Superannuation is the system of retirement savings in Australia. Simply, the government would prefer for us to accumulate our own funds for retirement rather than paying Age Pensions, and they give us significant incentives to do so. The incentives are mainly in the form of lower tax rates within the Super structure.
There are three broad categories of Super Fund being Industry Funds, Retail Funds and Self Managed Super Funds.
Retail funds offer access to a broad range of managed funds with many also offering access to direct equities. They also offer access to a long list of features and benefits.
Membership of Industry Funds used to be limited to selected occupations or employers but that is changing. These funds are marketed as being very cheap, however competition is narrowing the gap substantially. The bigger issue with Industry Funds is the lack of advice available to clients on broad strategy issues. You can do some investigation yourself using an independent research provider such as Chant West. http://www.chantwest.com.au/
From time to time a member of a Super fund may wish to move to another fund. This is referred to as a Rollover and is very simply to do online these days. Care is required though to ensure you don't lose insurance cover or other benefits by doing this.
Common Superannuation strategies are Salary Sacrifice and Transition to Retirement. Less well known strategies include recontributions, contribution splitting and maximising contributions under Concessional and Non-Concessional Contributions Caps.
Redundancy Planning - in this situation getting advice becomes important because there are important financial decisions to be made and often at a time when there are many emotional issues to be dealt with also.
Retirement Planning involves looking at the lifestyle you would like to enjoy when you retire and showing you it is possible. Turning off the income tap is scary and showing you that you will have 'enough' delivers immense peace of mind. Where there is a 'retirement gap' we'll show you your options.
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