fees and performance figures are based on a deposit of $50,000 into the fund's default or MySuper option.