Year end super strategies

1. Spouse contributions

The spouse super tax offset allows higher earning taxpayers who contribute super for their non-working or low income earning partners to be eligible for a tax break.

To be eligible for this benefit the lower earnings spouses’ income, total reportable fringe benefits, and reportable employer superannuation must have been less than $13,800 in the financial year.

2. Salary sacrifice

A salary sacrifice arrangement is where an individual agrees to forego part of their future salary or wages in return for their employer providing benefits of a similar value.

Salary sacrificed superannuation contributions count towards an individual’s concessional contributions cap.

3. Government co-contributions

The Government co-contribution scheme is an initiative for Australians to make a bigger commitment to their super savings and to give individuals more money to add to their superannuation fund.

Eligible Australians who earned less than $33,516 in the 2013/2014 financial year will receive 50 cents for every dollar, up to a maximum of $500, of after-tax money that they contribute to their super account.

Individuals who earn over $33,516 will have their Government co-contribution reduced by around three cents for every dollar over that amount, up until it reaches zero at $48,516.

To be eligible individuals must be under 71 years, and make at least one personal super contribution and be a permanent resident or citizen.

4. Concessional contributions

The 2014-15 financial year will see an increase in the concessional contributions cap. The present cap of $25,000 will increase up to $30,000.

The indexation will not apply to the temporary higher cap of $35,000 currently available to those individuals 59 and over as at 30 June 2013 (for 2013-14). However, the temporary higher cap will extend to individuals who are 49 and over as at 30 June 2014, and will apply for the 2014-15 financial year.

5. Non-concessional contributions

The indexation of the concessional contributions caps has some flow-on effects the non-concessional contributions cap. Therefore, from 1 July 2014 the non-concessional contributions cap will increase from $150,000 to $180,000.