Australian Superannuation – Ten Must-know Facts About Super Rules

Ten must-know facts on superannuation

Here is a handy guide for 10 must know facts about Australian superannuation rules:

How to Budget for a Working Holiday in Australia

Superannuation Guarantee (SG)

Under Superannuation Guarantee laws, it’s mandatory for employers to contribute to a super fund for each employee. The rate for SG contributions now stands at 9.5%. It makes your concessional contributions cap.

Tax on concessional (before-tax) contributions

The employer’s compulsory SG contributions and any before-tax contributions that you make (concessional contributions) are taxed at a maximum of 15% when super contributions are made. If your annual adjusted taxable income is greater than $250,000, concessional contributions get an additional 15% tax.

The special tax rate on investment earnings

Applies to earnings on super fund investments too (at less than 15%), but is exempted if a retirement phase pension is drawn from this account.

Co-contribution

 If you make non-concessional (after-tax) contributions to your super fund, depending on income level, the government may also put some tax-free money into your fund.

Contributions caps

Your annual super contributions amount is limited. If the contribution exceeds the limit, and you don’t withdraw the excess, a penalty tax (excess contributions tax) should be paid.  

Fund choice

Generally, you can choose the super fund you want your employer to contribute to or the employer will choose it.

Investment choice

 Generally, you can decide how you want your money invested. If not, a default investment option would be considered.

Member reporting

Your super fund must send you regular (at least annual) reports on the performances of the fund and your account.

Preservation

 You generally can’t withdraw your money (or benefits) from the super fund until you retire or after your preservation age; this may differ.

Tax-free for over-60s

 When you retire on or after 60, you pay no tax on superannuation benefits, unless you’re a long-term public servant. When you receive a super pension in retirement phase (a superannuation income stream) from your super fund, the earnings on the assets that finance your retirement phase pension are exempt from tax, even if you retire before 60.

Related Australian Superannuation Articles :

How Do I Claim My Superannuation When I Leave Australia?

Understand Australian Superannuation

Ensure that Your Super Benefits Work the Best for You

Ensure that Your Super Benefits Work the Best for You

Most people, especially those who are new to Australia, are stumped by information related to Super Benefits and  the Superannuation Guarantee. Whether it’s related to entitlements, co-contribution rules, Super Refunds, super taxes, retirement and making extra contributions, the information is not easy to understand for a ‘beginner’. So, they would naturally find it a complex and mind-boggling task to utilize the fund in a way which would bring them the best benefits later in life.

So, here we give the preliminary steps which a beginner has to follow, which would help their future: Continue reading “Ensure that Your Super Benefits Work the Best for You”

Australian Superannuation Guide For Same Sex Couples

Super rights for same-sex couples

Superannuation rights for same-sex couples in Australia were endorsed by the majority of citizens and in parliament. Although such relationships were not equal under the laws of marriage until December 2017/January 2018, they were considered legitimate and equal, for superannuation entitlements. This also happened quite recently though. Many of the homophobic inequities in superannuation and retirement policy are now eradicated.

Superannuation Guide For Same Sex Couples in Australia

The laws apply equally to single, married, de facto, gay, lesbian or heterosexual people. However, special rules apply under these circumstances:

  • Making super contributions

Most rules regarding super contributions apply for all. There are two different instances:

  • Contribution splitting
  • Spouse contributions

In Death

A same-sex partner is considered as ‘spouse’ under super laws, meaning any superannuation benefits paid out to a partner after the other’s death will be tax-free as a lump sum. The death benefit is likely to be tax-free as a superannuation pension (if aged above 60, or surviving partner is over 60).

Setting Up and Running a Self-managed Super Fund (SMSF)

  • The eligibility rules for SMSF members are more straightforward for a same-sex couple wanting to run an SMSF together.
  • SMSF trustees cannot lend money to a member or a relative of a member. A same-sex partner is now considered a ‘relative’.

Relationship Breakdown (separating)

The federal laws relating to the recognition of superannuation assets within a same-sex relationship have changed, and benefit splitting is now permitted (not in Western Australia) although it’s very complicated.

Nearly all employees are entitled to superannuation. If you earn above $450 monthly, your employer should pay 9.5% of your earnings to a super fund (known as a super contribution). Compulsory contributions (Superannuation Guarantee) should be paid at least quarterly.

You can make your own super contributions – before-tax contributions (salary sacrifice or tax-deductible contributions), or after-tax contributions (non-concessional contributions) which may be deducted from your take-home pay, or sourced from private savings.

Australian employees entitled to superannuation, or self-employed people making their own super contributions can receive tax incentives on superannuation at these stages:

  • Before-tax contributions (concessional contributions)
  • Co-contribution
  • Investment earnings
  • Tax-free retirement benefits

For superannuation, a ‘spouse’ now means:

Understand Superannuation in Australia – Related Articles

Free Superannuation Refund Help Guide – Everything You Need To Know

Don’t Leave Your Superannuation in Australia

Save Money during Your Trip to Australia in Just 3 Ways

Australia is not exactly an inexpensive place to visit or live in. But with a bit of knowledge, you will be able to save money while you live comfortably and enjoy your next adventure.

It is a fact that you need to spend money when travelling, and setting a budget is the least fun part of the entire process. It must be done, however. One thing you need to do is to save money before your trip.

It’s understandable that you’d want to buy a new pair of jeans or shoes before you fly out, but think about how that cash can help pay for a diving trip in the Great Barrier Reef or a campervan rental.

You should also book your trip in advance and in bulk.

Lots of travel agencies, airlines and hotels offer discounted prices for early booking. If you book all your travel needs in one go, you can also take advantage of bundle rates that will be a lot cheaper than if you were to book separately.

Once you arrive, don’t stop saving money. There are ways to stretch those notes to put you in the best position possible while in Australia.

Ways to Make the Most of Your Trip without Breaking the Bank

Share accommodation

If you are travelling in a group, splitting the cost of accommodation is one way to make a dollar go a long way. But you can stretch it further if you opt for shared accommodation instead of a fancy hotel. Such types of accommodation are available for short-term leases that you can split amongst yourselves.

Travelling alone?

Contact shared accommodation specialists to help you find cheap accommodation or sharing options with other tourists and travellers. Doing so will not only save you money but also give you an opportunity to meet new people.

Make sure the accommodation you choose has a kitchen that you can use, which is necessary for the next part.

Buy your own food

Eating out in Australia, even when you just buy a pizza or kebab, can add up and will cost you in the long run. You can dine in a restaurant once in a while but you should buy groceries and cook your own food if you want to save money. This is especially true if you plan to stay longer than 2 weeks.

This is why you need a kitchen in wherever place you will be staying.

When you hit the supermarket, make sure to buy in big batches and hit the deli up for your chicken and meats.

Get a Job

In Australia, working while travelling is more than possible. In fact, it is a favourite option for many students, backpackers, and travellers.

It is best that you have a working holiday visa so you will have plenty of job options to choose from. If you don’t, however, you can always get a job for a few weeks or so that doesn’t require a visa.

The advantage of a visa is that you can apply for farm jobs and an opportunity to apply for another working holiday visa if you do agriculture work for 3 months in a specified area in Australia.

If approved, you can use your next working holiday visa any time before you turn 31.

Just remember that farm jobs are not exactly the easiest but these may include accommodation and food that will save you a whole lot more during your stay. Since shops are far from farms, you won’t be tempted to splurge every time you receive your pay as well.

To avoid any problems, don’t work for farmers who will pay you in cash which is not only illegal but could also mean not being paid on time.

Final Thoughts

Australia is one of the best places to travel, work, and live in. But because it’s not as cheap as other destinations, being smart before and during your visit is sure to pay off.

Did you know there are over $540 million unclaimed Australian Superannuation payments? Let’s make sure yours not going to end up on the unclaimed pile  Apply for your Superannuation Refund today.

Top Blogs For Saving Money On Working Holidays in Australia

Here at backpay.com we care about how much money you can save and make. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping passionate travellers and career expats contribute to their travel funds and journeys around the world with their superannuation refunds.

In this article we sourced 5 of the best money saving blogs for working holiday makers planning trips to Australia and top tips for people saving money for future travels.

From Australian superannuation refunds to money advice, tax tips and spending guides, lifestyle hacks and help on how to claim superannuation online, these guides by some of the world’s leading bloggers and travel websites will set you up for fun times.

Here’s our selection of top Blogs for saving money on working holidays in Australia

11 Tips for Saving While On A Working Holiday

Author:  Tommy Walker

Source: http://blog.globalworkandtravel.com/11-tips-for-saving-while-on-a-working-holiday

How I saved $15,000 on my working holiday in Australia

Author:  Anna – Global Gallavanting

Source: http://www.global-gallivanting.com/how-i-saved-15000-on-my-working-holiday-in-australia/

How to save money on the road

Author: Nomadic Matt

Source: https://www.nomadicmatt.com/save-money-on-road/

Working Holiday in Australia Guide

By Hostel World

Source: https://www.hostelworld.com/blog/working-holiday-in-australia-guide/

How to a working holiday visa and save money for travel

Author:  Goats On The Road

Source: https://www.goatsontheroad.com/working-holiday-visa-save-money-travel-australia/

How to save money on a working holiday visa

Author:  Chapter Travel

Source: http://chaptertravel.com/savemoneyworkingholidayvisa/

 

How to save money on your working holiday to Australia

Once you’ve been bitten by the travel bug you’ll soon discover the true meaning of the saying ‘every penny counts’.  Trying to save money during your trip or even actually save money to take home may seem unrealistic but it’s totally possible if you learn how to be a little thrifty, travel savvy and keep an open mind.  Here’s our top tips on how to save money on your working holiday to Australia.

Tip 1) Try and stay in a reasonably priced accommodation, remember, it’s only a year or two so you can get back into having a home exactly how you want it when you get back home.

Tip 2) Drinking will cost you a small fortune, you’ll soon find out about the famous Australian ‘Goon’ but this isn’t for everyone. Our tip is to try local beers, wine and of course keep an eye out for happy hours, food and meal deals and one thing you’ll love is Australia actually has some amazing BYOB (Bring your own bottle) restaurants so you can go and have an amazing meal and enjoy a few bevies from the bottle o (that’s a wine or liquor shop to foreigners).

Tip 3) Buy a camper van or car – seriously it may seem a little mad to buy a car or camper van but if you buy smart you’re effectively pre-paying for your accommodation so when you’re not working in the cities, you can actually head off on the road and you have your accommodation with you. If you think that accommodation in Australia will cost your around $30 per night ($10,950 per year) and add travel on top of this, you could be laughing when sell your camper at the end of the year and make your money back. After reading all the advice articles online, this one if by far one of the best ways to save money over a year or two and you’ll also be able to get around easily. Remember, do this when you arrive to make the most of it.

Tip 4) Get your finances in order. First you’ll need to set up an Australian bank account, it’s advisable to go with one of the majors such NAB, Westpac, HSBC, Commonwealth Bank or ANZ. It’s then a good idea to make an international transfer into your Australian bank account so you don’t get caught using your overseas card when you’ve had a few too many beers. When transferring money into Australia consider using transfer services like transferwise.com or moneycorp.com as they often have lower fees than most banks and some also offer no fee transfers for your first transaction and incentives to recommend friends and family.

Tip 5) Claim back your superannuation. After working in Australia you would have been paying 9.5% of your wages to a superannuation fund. This is a legal requirement for Australian employers to ensure the Aussie workforce has pensions for when they retire later in life. As a temporary resident you are entitled to reclaim your superannuation payment when you have left Australia. They do deduct an amount for tax and you may need to pay a small commission but it’s your money and it should be back in your bank. The Australian government is currently sitting on 540 million dollars of unclaimed superannuation funds so our top tip is to make sure you don’t leave your money behind.

If you have left Australia after a working holiday, or know a friend who has fill your details on our superannuation application form and we’ll help you locate any unpaid super and find out if you’re owed a refund.

To find out more about how to claiming back your superannuation from Australia take a look at our superannuation FAQ page.