Six super terms that should be on your radar

Confused by industry jargon? We help you make sense of it all...

We want to empower you to take control of your finances and own your tomorrow. But we know it’s not always easy. The language of finance can be complex and confusing.

In our latest jargon buster article, we explain superannuation terms in everyday language.

Preservation age

To access your super savings without restrictions you generally need to have reached your preservation age. Your preservation age depends on your date of birth, so check out the table below to find yours.

Date of birth Preservation age
Before 1 July 1960 55
1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963 58
1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964 59
After 1 July 1964 60

Superannuation guarantee (SG)

The compulsory payments your employer makes into your super fund before you have been taxed. All Australian employers are required to pay at least 9.5% into their eligible employees’ super accounts. The SG rate is frozen until 30 June 2021, after which time it is set to increase gradually to 12% by 1 July 2025 i.

Concessional (before-tax) contributions

Concessional or before tax contributions are payments into your super by your employer from your before-tax salary (including super guarantee and salary sacrifice) up to the limit of $25,000, regardless of your age These contributions are only taxed at 15% in your super fund. This is lower than most people’s marginal tax rate —unless you earn over $250,000, in which case the tax is 30%. 

Non-concessional (after-tax) contributions

You can contribute up to $100,000 a year into your super using non-concessional or after-tax funds—or $300,000 spread over three years (provided you are under age 65).

Although these after-tax contributions won’t qualify for a tax deduction, non-concessional contributions can still be a tax-effective way of saving for retirement. Any earnings are only taxed at up to 15% and any after-tax contributions that form part of a future withdrawal will be tax-free once you can access your super.

Co-contributions

Depending on how much you earn and if you are eligible, you can top up your super using after-tax contributions and your super fund may receive a co-contribution payment of up to $500 from the government.

Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries are the people you want to receive your super savings in the event of your death. Your Will doesn’t include who will receive your super. So if you don’t name your beneficiaries, your super fund may either decide who gets your money after your death, or will pay it to your estate.

There are two types of beneficiaries: binding and non-binding. Having a non-binding beneficiary will give the trustee an indication of how you would like your super distributed. However, making a binding nomination is the only way to make sure your super savings will go to the right people at the right time, because your super fund is legally obliged to follow your instructions.

It’s important to note that if your super fund has binding nominations they are only valid for three years, so you need to keep them up to date. If you have an AMP super account, you can check whether you have a binding nomination at My AMP.

Next time your binding nomination lapses, ask AMP whether your super product allows you to change to a non-lapsing binding nomination. This would mean having less personal administration to worry about—you nominate your beneficiaries once and don’t have to worry about it again unless you want to change it.

It also gives you the peace of mind that you won’t get caught out if you don’t receive the lapsing reminder notice and something happens to you.

Need more help?

Find out more about super basics through our online learning module. Think about contacting your financial adviser to help you understand the effect of tax-effective contributions on your super, so you can decide what path is right for you. Or, to find an adviser in your area, call us on 131 267 or use our find an adviser tool.

Ways to contribute to super

Contributions are an important way to achieve the lifestyle you want in retirement. Check out some of the ways you can get started.

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© AMP Life Limited. This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.