Below we've tried to answer some frequently asked questions relating to the Perron Group of Companies Superannuation Plan. If you can't find the answer to your question here, then you can send us an e-mail or give us a call on 08 9443 9455.
What is the Superannuation Guarantee?
The Superannuation Guarantee is the minimum percentage of earnings that employers must contribute to superannuation on behalf of their employees. Currently, the Superannuation Guarantee is set at 9.5%.
Will the Superannuation Guarantee change?
Yes. In the 2010/11 Federal Budget, the Government announced that the Superannuation Guarantee will gradually increase from its current rate (9%) to 12% by 2025.
What is the Superannuation Guarantee age limit?
Currently, an employer is required to make Superannuation Guarantee payments on behalf of employees up to the age of 70. However, from 1 July 2013 that age limit will increase to 75.
For existing members:
If you havent previously made an investment selection, from 1st January 2014 your super contributions will be directed to a Suncorp LifeStage Investment option.
As of now, you existing balance (if any) will remain invested as is and it won't be moved to your LifeStage option. Based on legislation, your existing balance will be transferred to a LifeStage option on or before 30th June 2017 unless you select otherwise.
If you have previously made an investment selection, there is no change for you - from 1st January 2014 your super contributions will continue to be invested in the way you've chosen
For new members:
New members who join the fund after 1st January 2014, who don't make a super choice, will automatically have their contributions paid into a LifeStage Investment option within the Corporate Fund.
What happens to Insurances within MySuper
Optimum will offer minimum levels of Death and Total & Permanent Disability insurance cover for those members in MySuper. The minimum levels of insurance cover are designed to provide you and your family with greater financial security. You won't need to provide medical evidence to receive this cover and you can opt out of the insurance cover at any time. If the level of cover based on the pre-determined formula is greater than offered through MySuper, then the higher amount will apply.
NB: There will be some exceptions. For example pre-existing conditions may not be covered and some high risk occupations won't receive the minimum death cover.
What is Lifestage Fund
Optimum MySuper will incorporate a lifestage investment strategy. This means they will allocate a diversified investment mix determined by your age and automatically change the mix as your risk profile changes over time. So, when you're younger, more of your money will be invested in growth-oriented investments such as shares and property, because you have a long time before retirement to ride the ups and downs of investment markets. And as you get older, they'll put more of your money in income-oriented investments (such as fixed interest and cash) better suited to investors with shorter term horizons. The emphasis changes from capital growth to capital preservation and income as you get older.
Suncorp Lifestage Fund was created with investment partner Ibbotson Associates Australia Limited, a world leader in investing. They bring together the skill and expertise from a number of quality investment managers from Australia and around the world - making super investing easy.
How can I check if I have any lost or unclaimed super?
If you've had a number of different jobs in your lifetime, then you may have super with a number of different super funds. To check whether you have any unclaimed super, you can use the Australian Taxation Office's free SuperSeeker tool at www.ato.gov.au/superseeker.
When can I access my super?
Because your super is designed to support you in your retirement, there are some limitations on when you can access your superannuation savings. Generally, your super will be 'preserved' until you reach preservation age.
What is my preservation age?
Your preservation age depends on when you were born. Only in very limited circumstances, including total and permanent disablement and extreme financial hardship, can preserved amounts be released before you reach this age. The following table will give you an idea of what your preservation age is.
|Your date of birth||Preservation age|
|Before 1 July 1960||55|
|1 July 1960 - 30 June 1961||56|
|1 July 1961 - 30 June 1962||57|
|1 July 1962 - 30 June 1963||58|
|1 July 1963 - 30 June 1964||59|
|On or after 1 July 1964||60|
Note: Preservation age is not the same as pension age. Pension age is when you become eligible for government pension benefits depending on your income and assets.
What options do I have when I retire?
There are several options available to you upon gaining access to your superannuation, including:
1. withdrawing your super as a lump sum;
2. retaining your super benefit within the superannuation system and drawing a regular income from those savings, i.e a pension;
3. retaining your super benefit within the superannuation system and drawing ad-hoc lump sums when required;
4. you may also qualify for social security, age pensions, service pensions or other benefits.
What is salary sacrificing?
Salary sacrificing is where your employer, on your behalf, makes additional pre-tax contributions into your super fund, which reduces your taxable income. This method is generally more tax-effective for individuals with a higher marginal income tax rate, as tax paid on these additional super contributions is just 15%. If your taxable income is less than $300,000 pa.
Can I make personal contributions to my super?
Yes. An alternative to salary sacrificing is to make your own contributions or you may choose to do both. No superannuation tax is deducted from personal contributions as they have been made from your after-tax salary.
If you wish to make any personal contributions to your super please enquire first to ensure that you are eligible
Can I contribute to my spouse's super account?
Yes. Superannuation rules allow you to make contributions to your spouse's super fund so long as the following conditions are met:
1. spouse is under the age of 65 or is aged between 65-69 and is gainfully employed;
2. the contribution is made to a complying super fund; and
3. you are tax-paying Australian resident.
Are there any tax advantages if I contribute to my spouse's super account?
Yes. If you contribute to your spouse's super fund, you may be eligible for a tax rebate of up to $540. The full rebate is available if your spouse's assessable income is $10,800 p.a. or less. This rebate reduces by $1 for every assessable dollar over $10,800 p.a. and stops when your spouse's income reaches $13,800 p.a.
Are there any limitations on how much money I can pay into my super?
Yes. Superannuation rules limit the amount of money you can pay into your super each year.
Salary sacrifice - The maximum amount you can salary sacrifice is $30,000 p.a. under the age of 50 for 2015/16. For people over the age of 50, the maximum amount is $35,000 for 2015/16. Salary Sacrifice contributions form part of what is known as concessional contributions. Employer Superannuation Guarantee contributions also form part of concessional contributions. Therefore the combined limit of salary sacrifice and employer superannuation guarantee is $30,000 p.a. under the age of 50 for 2015/16. For people over the age of 50, the maximum amount is $35,000 for 2015/16.
Personal contributions - if you are 65 or older, you can contribute up to $180,000 p.a. (2015/16) to your super (subject to meeting a work test). If you are under 65, you can contribute up to $180,000 p.a. to your super or there is the availability to contribute a maximum of 3 x $180,000($540,000). You may also contribute up to $540,000 (2015/16) in a single year so long as you don't make any further contributions in the following two years.
Spouse contributions - contributions to your spouse's super fund are treated the same as personal contributions, so the same rules apply. The spouse contribution will count towards the receiving spouse's personal contribution limit.
What is the Government Co-contribution Scheme?
The Government Co-contribution Scheme is a scheme designed to encourage you to contribute more to your super. The Government provides this incentive by making an additional co-contribution to your fund.
How much is the Government Co-contribution?
Currently, the maximum government co-contribution amount you can receive is $500 (2015/16). This amount reduces by 3.33 cents for every dollar over $35,454 p.a. (2015/16) that you earn. No government co-contribution will be paid once your assessable income (plus reportable employer super contributions and reportable fringe benefits) exceeds $50,454 p.a. (2015/16).
Am I eligible to receive the Government Co-contribution?
If you are employed or self-employed, under age 71 and earn less than $50,454 p.a., you may be eligible for a government co-contribution of up to $500 each year. To determine if you are eligible, you need to meet a number of criteria to qualify, including making a personal contribution into super.
Do I need to apply for the Government Co-contribution?
No. You don't need to apply for the government co-contribution. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will use the information on your income tax return and the contribution information received from your super fund to determine if you are eligible.
If you are eligible, the ATO will automatically calculate the government co-contribution amount and deposit it into your nominated super account.
If you don't lodge a tax return, you will not receive the government co-contribution.
When will I receive my Government Co-contribution?
Your government co-contribution payment will be made after:
1. you have lodged your income tax return;
2. your super fund has lodged a member contributions statement for you; and
3. the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has received any additional information as required.
The ATO generally receives the required information from super funds by 31 October, and your government co-contribution is usually paid into your super account within 60 days of this date. The ATO will send you a letter confirming the government co-contribution details.
What will happen to my Government Co-contribution if I close my super account with you?
If you close your super account after making a personal after-tax contribution, we cannot accept any government co-contributions. The money will be sent back to the Australian Taxation Office, who will contact you and request that you nominate an alternative super fund for the money to be paid into.
How do I find out what contributions have been paid into my account?
To find out how much money has been paid into your account, simply click on the "Access My Account" tab and view your account online or call Optimum on 1800 819 499, Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5.30pm (Sydney time).
Should I consolidate my super?
If you haven't yet consolidated your super, then it's probably a good idea to do so since having multiple super accounts usually means paying extra fees and charges, as well as extra paperwork. Consolidating your super into one account makes managing your super easier and more cost-effective. Please contact our office for further information.
How do I rollover my super into the Perron Group of Companies Superannuation Plan?
You can rollover the balance of another super fund into the Perron Group of Companies Superannuation Plan by completing the Super Rollover Form and returning it to Capital Managers.
What is the name of the trustee of the Perron Group of Companies Superannuation Plan?
The trustee for the Perron Group of Companies Superannuation Plan is Suncorp Portfolio Services Limited (ABN: 610 634 279 58)
Why have I been charged a superannuation contributions surcharge?
A surcharge, or tax, of up to 15% can be imposed on certain super contributions, specified rollover amounts and termination payments. The surcharge was actually abolished in July 2005, though you may still receive notification from the Australian Taxation Office for contributions made before this date.
How do I update my personal details?
You can update your address and contact details, tax file number, bank account details or your account name by completing the Change of Details form and returning it to Optimum.
What happens if I don't make a beneficiary nomination?
If you don't nominate a beneficiary, your super benefit will be paid at the discretion of the trustee. However, before the trustee makes the payment, they will ensure that all appropriate beneficiaries have been considered.
How do I nominate or change my beneficiary?
You can nominate or change your super beneficiary details by completing the Death Benefit Nomination form and returning it to Optimum.
Why is providing my Tax File Number important?
There are three reasons why it's important to provide your superannuation fund with your Tax File Number:
1. any personal (after-tax) super contributions cannot be accepted;
2. any before-tax super contributions, such as employer and salary sacrifice contributions, may be subject to a higher tax rate; and
3. you could miss out on the government co-contribution.
How can I provide you with my Tax File Number?
You can provide your Tax File Number by completing the Change of Details form and returning it to Optimum.
Can my employer or adviser provide my Tax File Number on my behalf?
Yes. Your employer is required to provide your super fund with your Tax File Number (TFN) unless you have specifically requested that they withhold it. Your adviser can also provide your super fund with your TFN, though they must have your authorisation to do so.
Can I increase my level of death cover under the Perron Group of Companies Superannuation Plan?
Yes. You have the option of applying for additional death cover to meet your individual needs. This can be done by applying for an increase to your insurances. This will mean you have to be medically underwritten. Please contact us if you wish to make any changes to your insurances.
How does my beneficiary or estate make a claim on my death cover insurance?
Your Human Resources representative should be notified in writing as soon as reasonably possible of any event that may potentially give rise to a claim. Your nominated beneficiary or estate will be notified of any additional information required to support your claim for benefits under the Policy.
How do I change my beneficiary for death benefits?
You can change your beneficiary for death benefits by completing the Death Benefit Nomination form and returning it to OPtimum.
How do I make a claim on my salary continuance cover?
Your Human Resources representative should be notified in writing within 30 days of any event that may potentially give rise to a claim. If it is not possible to notify your Human Resources representative within that time period, the claim must be notified to your Human Resources representative as soon as reasonably possible.
You will be notified of any additional information required to support your claim for benefits under the Policy.
I am leaving Australia permanently. Can I withdraw my super?
If you entered Australia as a temporary resident and have since departed, you may qualify to access your super. You can apply to claim your superannuation online at the Australian Taxation Office (www.ato.gov.au).
How do I lodge a complaint?
If you wish to lodge a complaint, you can either contact us, or contact Optimum at:
GPO Box 1576
Sydney NSW 2001
Ph: 1800 819 499
We will try to resolve your complaint quickly and fairly.
If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction you have the right to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service at:
Financial Ombudsman Service
GPO Box 3
Melbourne VIC 3001
Ph. 1300 78 08 08
Who can I talk to if I need advice about my superannuation?
Capital Managers provides Perron Group of Companies Superannuation Plan members with general super and personal financial advice from qualified financial advisers. You can call Capital Managers on 08 9443 9455, Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5.30pm (Perth time).