Superannuation changes 2022

Here are all the changes that are happening to super this year, and how they’ll affect your superannuation balance.

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What are the new changes to superannuation

Superannuation is constantly changing, and some of the changes can affect your super balance. We'll keep this guide up-to-date with the latest changes to super so you always know what's happening. Here is a summary of the changes so far:

  • Inactive super accounts closed
  • Inactive insurance cancelled
  • Cap on fees
  • Super stapling
  • Proposed increase of super guarantee on 1 July 2022
  • Increase to super contributions

Latest changes to superannuation

The government has made several changes to superannuation over the past 2 years. Here are the latest changes to superannuation and how they'll impact you.

Inactive super accounts closed

If your super account has less than $6,000 in it, and it hasn't received a contribution for 16 months, it'll be classified as an inactive account. If your super account is deemed to be inactive, the fund will be forced to send the remaining balance to the ATO and close the account.

From here, the ATO will track down your current super account and send the money there, so it's all in the same account.

This is a good thing, as it prevents you from paying ongoing fees on old super accounts that you may have forgotten about.

Inactive insurance cancelled

If your super account is inactive (if it hasn't received a contribution for 16 months), the fund will also need to cancel your insurance and stop charging you insurance fees. Again, this is to prevent you from paying fees on a forgotten account that you don't use.

Cap on fees

If your super balance is less than $6,000, there will also be an annual cap on the annual fees, so they can't be more than 3% of your account balance. This is to prevent your balance from being eroded by fees while you might not be working, earning a low income or taking time out of the workforce. This is the case even if you're still making contributions to your fund.

However, annual fees of 3% are still very high. Ideally, you should be looking for a super fund that has fees less than 1.5% of your account balance.

Super funds are also no longer allowed to charge you an exit fee if you want to leave the fund. You can change super funds at any time, with no fee to do so.

Super stapling

As of July 2021, your super fund is now "stapled" to you. This means your current primary super fund will come with you from job to job.

Previously, you could open a new super fund every time you started a new job (sometimes you might not have even noticed this was happening). This would result in many people having several super funds in their name – and several sets of fees to pay.

Now, when you start a new job, you will take your fund with you, unless you choose to switch funds. This is designed to prevent people from having multiple super funds.

Changes to super guarantee rate

The super guarantee rate is gradually increasing over the next few years. The super guarantee is the amount that your employer is legally required to pay into your super, and it's based on a percentage of your annual earnings.

Here's how the super guarantee rate has and will continue to change over the next couple of years.

Super guarantee change

YearSuper guarantee rate
1 July 20209.5% p.a.
1 July 202110% p.a.
1 July 202210.5% p.a.
1 July 202311% p.a.
1 July 202411.5% p.a.
1 July 202512% p.a.

Impact of super guarantee changes on your super

As the super guarantee rate increases, so too does the amount of super your employer is required to pay you. Let's take a look at an example.

Let's say you earn $80,000 a year at your full-time job in IT. With a super guarantee rate of 10% p.a., your employer is required to pay you $8,000 into your nominated super fund. However, as the rate increases in July 2022 up to 10.5% p.a., the amount they're required to pay you increases to $8,400. By the time the rate has increased to 12% p.a. a few years later, your employer will be required to pay you $9,600 (assuming the same salary of $80,000).

Changes to super contributions

The amount that you can contribute into your super each year has recently changed. Previously, you could contribute $25,000 into your super each year as concessional contributions. This has been increased to $27,500 per year as of 1 July 2021.

Concessional super contributions are contributions you make before tax, including via salary sacrifice and your employer super contributions, and also contributions you make and claim a tax deduction for.

As of 1 July 2021, the amount you can contribute as a non-concessional contribution has also changed; it has increased from $100,000 per year to $110,000 per year. These are contributions that you don't claim a tax deduction for.

Changes to rules for underperforming super funds

Starting in July 2021, the industry regulator APRA announced it would be publicly naming and shaming the worst-performing super funds each year and encouraging members to switch.

APRA will look at the MySuper funds in the market and name the ones that have failed their performance benchmark. MySuper funds are the default products offered by funds that are the standard "no-frills" option for members and are where the majority of people have their super invested.

In 2021, the first year of this new legislation, APRA found that 13 MySuper funds failed to meet their benchmark and underperformed. You can see a list of the 13 worst-performing super funds for 2021 and check if yours is one of them.

Each year, these funds will be forced to write to all members and admit that they have failed their benchmark performance and direct members towards a link where they can compare super funds. If one of your funds is included, you'll be notified by your fund and given the opportunity to switch to a new fund.

Changes to early super access

In 2020, Australians were given the opportunity to access up to $20,000 from their super fund early. This change was introduced due to the coronavirus pandemic, which caused many people to lose work suddenly. The cut-off date to access funds from your super under this scheme was 30 December 2020.

Will there be another super early access scheme in 2022?

This early access to super scheme was introduced for a limited time to help people who might have been impacted by the pandemic. There have been no announcements from the government about this scheme continuing or happening again this year; however, that's not to say the government won't launch a similar scheme in the future.

If you haven't looked at your super in a while, it could be time to switch. It only takes a few minutes to compare super funds and switch to a fund with lower fees and better long-term returns. If you need any help switching, here's our guide on how to change super funds in 4 steps.

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