For most of the Australians, superannuation is likely to be a major source of income in retirement. Certainly, the more money you can add into your super during your working years, the chances to get rosier retirement will be higher.
However, the burning question here is how much is enough or how little should be there. Here is few
Work out to Estimates your needs
Financial commentators often suggest you will need around two thirds (67 per cent) of your pre-retirement salary to enjoy a similar standard of living in retirement.i Lower income households may need more because they typically spend more of their income on necessities before and after retirement.
The latest ASFA Retirement Standard estimates that a couple retiring today needs a retirement super balance of $640,000 to provide a comfortable standard of living. This would provide an annual income of $60,977.ii
Singles need a lump sum of $545,000 to provide a comfortable income of $43,317 a year. These figures assume people own their home and include any entitlements to a full or part Age Pension.
How do I compare?
According to the latest figures, the mean super balance for all workers is $111,853 for men and $68,499 for women. The mean balance at retirement (age 60-64) shows most people retiring today fall well short of the amount needed for a ‘comfortable’ retirement. ii
The gap between men and women persists at all ages. By the time women reach their 60s they have 42 per cent less super than men on average and are more likely than younger women to have no super at all.
How can I boost my super?
The required figures of “enough money in your super” may by daunting at present. But there are ways to boost your super balance. Your employer contribution on your Super is 9.5%. Apart from that, consider putting a little extra in super whenever your budget allows. You can also set up a direct debit or salary sacrifice arrangement.
- You may be able to make a tax-deductible contribution up to the $25,000 annual concessional cap but be aware that this cap includes employer contributions and salary sacrifice.
- You may also be able to contribute up to $100,000 a year after tax, or $300,000 in any three-year period. You can’t claim it as a tax deduction, but earnings will be taxed at the maximum super rate of 15 per cent rather than your marginal rate and you can withdraw the money tax-free from age 60. Your age and the amount you have in super can restrict the amount of contribution caps.
- If you earn less than $37,000, your other half can contribute to your super and claim a tax offset of up to $540. The offset phases out once you earn $40,000 or more.
- If you are a mid to low income earner and make an after-tax contribution to your super account, the government will chip in up to $500. To receive the maximum, you need to earn less than $37,697 and contribute at least $1,000 during the financial year. The government co-contribution reduces the more you earn and phases out once you earn $52,697.
- Speak with your employer about directing some of your pre-tax salary into super. ‘Salary sacrifice’ contributions are taxed at a maximum of 15 per cent (30 per cent if you earn over $250,000). But stay within your concessional contributions cap of $25,000 a year, which includes employer contributions.
Tips: Try out this MoneySmart retirement planner calculator to find out your income when you retire
It is always worth to utilise your annual contribution caps and get a tax deduction for voluntary concessional contributions.
If you’d like to explore your options, feel free to contact me to discuss your retirement income strategy.
Note: *The above information provided is general in nature. It is not to be relied upon as personal financial advice. As it has not considered your personal circumstances, needs or objectives.
i. Moneysmart, Last updates 27 Aug 2018 https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/superannuation-and-retirement/how-super-works/super-contributions/how-much-is-enough
ii ASFA Retirement Standard, 1 December 2018 https://www.superannuation.asn.au/resources/retirement-standard
iii Superannuation Statistics, March 2019, ASFA https://www.superannuation.asn.au/ArticleDocuments/269/SuperStats-Mar2019.pdf.aspx?Embed=Y
content courtesy: Advant