Superannuation Caps are Rising in 2024

The landscape for Australian superannuation will see some key changes starting July 1, 2024. These revisions are particularly relevant for Australian expats incorporating superannuation into their financial blueprint for the future, which to be honest, should be most Australian expats, even if you don’t plan to retire in Australia.

This guide aims to shed light on these pivotal changes, helping you to adjust your financial strategies accordingly for a more prosperous retirement.

Overview

The superannuation framework in Australia has been subject to frequent changes over the years, especially regarding the caps on contributions from both the individual and their employer. These caps play a significant role in determining how much you can contribute to your super annually, with a direct correlation to wage growth trends. This strategy aims to strike a balance between promoting savings and maintaining the system's long-term viability. Comprehending this balance is essential, as it illustrates the government's approach to facilitating retirement savings while optimising the tax benefits associated with superannuation.

In response to shifts in the economic climate and the evolving needs of retirees, the Australian Government has announced updates to the superannuation contribution caps, set to be implemented from July 1, 2024. These changes are designed to enhance opportunities for saving both before and after taxes.

Concessional Cap Increase: The cap on concessional (before-tax) contributions will increase from $27,500 to $30,000. This adjustment will allow for more substantial savings in a tax-efficient manner, thereby reducing your taxable income and enhancing your retirement fund. This change benefits taxpayers immediately through tax savings and secures additional funds for retirement.

Non-Concessional Cap Increase: Similarly, the cap for non-concessional (after-tax) contributions will be raised from $110,000 to $120,000. This enhancement provides a broader avenue for increasing your superannuation fund, offering more robust growth potential and flexibility. The adjustments also extend to the "bring forward" arrangement, which permits lump-sum contributions by leveraging future years' caps, updated to accommodate the new cap increase.

The Significance of the Adjustments

While the adjustments are appealing at first glance, their interaction with the stationary general transfer balance cap (the max amount transferable into a tax-exempt retirement phase) requires careful consideration. These changes may influence how you plan your contributions, especially if you are nearing the cap or planning large-scale contributions.

Consider an individual who maximises their concessional contributions under the current cap. With the revised cap, they now have the opportunity to increase their pre-tax contributions by $2,500 annually, potentially resulting in a significant boost to their retirement savings over time, accentuated by investment returns. However, it's also important to consider the implications on the total super balance and its effects on non-concessional contribution capabilities and eligibility for the "bring forward" rule.

A detailed examination of the thresholds for non-concessional contributions and the associated "bring forward" rules is crucial, especially for those nearing the super balance limit. The increased non-concessional cap could enable additional contributions, but strategic planning is imperative to fully benefit from these changes without exceeding the limits.

Re-evaluating Superannuation Strategies

These updates present an opportunity for Australians, including those living abroad, to reassess their superannuation strategies. Whether you're at the beginning of your career, approaching retirement, or somewhere in between, the new caps offer a novel perspective for optimising your super savings. It's an ideal time to review, strategize, and potentially recalibrate your superannuation approach to ensure it aligns with your future financial objectives.

For Australian expats, the updated caps not only pave the way for accelerated retirement savings through the enhanced non-concessional cap but also offer an avenue for further tax savings in Australia with the increased concessional contribution limit. Consider the following examples:

John & Susan are Australian expats living and working in Singapore and have a rental property in Australia generating positive taxable income of $65,000 year after all of the costs are taken out. Currently, they’re contributing $55,000 to their respective superannuation funds each year to reduce this tax liability, and paying income tax on the remaining $10,000, at $3,250. Going forward, they will be able to contribute $60,000 to their super funds, which will mean that only $5,000 would be taxable, or $1,625. It’s important to factor in super contributions tax when assessing your options, but it is certainly a great time to re-assess things given the potential savings.

Another example is Greg & Mandy, who are repatriating from Singapore to Australia and have some investments and company shares sitting in their own names that they’d like to be able to contribute to superannuation. Now utilising the new limits, they will be able to contribute A$110,000 prior to June 30 2024, and a further $360,000 each using the bring-forward rule on July 1. This allowed them to just get $940,000 into a tax efficient retirement savings vehicle for their future years in Australia.

Final Thoughts

The forthcoming changes to superannuation caps, effective from July 1, 2024, provide a valuable opportunity for Australians to fortify their retirement savings. By familiarising yourself with these changes, revising your approach to savings, and making strategic decisions, you can optimise your superannuation benefits and pave the way for a financially secure future.

Strategic financial planning becomes even more crucial with these changes. Assessing how the new caps integrate into your overall financial strategy is wise. Planning today can ensure a more secure and rewarding retirement.

 

To Your Financial Success!

Jarrad Brown is an Australian-trained and qualified Fee-Based Financial Planner Global Financial Consultants Pte Ltd providing specialist financial advice and portfolio management services to Australian professionals in Singapore. Jarrad Brown is an Authorised Representative of Global Financial Consultants Pte Ltd - No: 200305462G | MAS License No: FA100035-3

To learn more about how we may be able to help you, please contact us:

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✉         jarrad.brown@gfcadvice.com
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General Information Only: The information on this site is of a general nature only. It does not take into account your individual financial situation, objectives or needs. You should consider your own financial position and requirements before making a decision.

*Please note that Jarrad Brown is not a tax agent or accountant and none of the content outlined here should be taken as personal advice. You should consult your tax agent and financial adviser to review your current personal finances and financial goals to consider whether this strategy is appropriate for you.

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