Super Guide Newsletter July 2015

July 2015 newsletter

Top 10 super funds, 2015/2016 contributions guides, tax-free super, new Age Pension thresholds, accessing super early


Highlights of our July 2015 bumper edition include:

  • TOP 10 PERFORMING SUPER FUNDS FOR 2014/2015 YEAR, AND FOR PAST 10 YEARS. The top 10 performing super funds of the year areā€¦ you'll have to click on the link below to find out.
  • SUPER FUNDS GAIN 9.8% FOR THE 2014/2015 FINANCIAL YEAR. The median superannuation growth fund delivered the sixth consecutive positive annual return. Click on the link below to find out more.
  • ASSET CLASSES: NAMING THE INVESTMENT WINNERS FOR THE 2014/2015 FINANCIAL YEAR, AND OVER 5 YEARS, 10 YEARS AND 15 YEARS. Click on the link below to find out the investment winners and losers. In a separate article, you can discover why I believe that unhedged international shares should be banned from default investment options.
  • UPDATED CONTRIBUTIONS GUIDES (2015/2016 YEAR). Our contributions survival guides (for concessional contributions, non-concessional contributions, and co-contributions) are very popular with SuperGuide readers, and we have now updated them for the 2015/2016 year. You can also access them by clicking on the links at the right-hand side of the home page.
  • ACCESSING SUPER: PRESERVATION AGE NOW 56 YEARS (SINCE 1 JULY 2015). Turning 55 and then retiring and accessing your super benefits is only possible for those born before July 1960. If you born on or after 1 July 1960, then your preservation age is at least 56 years and can be as old as 60 years. See link below for more information. In a related article, work out your preservation age.
  • TAX-FREE SUPER FOR OVER-60s, EXCEPT FOR SOME. This article provides an excellent summary and table.
  • RETIRING BEFORE 60: THE TAX DEAL. See link below for summary of tax treatment for under-60s. In a separate article, find out who receives the super tax refund for lower-income earners.
  • AGE PENSION AGE INCREASING TO 67 YEARS (NOT 70 YEARS). Contrary to the hopes of the Liberal federal government, the Age Pension age is not increasing to 70 years. The Age Pension age is gradually increasing to 67 years for those born on certain dates. See link below to find out your Age Pension age.
  • AGE PENSION: MORE AUSTRALIANS ENTITLED TO PAYMENTS FROM 1 JULY 2015. The Age Pension income and assets tests have been adjusted again which means eligible Australians can own more assets and earn more income and still be eligible for a part Age Pension. Also, for your convenience we have included our updated Age Pension articles on the assets test, income test and latest payment rates - see end of this newsletter.

Note: You can find these articles, and more, by clicking on the links below, or  click here if you want to access the JULY 2015 newsletter link directly via theSuperGuide website.

Many thanks for your support and interest in SuperGuide.

Trish Power

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THE SOAPBOX: Ban unhedged international shares in default investment options


Long-term readers of this SuperGuide website may recall my strong support for hedging international investments within default investment options. A default investment option is how super money is invested for fund members who don't make an active investment choice.  Read more



Top 10 performing super funds for 2014/2015 year, and for past 10 years


The Top 10 performing super funds for the 2014/2015 financial year are listed in a table in this article. The Top 10 performing super funds over the past 10-year period are listed in a second table later in the article.  Read more

Super funds gain 9.8% for 2014/2015 financial year


The median superannuation growth fund gained 9.8% in value for the 12 months to June 2015, according to rating company, Chant West. In terms of long-term performance this means the median growth super fund has delivered six consecutive years of positive investment returns. Performance tables are set out later in this article.  Read more

Asset classes: Naming the investment winners for the 2014/2015 financial year


International shares (unhedged) and Australian listed property delivered the biggest returns for the 2014/2015 financial year (1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015), according to rating company, Chant West.  Read more



Retiring before the age of 60: the tax deal


If you retire before the age of 60, your super benefits are likely to be subject to tax - but not always. With the right structure, and usually with expert advice, many Australians retiring early can end up paying no tax.  Read more

Tax-free super for over-60s, except for some


If you withdraw your super benefits after you turn 60 years of age, you can expect to pay NO tax on those super benefits, unless you are a member of certain public sector super funds (see summary table at the end of this article).  Read more

Accessing super: Preservation age now 56 years (since July 2015)


Turning 55, retiring and accessing your super is now a retirement planning strategy from the past. Since 1 July 2015, Australians turning 55 will have to wait at least another year before they can access super benefits. Anyone born on or after 1 July 1960 needs to push from their mind that the age of 55 is the ticket to superannuation access.  Read more

Accessing super: What is my preservation age?


We receive hundreds of questions each year asking when you can retire under the superannuation rules, and any special conditions you need to meet before you can take your super benefits.  Read more

I'm retired. If I return to work, what happens to my SMSF pension?


Q: My husband turns 57 in January. We have a SMSF and he is going to commence pension phase. He is essentially retired and only worked 4 hours last financial year. But what if he decides to work again in six months' time? What happens if you are drawing down an account-based pension and then you work?  Read more

Age Pension: More Australians entitled to payments from 1 July 2015


Effective since 1 July 2015, the income and assets tests were adjusted again which means eligible Australians can own more assets and earn more income and still be eligible for a PART Age Pension. Also, those Australians who may have just missed out on the Age Pension due to failing the income test, or assets test, may now be entitled to some Age Pension.  Read more

Age Pension age increasing to 67 years (not 70 years)


Your Age Pension age, that is the age at which you are eligible to apply for the Age pension, depends on your date of birth.  Read more

Super tax refund for lower-income earners available until 2016/2017 year


The Coalition government has extended the Low Income Super Contribution until the 2016/2017 year, as part of a parliamentary deal which secured passage of the repeal of the Mineral Resource Rent Tax. Under the new legislation, enacted in September 2014, the LISC is now payable for the 2012/2013, 2013/2014, 2014/2015, 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 years only. The Liberals originally hoped it would only be payable for the 2012/2013 year.  Read more



Super concessional contributions: 2015/2016 survival guide


Superannuation contributions can be divided into two types - concessional (before-tax) and non-concessional (after-tax). Each type of super contribution is subject to a contributions cap. A contributions cap sets a limit on the amount of contributions you can make in any one year.  Read more

Your 2015/2016 guide to non-concessional (after-tax) contributions


Non-concessional superannuation contributions are more popularly known as after-tax contributions. You may even hear them called 'undeducted' contributions. Such super contributions are subject to a contributions cap, which sets a limit on the amount of non-concessional (after-tax) contributions that you can make in one year (1 July through to 30 June).  Read more

Cashing in on the co-contribution rules (2015/2016 year)


The federal government is giving away money to anyone who makes a non-concessional (after-tax) contribution to their super fund, and who earns less than $50,454 a year (for the 2015/2016 year). The tax-free giveaway is officially called the co-contribution scheme.  Read more



Age Pension: Assets test thresholds from 1 July 2015


The UPPER asset thresholds for the Age Pension assets test increased again on 1 July 2015, which means more Australians may now be eligible for a PART Age Pension.  Read more

Age Pension: Income test thresholds from 1 July 2015


An eligible individual must satisfy the Age Pension income test, and the Age Pension assets test to receive a FULL, or PART, Age Pension. The amount of Age Pension will be based on the test that delivers the lowest amount on Age Pension entitlement. If an individual fails one of the tests, then he or she will not be eligible for the Age Pension.  Read more

Age Pension: Deemed income falls from 1 July 2015 with higher thresholds


If you own financial investments and receive the Age Pension, or you hope to claim the Age Pension, then you need to be aware of a recent change to the deeming rates applicable to financial investments, and the annual change (every July) to the deeming thresholds for the Age Pension income test. These changes may mean that you're eligible for a greater Age Pension entitlement.  Read more

Age Pension: March 2015 rates now apply


The Age Pension rates, effective from 20 March 2015, and applicable until 19 September, are set out in the tables in this article.  Read more