As of 1 July 2014 the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) increased to 9.50%, the first step in what was to be a progressive increase to 12% by 2019, however following the Federal election the coalition government flagged its intention to freeze SG at 9.50% for the next two years.
In addition, they have indicated that concessional (before tax) contributions caps will undergo review and are likely to support an increase to the concessional contributions cap.
Currently the concessional contributions cap is $25,000 or $35,000 for over those aged 59 and from July 2014, the $35,000 cap will apply to those over 49. While an increase to the concessional caps will allow many employed Australians the opportunity to voluntarily contribute a greater amount to their superannuation fund and improve their financial options come retirement, in the meantime it is important to note that for high income earners, this contributions cap is easy to exceed.
The ATO provides some smart strategy suggestions that may keep your concessional contributions below the cap, preventing you from exceeding the caps and paying extra tax.
Tips to help you stay below the super contributions cap
- Be aware of what your concessional (before-tax) contribution cap is.
- Keep track of the amount of contributions and when they were received by your super fund - contributions count towards a cap in the year in which your super fund actually receives the money.
- If you think you may go over the concessional (before-tax) contributions cap in the current financial year:
-stop or reduce any salary sacrifice arranagements; and
-delay making any personal super contributions that you intend to claim as a deducation in your tax return
- Be careful if you are about to receive a bonus and you are close to your cap. Make sure you let your HR department know so they don't deduct super.
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