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I n recent months, significant superannuation reforms have been proposed by the Albanese government, affecting a vast majority of Australian workers and high-net-worth individuals. The proposed superannuation changes signify a major shift in the Australian retirement savings landscape. While they aim to ensure better retirement outcomes for the majority, it’s essential for individuals to understand how these reforms could impact their financial planning.
Meet Jane, a 40-year-old Australian worker diligently planning for her retirement. She’s been hearing about the Albanese government’s proposed superannuation changes and wonders how these reforms might influence her retirement savings. Let’s walk alongside Jane to understand these changes and how they impact her.

1. Addressing the Superannuation Payment Timing

  • Jane’s Benefit: Jane has been receiving her super payments quarterly. With the government’s proposed reforms, she will soon receive these concurrently with her salary from July 1, 2026. This means that by the time Jane reaches retirement, she would have accumulated more due to earlier and consistent payments.
  • The Wider Impact: Jane learns that many workers were previously owed around $3.4 billion in super for the 2019/20 fiscal year. By making this change, the government aims to ensure such massive dues don’t accumulate in the future.
  • Protection Against Unpaid Super: Previously, if Jane’s employer faced liquidation before paying out her super, she stood the risk of losing out. With the new reforms and the strengthening of the ATO, she’s better protected against such incidents.

2. High Super Balances & Tax Implications

  • Not Directly Affecting Jane (yet): Jane currently has a super balance well below $3 million. However, she’s interested in understanding the government’s move to double the tax from 15% to 30% on super earnings over this threshold. While she’s not immediately affected, she realizes it’s a move towards equity, ensuring that the very wealthy pay a fair share.
  • Reception of the Proposal: Jane’s friend, a small business owner with a significant super balance held in property within an SMSF, expresses concerns about the tax change potentially forcing asset sales.
  • Government’s Perspective: Treasurer Chalmers suggests that this change is about creating a more equitable budget, and Jane appreciates the sentiment of ensuring fairness in the system.

3. The Future of Superannuation

  • Super Rate Boost: Jane’s super is currently at 11%. However, by July 1, 2025, this rate will climb to 12%, giving her more accumulated savings by retirement.
  • Jane’s Voice Matters: Excited about the changes, Jane realizes she can provide feedback until November 3. She also contemplates if she might want to change her super fund when she considers a job switch next year, another area the government is exploring.
  • What Lies Ahead: Jane understands that the final design of these laws will be detailed in 2024. Keeping herself informed will be key.

Final thoughts

Through Jane’s journey, it’s evident that the superannuation reforms have substantial implications for retirement planning. Whether you’re like Jane, just mapping out your retirement journey, or further along, it’s crucial to grasp these changes. Stay informed and consider seeking advice from a financial planner to maximize your retirement benefits.

Your future retirement deserves the best possible planning. Don’t let these superannuation reforms catch you off guard. Whether you’re in Jane’s shoes or have a unique financial situation, it’s vital to be proactive. If you want to navigate these changes like a pro and ensure a comfortable retirement, click here to schedule a consultation with our expert financial planners today. Let’s walk this journey together and make sure you’re well-prepared for the future!

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References: Superannuation tax breaks | Ministers Treasury portfolio. Joint media release with The Hon Stephen Jones MP Assistant Treasurer Minister for Financial Services (28 February 2023) https://ministers.treasury.gov.au/ministers/jim-chalmers-2022/media-releases/superannuation-tax-breaks Retreived 9 October 2023.

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and does not constitute financial advice. It’s always best to consult with a qualified financial planner or advisor to understand your unique circumstances and needs.