The 2019 Federal Budget and what it means for your super

Budget Key Points

Tax Relief – Providing immediate tax relief for low and middle-income earners of up to $1,080 for singles or up to $2,160 for dual income families to ease the cost of living.

“Putting Members’ Interests First Bill” – To take effect from 1 October 2019, making insurance ‘opt-in’ for members under the age of 25 or those with a balance less than $6,000. In conjunction with the new ‘Protect Your Super’ Legislation that was passed in March, the goal is to remove the insurance (and its associated costs) from members who do not need the insurances. The Protect Your Super legislation is outlined in more detail below.

‘Work Test’ rules – Changes to the current Work Test rules will mean that members aged 65 and 66 will be able to make voluntary contributions into their account as well as be able to access the ‘bring forward rule’ allowing them to make up to three years’ worth of contributions at once.

Other legislation changes

Increased scrutiny of the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services industries in recent times has boosted engagement with Superannuation. The combination of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industries and the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Superannuation has resulted in a number of recommendations. The Federal budget includes almost $600 million in funding over 5 years to facilitate these recommendations.

In addition to this, as mentioned above, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Protecting Your Superannuation Package) legislation was passed earlier this year marking some early changes to fees, insurances and work test requirements.

What does this mean for you?

Fees

The new legislation has capped all fees at 3% meaning that across the industry super members will not longer have fees that exceed this limit. This is a positive outcome for you and your retirement objectives and goals.

Insurances

Members who have not received contributions to their super fund for 16 months will have their insurances ceased. The goal is to protect members from having their retirement savings unnecessarily eroded by unwanted insurance premiums. Now we know that the value of insurance is specific to each member and their life stage. So If you, as a Christian Super member, have not received recent contributions to your account and are at risk of having your insurance turned off, our team will be in touch to confirm if you are comfortable with having your insurances cancelled or if you would prefer to keep them active.

Pre-retirement contributions

Finally, there is provision for older members who are approaching retirement to enjoy an extra year of making contributions into their account after stopping work according to the Protect Your Super legislation. The budget has extended this age to 67, allowing you to contribute to your super for longer. And if you are working at the age 67 you are exempt from the work test for one more financial year.  These measures will make it easier for members approaching retirement to boost their retirement savings.

Remember the Federal Budget announcements above are proposed changes only. These proposals won’t become law until they are passed in Parliament, which will depend on the outcome of the upcoming Federal Election. If you ’re unsure about how these proposed changes may affect you, please speak with your financial planner.