December 14, 2021

3 ways to maximise your super for the best results

Maximising your super is an important part of managing your finances. The amount you put into it, the way you invest, and how you use the tax concessions available to you can make a big difference in how much money accumulates in your super account over time.

Some of the best ways to maximise your super involve salary sacrificing, consolidating your super accounts and making the most of tax deductions. We will explore each of these strategies to help you find the best solution so you can fund a comfortable retirement lifestyle.

When should I maximise my super?

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) encourages Australians to check at least 10-15 years before retirement age how they might be able to maximise their super. This timeframe is suggested so there is enough time to make changes that will have a substantial positive difference to your final super balance.

Maximising your super sooner rather than later might make it easier to save up what you need to retire, but there is no cut off date or deadline for having your contributions in for maximum returns. While you’re reviewing your super, consider implementing a binding death benefit nomination so you can nominate who you want to get your super when you die.

If you are thinking of retiring at your preservation age (which is the age that you can access your super), your superannuation should reflect the amount that you want to be able to access to fund your retirement. So, if you haven’t already started to maximise your super, now is a great time to start.

Salary-sacrificing

Your employer is legally required to contribute 10% of your taxable income to your super each year. This allows you to build up a consistent sum in your super account without having to make active contributions.

However, if you’re in a position that pays well enough, you may speak to your employer about nominating some of your income to be ‘sacrificed’ and go towards your superannuation. These are known as concessional contributions.

For example, your employer may pay you $1,500 as your base salary pay. They also make the 10% contribution for your superannuation and pay $100 in tax. That leaves you with $1350. If you elect to salary-sacrifice, you might wish to pay $100 from your before-tax income. This means that instead of being taxed at a $1,500 base salary, you’ll only be taxed from the $1,400.

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Consolidate your super accounts

If you have had multiple jobs it’s likely you have several super accounts which can make it difficult to maximise your super. This is one of the reasons why stapled super funds were created.

If you do have several super accounts, consider consolidating them into one fund. You will then be able to keep track of your progress and maximise your returns with the compounding effects of additional funds and fewer fees.

However, before you do so, ensure you won’t lose out on any benefits by transferring or consolidating to your chosen super fund.

To combine your super accounts you will need to get in touch with your super fund or the ATO.

Super and tax deductions

Another way to maximise your super is by making use of the tax deductions available to you. For example, the spousal contribution deduction allows you to make contributions to your spouse’s super without reducing the amount of contribution for which you are eligible.

For example, if you make a contribution to your spouse’s super (and they earn less than $37,000 per year) any contributions that you make to their super can provide you with a tax rebate of up to $540. You can also claim back any contributions that you may have made directly from your bank account to your super until you reach the contributions limit.

In conclusion

Your super is a valuable tool that can be used in many ways, but it may require some changes to give you the best results. Spend some time considering how much money would make sense for you in retirement before making decisions concerning salary sacrificing or consolidating accounts. It will also help if you take advantage of available tax deductions when managing your finances with regards to superannuation.

The bottom line is this: don’t neglect what could end up being one of the most important tools in securing a bright future for yourself and those around you!

If you want to retire comfortably, get in touch with our team of experts today to discuss how you can maximise your super for the best results.

Filed Under: Accounting, Tax

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