With our thoughts turning to tax returns, now could be a good time to consider putting together a plan for your super for the new financial year.

Super Adviser Diana Antonious let us in on some things to think about.

Maximise your contributions

According to Diana, now is the perfect time to think about your contributions for the financial year and speak to a Super Adviser to determine whether you are in the position to maximise either your concessional or non-concessional contributions.

“By maximising your contributions, you’ll be increasing your super savings and putting in place a plan for your future,” Diana said.

Concessional contributions

The concessional (before-tax) contributions cap is $25,000 for the 2019/20 financial year.

Contributions from your employer, along with any before-tax salary sacrificed contributions you make, count towards this cap.

You can see how much you and your employer have contributed to your Qantas Super account so far this financial year by logging into your account online. Once you’ve done this, you can then broadly forecast how much you and your employer will contribute by the end of the year, and how much space you may have remaining under the cap by 30 June 2020.

Some of our older Divisions have specific rules about making concessional contributions. A Super Adviser can help you understand these rules, and determine whether making any extra voluntary contributions is right for your situation.

Non-concessional contributions

The non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap is $100,000 for the 2019/20 financial year.

There are a couple of ways to make non-concessional contributions.

You can choose to set up either a one-off payment or regular contributions via Payroll. The payment will then be made by Payroll from your after-tax salary to your super.

Non-concessional contributions can also be made via BPAY – all you have to do is log into your account and follow the prompts to make a contribution.

You may want to consider:

Claiming a tax deduction

If you fit the eligibility criteria, you may be able to claim a tax deduction for personal super contributions that you make from your after-tax income.

To do so, you must give Qantas Super a notice of intent, and you must receive an acknowledgement in return.

Depending on your marginal tax rate and income, Diana explained that claiming a tax deduction for personal super contributions could give you an advantage at tax time.

Triggering the bring forward rule

“If you’ve recently come into an inheritance, have savings, or have sold an asset that you’d like to move into a tax effective environment like super, you can think about contributing $100,000 this financial year, or whether you want to trigger the bring forward rule,” Diana explained.

The bring forward rule allows eligible members under the age of 65 to make up to three years’ worth of non-concessional contributions in one year. Other eligibility criteria apply.

Explore government schemes

Take advantage of the government co-contribution

Those earning up to the upper threshold of $53,564 in the 2019/20 financial year may be eligible to take advantage of the government’s co-contribution scheme, which aims to encourage people to contribute extra to their super.

Members whose income is equal to or less than the lower threshold of $38,564 in the 2019/20 financial year will receive a matched contribution from the government of 50 cents for each after-tax dollar they contribute to their super account, up to $500.

The maximum entitlement reduces progressively the closer your income is to the upper threshold.

You don’t have to do anything to receive the co-contribution – the ATO will calculate and deposit your co-contribution into your super account after you file your tax return.  However, if you have more than one account, you may need to nominate which account you would like the co-contribution paid to make sure it goes into the right account.

According to Diana, the rate of return at 50% makes the co-contribution well worth investigating for low income earners, part-time employees, pre-retirees who are cutting back on their time at work, and employees on parental leave.

“That is a return like none other. If you tried to get a 50% return on anything else, it’d be an extremely risky investment,” she said.

You can learn more about the co-contribution scheme via the ATO.

The First Home Super Saver Scheme

Saving up for a deposit? The First Home Super Saver (FHSS) Scheme was introduced in 2017 to help more Australians buy their first home.

If you are a first home buyer and both the following apply to you, you may be eligible to participate in the FHSS scheme:

  • You either live in the premises you’re buying or intend to as soon as practicable; and
  • You intend to live in the priority for at least six months within the first 12 months you own it, after it’s practical to move in.

Under the FHSS scheme, you can apply to have a maximum of $15,000 of your voluntary contributions from any one financial year included in your eligible contributions to be released under the FHSS scheme, up to a total of $30,000 contributions across all years. You’ll also receive the earnings that relate to those contributions.

There are a number of important things to know about the FHSS: learn more.

Conduct a super search

With our minds on how much money we’re getting back from (or perhaps owe) the ATO, Diana said now is a good opportunity to consider conducting a search for any lost super that may be sitting around in another fund or with the ATO.

There were over 6.2 million lost and ATO-held accounts at 30 June 2018, with a total value of $17.5 billion. Having more than one super account could mean paying multiple sets of fees, extra paperwork and greater difficulty in keeping track of your super.

“Younger people in particular might have a few super funds floating around, so it’s worthwhile conducting a super search to find out what you have, and then seeking advice about whether to consolidate,” Diana explained. While consolidating super accounts has a number of benefits, the insurance offered between funds may vary and should be considered as part of a decision to consolidate.

You can conduct a search for any lost super by logging into your Qantas Super account and clicking ‘Find My Super’.

The taxation position described is a general statement and should only be used as a guide. It has not been prepared by a registered tax agent and it does not constitute tax advice. It is based on current tax laws and our interpretation.  If you seek super advice, any taxation position described is incidental to the advice being provided. This information and any super advice has not been prepared by a registered tax agent. You should consult a registered tax agent for specific tax advice about any liabilities, obligations or claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under a taxation law.

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