By the time we retire, our super will represent one of our biggest assets. It's real money and it's your money so putting some thought into making contributions today may help you achieve the lifestyle you want in retirement.
While it might seem like basic maths – you just add to it – some strategies might suit you better than others, so it’s important to look at your options.
1. Salary sacrifice (pre-tax contributions)
Ask your employer if you can put more of your pre-tax salary into your super, above the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) amount of 9.5%. You’ll only be taxed 15%* on this amount. Remember that salary sacrifice will mean taking home less pay, in return for having more in your super. Read more about how salary sacrifice contributions work.
2. The low income super contribution
If you earn $37,000 or less a year and put some pre-tax money into your super, you may get an automatic payment into your super of up to $500 from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Learn more about the low income super contribution.
3. Converting assets to super
Selling your property is another way to add to your super, but it’s important to consider things like:
- Where you’ll live – you might have to downsize, rent or move to a less expensive suburb
- Tax implications – check with your accountant or financial adviser to see how this could affect you.
- Your Age Pension – find out whether the extra money will affect your eligibility for the Age Pension and learn about the changes to the Age Pension assets test that are happening in January in 2017.
4. Spouse contributions
If your spouse earns up to $13,800 a year and you put in as much as $3,000 into their super, this can get you an 18% tax offset—saving you up to $540 in tax. Find out more about tax offsets on spouse contributions.
You could also split up to 85% of you pre-tax super contribution with your spouse. This can help their super grow and possibly reduce the tax you’ll pay if you make extra contributions to enable this. The types of contributions you can split include your SG and salary sacrifice contributions.
5. Personal contributions
You can make a personal contribution, which will only be taxed at 15%* and you can claim it as a tax deduction. If eligible, you’ll need to fill in a ‘notice of intent’ form and send it your super fund before you submit your tax return.
6. Consolidating your super
Most of us have moved jobs at least once in our working lives and that can sometimes result in lost or missing super. You can do a lost super search to help you track down any lost or missing super and consolidate it into one super fund to bulk up your nest egg. But make sure you look out for whether there are any:
- exit or withdrawal fees from your existing funds
- insurance implications, such as making sure your required level of insurance is in place before you consolidate your super.
7. Review your super
Your super fund should be working for you, so it’s important to review it at least once a year. It's useful to:
- review your investment options and what other options are available
- look at your level of insurance – is it appropriate to cover your needs?
- pay attention to your fees and premiums, these can add up over time and impact your balance.
Like to know more?
If you’d like to learn more about making the most of your super:
- take a look at our super products to see if any suit you
- explore our education module on super basics
- check out our sorting your super section in Q&
Or, use our calculators to work to find out more:
While there are many ways to boost your super, it’s important to know what’s right for your personal situation. So you may want to consider seeking professional advice.
If you need help, you can find an adviser online or call us on 131 267.
If you have super with AMP, you can manage your super, review your investments, and compare funds by registering or logging into My AMP.
*30% if you earn over $300,000 pa.
It’s important to remember that the Government proposed a number of changes to superannuation in the 2016 Federal Budget. These changes may progress to legislation. You should seek financial advice before making any decisions regarding additional super contributions.
There are times you can access it early