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Important superannuation and Centrelink changes commencing 1 July 2019 Posted on June 21, 2019

Money

Here are the ones that you need to know about.

Superannuation
changes

Superannuation is one of the best
ways to grow your wealth, as it provides significant tax concessions which are
designed to help you save for retirement. In fact, superannuation now accounts
for 17% of household assets and this percentage is projected to grow rapidly in
the coming decades. 

However, on the back of concerns
that people’s savings shouldn’t be unnecessarily eroded by fees or
inappropriate insurance arrangements, the government has passed a number of new
laws that are set to commence from 1 July 2019.

Here’s a breakdown of the most
important changes – and what you can do to prepare for them. 

Consolidation
of inactive low-balance superannuation accounts

If you have a superannuation
account that hasn’t received a contribution or rollover for 16 months and has a
balance below $6,000, this is classified as an inactive low-balance account.
These accounts will be transferred to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO),
which will then attempt to auto-consolidate those funds into an active account
linked to you. However, your account will not be considered an inactive
low-balance account if: you have satisfied an eligible condition of release, or
during the previous 16 months, you have chosen to maintain insurance cover;
changed investment options; made changes to your insurance cover; made or
amended a binding beneficiary nomination; or made a written election to the ATO
that you’re not an inactive member.      

Your
financial adviser can explain more about the benefits of consolidating
superannuation accounts, or alternatively, take you through the steps required
to keep it ‘active’. 

Cancellation
of insurance in inactive superannuation accounts

Accounts that have remained
inactive for 16 months or more will have their insurance switched off unless
you let your fund know (by making a valid election) that you want to keep your
insurance cover. 

An inactive account for this
purpose is one where no contribution or rollover has been received for 16
months or more.

This
change is to ensure that inactive accounts won’t be eroded by insurance
premiums. This is a positive outcome for those who already have insurance in
another account, or outside of superannuation.

It’s
important to make sure you have enough personal insurance to cover you if
something goes wrong. Speak with your financial adviser to ensure you have the
appropriate level of cover. 

Abolishment
of exit fees

Australians
pay on average $68 to leave a superannuation fund. Under the new rules, all
superannuation fund exit fees will be banned, which could be another compelling
reason to consolidate your superannuation accounts. 

Centrelink
changes


In addition to these
superannuation changes, there are some important Centrelink changes that also
come into effect on 1 July 2019:

Work Bonus

The
Work Bonus allows most pensioners who’ve reached age pension age to disregard
the first $250 per fortnight of their employment income under Centrelink’s
income test. From 1 July, this will increase to $300 per fortnight, which also
means the maximum unused fortnightly amounts you can accrue will increase to
$7,800 per annum, up from $6,500. So you’ll be able to earn more from work
before your pension reduces. 

Additionally,
from 1 July 2019, the Work Bonus will be extended to include eligible earnings
from self-employment. 

Assessment
of lifetime income streams




Lifetime income streams (such as
lifetime and deferred annuities) will be assessed differently under the social
security income and assets tests if they are purchased on or after 1 July 2019.
If you are considering commencing a lifetime income stream, the choice of
whether to purchase it before 1 July, or on or after 1 July, could therefore
make a big difference to your level of social security entitlement. 

Your financial adviser can explain more about the changes and how they could
impact your financial situation. 

Get
the right advice


The
changes to superannuation and Centrelink rules will affect people in different
ways. So before you make any decisions about your financial strategy, talk to
your financial adviser. They can provide more information and give you the
guidance you need to make the right decisions about your finances.

 

Important
information

This document
contains general advice. It does not take account of your objectives, financial
situation or needs. You should consider talking to a Financial Adviser before
making a financial decision. This document has been prepared by Count Financial
Limited ABN 19 001 974 625, AFSL 227232, (Count) a wholly-owned, non-guaranteed
subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124. ‘Count’ and
Count Wealth Accountants® are trading names of Count. Count Financial Advisers
are authorised representatives of Count. Information in this document is based
on current regulatory requirements and laws, as at 30 April 2019, which may be
subject to change. While care has been taken in the preparation of this
document, no liability is accepted by Count, its related entities, agents and
employees for any loss arising from reliance on this document.

 

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talk to us Discover the difference that the right advice can make

Get in touch with our team today and learn how you and your business can grow to the next level. From structuring to sustainability, we'll help you reach your financial goals and live the lifestyle you deserve.

be better off.