The Courier-Mail

RE­TIREES KER­RIN FAL­CONER

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NOT all re­tirees will have su­per­an­nu­a­tion in­vest­ments be­cause the com­pul­sory su­per guar­an­tee was only in­tro­duced in 1992. Since then, the rules of su­per have changed as many times as re­tirees have had hot din­ners.

At the mo­ment there is a bit of a hia­tus in re­gard to any sig­nif­i­cant changes. But don’t bet your bot­tom dol­lar on that re­main­ing the case for­ever. For re­tirees with su­per, here’s a re­cap of some of the most im­por­tant things:

Su­per­an­nu­a­tion is a tax struc­ture. As such, su­per is taxed dif­fer­ently from non-su­per in­vest­ments. In the ac­cu­mu­la­tion phase, earn­ings are taxed at 15 per cent and cap­i­tal gains at an ef­fec­tive rate of 10 per cent. In the pen­sion phase, and this will be where most re­tirees are, there is no tax on earn­ings, cap­i­tal gain or lump sum with­drawals.

Su­per­an­nu­a­tion in­vest­ments. Firstly, you can in­vest in all the same in­vest­ments as non-su­per, such as term de­posits, cash, shares and prop­erty. Se­condly: will your su­per last a life­time or will the cap­i­tal be run down?

Su­per­an­nu­a­tion does not au­to­mat­i­cally form part of your es­tate. If you wish to di­rect your su­per­an­nu­a­tion ben­e­fits to a spe­cific per­son/s, su­per funds re­quire a bind­ing nom­i­na­tion to be in place. If you do not have a bind­ing nom­i­na­tion, the trustees of the fund will di­rect your ben­e­fits to where they think is most ap­pro­pri­ate. There are also tax rules around lump sum death ben­e­fits to non­de­pen­dants. Tax of 15 per cent can be levied. Ker­rin Fal­coner is a fi­nance writer and has worked in the fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try for 18 years

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