Super & Retirement

Tax free pensions & DIY super

I have just turned 55 and have retired. I am currently living off savings. I intend to start a SMSF in the new financial year. My aim is to earn enough income to support a modest lifestyle and grow my super. Do you need a different SMSF structure from an accumulation fund to enable a…

Super fund members brace for bad returns

Australian superannuation fund members are in for a shock when they open their 2008/09 statements over the few months, after the worst year on record for investors in 17 years. Research group SuperRatings warned on Wednesday super funds have recorded their worst financial year performance since the introduction of compulsory superannuation. SuperRatings expects the median…

High interest accounts aiding SMEs: data

Savvy small businesses are using high interest-earning online savings accounts to keep spare cash for a rainy day, new research shows. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) that used high interest online deposit accounts pumped $1.9 billion into these accounts in the six months to March, a report from independent consultants the Market Intelligence Strategy Centre…

Tried and tested tax & retirement strategies

As we approach the end of a tumultuous financial year, there are a number of tried and tested tips and strategies that may be valuable in assisting you with your short-term tax, and longer-term retirement position. Despite the current financial environment and affects of the Budget09, these strategies continue to offer the same tax concessions….

Aussies ‘don’t understand their super’

It’s the average Australian’s second biggest investment, behind the family home, yet new research shows many Australians don’t understand their superannuation. Research by insurer Suncorp has found only four out of 10 people claimed to understand their superannuation statement. Vicki Doyle, executive general manager for superannuation and investments for Suncorp, said nearly half of the…

Super funds monthly performance ‘best in a decade’

Growth funds in superannuation schemes had the best monthly performance in over a decade in April as the local equity market recovered from a six-year low. But returns for 2008/09 so far are still languishing, unable to fully recover from the heavy stock market losses of late 2008 and early 2009. The median growth fund,…

Cap on salary sacrificing for super cut

The federal government has cut by half the amount some Australians can save in superannuation through salary sacrificing and has reduced its contribution to lower income earners who choose to save more. “The government will reduce the generosity of some superannuation concessions for those with greater private wealth,” Treasurer Wayne Swan said on Tuesday as…

Super fund decimated? Strategies to get it back on track

Retirees, battered and bruised over shrinking nest eggs, should stay the superannuation course during volatile financial markets, but are advised to closely examine fund performance and investment strategy.  It’s not the time for disillusioned members to make rash and emotional decisions in light of weaker equity markets during the past 18 months, although shares have…

Voluntary super payments shrink

Australian workers back compulsory super but tight economic times mean some no longer want to top it up from their own pockets. A Newspoll survey, released on Tuesday at a superannuation conference on Queensland’s Gold Coast, reveals 37 per cent of those making voluntary super contributions will stop doing so. Fiona Reynolds from the Australian…

Retirees face cut in dividend income

Self-funded retirees are set for tough economic times as the global economic downturn will result in a steep drop in company dividends, financial industry heads warn. The head of consulting at investment advisory firm JANA, John Coombe, said historical data suggested company dividends fell by about 30 per cent during a recession and could fall…