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Superannuation Guarantee frozen until 2021

The government has just announced that it had been successful in gaining support for the repeal in the Mining Tax Tax, but with that comes a freeze on the increase in Superannuation Guarantee Contributions (SGC). Until this year’s budget, the Labor government had SGC reaching 12% by 2019. This change sees it staying at 9.5% until 2021 before increasing in 0.5% increments until 2025. Adding fuel to the fire is suggestion that with the change comes increased powers to current and future Treasurers, allowing them to make further changes to this without parliamentary approval.

The bad news in this of course is the fact that our compulsory retirement savings will potentially fall further short of where they need to be to fund future retirement income needs. This comes at a time when the government has also increased the Age Pension age to 70 for those born after 1966, and there are grave concerns for the nation being able to fund our ageing population.

The good news in all of this is that for the large percentage of people on Total Remuneration Packages (TRP), it means that the money stays in “take home pay” and can fund current debt and lifestyle needs. This “take home pay” though is of course taxed at Marginal Tax Rates, which for many people is far higher than the 15% that superannuation enjoys. Take someone earning $150,000 a year. If they contributed 12% to super instead of 9.5%, the tax saving would be $900 per year. That $900 saved year and invested, (assuming a 12% return incl CPI) over 15 years is over $31,000.

Extra $900 super savings
With contribution caps now making it difficult to contribute to super later, the smart money will likely look to increased Salary Sacrifice strategies to make up likely income shortfalls later. For more about Salary Sacrificing, check out the ATO Website, and keep an eye out for next month’s Super Vision where we’ll explore the benefits in more detail.

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