Daily Bulletin


News

  • Written by Brendan Coates, Fellow, Grattan Institute


If your're wealthy you'll be able to put more money into super without even working.

Another federal budget, and yet more tinkering to superannuation tax breaks. But the latest changes will only help older wealthier Australians. The losers are younger workers and taxpayers.

What’s the plan?

From July 1 2020, Australians aged 65 and 66 will be able to make voluntary pre- and post-tax superannuation contributions without having to pass the Work Test, under which they are required to work a minimum of 40 hours over a 30-day period.

About 55,000 Australians aged 65 and 66 will benefit from these changes at a cost of A$75 million over the next four years.

It’s another boost for tax planning

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the changes will help Australians save for their retirement.

But most 65- and 66-year-olds still working to top up their superannuation are already eligible to make voluntary super contributions, because they satisfy the Work Test. Working 40 hours over a 30-day period – or little more than one day each week – is hardly onerous.

For every dollar contributed to super that genuinely helps Australians save more for their retirement as a result of these changes, there will be many more dollars funnelled into super to make extra use of superannuation tax concessions.

The biggest winners will be wealthier retired 65- and 66-year-olds with other sources of income, such as from shares or property, which they will now be able to recycle through superannuation.

Read more: View from The Hill: budget tax-upmanship as we head towards polling day

They will be able to put up to $25,000 into super from their pre-tax income and then – because super withdrawals are tax-free – take the money back out immediately. Their contributions to super are taxed at only 15%, whereas ordinary dividends or bank interest is taxed at their marginal tax rate. The tax savings can be as high as $5,000 a year.

Such strategies aren’t costless: other taxpayers must pay more, or accept fewer services, to make up the difference.

It will mean larger inheritances

The government is also allowing 65- and 66-year-olds to make three years’ worth of post-tax super contributions, or up to $300,000, in a single year.

These changes will mainly boost inheritances.

Most people who make after-tax contributions already have large super balances and typically contribute from existing pools of savings to minimise their tax.

Grattan Institute’s 2016 report, A Better Super System, found that only about 1% of taxpayers have total super account balances of more than $1 million, yet this tiny cohort makes almost one-third of all post-tax contributions.

These changes will turbo-charge so-called “recontribution strategies” that minimise the tax paid on superannuation fund balances passed on as inheritances. When inherited, super fund balances originally funded by pre-tax contributions can be taxed at 17% (including the Medicare levy), depending on the age of the deceased and the beneficiary.

To avoid this tax on their estate, individuals can withdraw superannuation funds tax-free and contribute them back as a post-tax contribution, up to the annual post-tax contributions cap of $100,000 each year.

It fails the government’s own test

In 2016, the government tried – but failed – to define the purpose of superannuation as providing “income in retirement to supplement or substitute the Age Pension”.

The proposed objective rightly implied that super should not aim to provide limitless support for savings that increase retirement incomes.

The benefits of super changes should always be balanced against the costs of achieving them. The government’s latest changes fail that test.

Read more: Expect a budget that breaks the intergenerational bargain, like the one before it, and before that

Authors: Brendan Coates, Fellow, Grattan Institute

Read more http://theconversation.com/the-budget-super-change-that-helps-the-wealthy-at-the-expense-of-the-young-114811

Writers Wanted

The government is spending almost A$24m to convince us to accept a COVID vaccine. But will its new campaign actually work?

arrow_forward

How Has Covid - 19 Affected The Restaurant And Hospitality Industry

arrow_forward

How to choose the right swimming pool

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Ray Hadley's interview with Scott Morrison

RAY HADLEY: Prime Minister, good morning.    PRIME MINISTER: G’day Ray.   HADLEY: I was just referring to this story from the Courier Mail, which you’ve probably caught up with today about t...

Ray Hadley & Scott Morrison - avatar Ray Hadley & Scott Morrison

Prime Minister's Remarks to Joint Party Room

PRIME MINISTER: Well, it is great to be back in the party room, the joint party room. It’s great to have everybody back here. It’s great to officially welcome Garth who joins us. Welcome, Garth...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

BEN FORDHAM: Scott Morrison, good morning to you.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Ben. How are you?    FORDHAM: Good. How many days have you got to go?   PRIME MINISTER: I've got another we...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Features You Need in an Automated Employee Recognition Platform

Employee recognition platforms have been successfully implemented as a technique to study employee performance. It is a useful tool to reinforce particular behaviours, practices, or activities i...

News Co Media - avatar News Co Media

What Should You Check Before Ordering Promotional Mugs?

Promotional products like mugs are a great marketing tool because they are reusable and necessary. Moreover, mugs also come in handy while promoting a brand’s logo. They give better brand visibi...

News Co - avatar News Co

Tips to find the best plastic manufacturing supplier for your needs

Plastics are very much an important part of all of our lives, but they’re particularly valuable to a wide variety of industries that rely on their production for their operations. The industries, ...

News Co - avatar News Co



News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion