Hints & tips

Super doesn’t have to be complicated. But it certainly pays to be smart.

You could sit back and wait for your super to accumulate over time. Or you can give it a helping hand by making a few small but important decisions nowConsolidate your Super

Give your super one good home, and stop drowning yourself in paperwork.

How does it work?

If you’ve got multiple super funds from multiple employers, you’re probably paying multiple sets of fees. You’re probably also receiving multiple statements and annual reports every year.

To make life simple, and to make sure all of your super is heading in the same direction, you should consider consolidating all your super into Suncorp WealthSmart.

Having only one super account means:

  • you can stop paying multiple sets of fees
  • you only have to make one investment decision
  • you can have one larger balance to keep track of

If you’d like some help consolidating your super, give us a call on 13 11 75 and ask for ‘Super’.

Got any lost super?

As long as you know your tax file number, you can use the ATO’s SuperSeeker at www.ato.gov.au to find your lost super.

Salary sacrifice

Dropping your take-home pay a little can boost your super balance a lot. And save you tax while you’re at it.

How does it work?

You ask your employer to put a portion of your pre-tax salary straight into your super fund.

Because your super contributions are taxed at only 15% by the super fund – as opposed to your marginal tax rate of up to 46.5% (including the Medicare Levy) – more of your money can be invested than if you took this money as cash.

On top of this, the portion of your salary put into super does not count as assessable income, potentially reducing your tax bill even further.

Even small amounts each pay can make a big difference over the long term, so talk to your financial planner to find a salary sacrifice strategy that suits you.

Make extra after-tax contributions

Turn your spare cash into a tax-effective savings plan for retirement.

How does it work?

Putting some of your take-home pay into your super (ie making ‘non-concessional contributions’) can be a tax-efficient way to save – as long as you’re prepared to put it away until retirement.

Because you have already paid income tax on this money, the ATO does not tax you twice.

So unlike salary sacrifice super contributions, which are taxed at 15% by the super fund, non-concessional contributions are received in full into the super environment.

You also pay only 15% tax on earnings on these funds, as opposed to paying your marginal tax rate on the earnings outside super.

Plus, making personal super contributions, from a Suncorp personal Transaction or Savings account into your Suncorp Everyday Super account is now even easier with the Suncorp Bank Mobile App.

Simply download the app on your Android or Apple  phone, and check out how easy it is to make personal super contributions via the app.

If you’re self-employed, you can generally claim your super contributions as a tax deduction.

If you earn under $49,488 and use this strategy, you may also be eligible for the Government Co-contribution.

Transition to retirement

Reduce your work hours without reducing your income, by taking advantage of a transition to retirement (TTR) strategy.

How does it work?

You cut your working hours to three days a week, helping you ease your way into retirement.

To make up for the drop in income, you start drawing an income from your super, in the form of an allocated pension.

Because income from the allocated pension is concessionally taxed compared to receiving a salary, this strategy can be tax-effective.

You can also start drawing income from your super while you’re still working full-time – using a combination of a salary sacrifice strategy to boost your super, and a TTR strategy to make up for the drop in take-home pay.

Bear in mind you can only start accessing your super if you have reached your ‘preservation age’ – which is age 55 if you were born before 1 July 1960.

Everyone’s circumstances are different, so you should discuss the best strategy for you with a financial planner.

Choose the right investment option

It’s worth taking a minute to check your investment option is right for you – it can make a significant difference over time.

How does it work?

The investment option you choose for your super will help dictate the performance potential of your investments. So it pays to get it right.

A high growth strategy, for example, is designed to deliver the highest level of growth over the long term. But it is also likely to be the most volatile in the short term.

On the other hand, a conservative strategy is likely to produce only modest growth over the long-term, but it provides stability for investors with a short-term time horizon.

The right investment option for you will be a balancing act between your age, your retirement goals, and your tolerance for risk.

To find out which Suncorp WealthSmart portfolio is most suitable for you, try our Risk Profiler.

Government contributions

If free money from the Government sounds too good to be true, keep reading.

How does it work?

If you earn under $49,488 per year, the Government may top-up any non-concessional (i.e after-tax) contributions you make.

If you earn less than $34,488 per year and you make a $1,000 after-tax contribution, the Government may contribute $500 to your retirement savings.

If you earn between $34,488 per year and $49,488 per year, you may receive a portion of the Government contribution, paid on a sliding scale depending on how much you contribute and how much you earn.

Talk to your financial planner or go to www.ato.gov.au to find out more