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2021 Budget – what this means for your superannuation

2021 Budget – what this means for your superannuation

The 2021 Federal Budget proposed some important changes to superannuation and retirement legislation. The budget has provided opportunities for older Australians to contribute more into superannuation through the removal of the work-test (up to age 74) to make salary sacrifice and non-concessional contributions to super. Plus a lowering of the age limit for super downsizer contributions to age 60. Below are the key superannuation changes in detail. 

Work test repealed for voluntary superannuation contributions
Date of effect: The first financial year after Royal Assent of the enabling legislation. Expected to be 1 July 2022

Individuals aged 67 to 74 years will be able to make or receive non-concessional or salary sacrifice superannuation contributions without meeting the work test. The contributions are subject to existing contribution caps and include contributions under the bring-forward rule.

Currently, the ‘work test’ requires individuals aged 67 to 74 years to work at least 40 hours over a 30 day period in a financial year to be able to make voluntary contributions (both concessional and non-concessional) to their superannuation, or receive contributions from their spouse.

Personal concessional contributions will remain subject to the ‘work test’ for those aged between 67-74.

Expanded access to ‘downsizer’ contributions from sale of family home
Date of effect: The first financial year after Royal Assent of the enabling legislation. Expected to be 1 July 2022

The eligibility age to access downsizer contributions will decrease from 65 years of age to 60.

Currently, downsizer contributions enable those over the age of 65 to contribute $300,000 from the proceeds of selling their home to their superannuation fund. These contributions are excluded from the existing age test, work test and the $1.7 million transfer balance threshold (but will not be exempt from your transfer balance cap).

Both members of a couple can take advantage of the concession for the same home. That is, if a couple have joint ownership of a property and meet the other criteria, both people can contribute up to $300,000 ($600,000 per couple).

Downsizer contributions apply to sales of a principal residence owned for the past ten or more years.

Sale proceeds contributed to superannuation under this measure will count towards the Age Pension assets test.

SMSF residency tests relaxed
Date of effect: The first financial year after Royal Assent of the enabling legislation. Expected to be 1 July 2022

The residency rules for Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs) and small APRA regulated funds (SAFs) will be relaxed by extending the central control and management test safe harbour from two to five years for SMSFs, and removing the active member test for both fund types.

This change will enable SMSF and SAF members to contribute to their super while temporarily overseas, (as members of large APRA-regulated funds can do).

An SMSF must be considered an Australian Superannuation Fund in order to be a complying superannuation fund and receive tax concessions. If a super fund fails to meet the definition of an Australian Superannuation Fund then it is likely to become a non-complying, if this occurs the fund’s assets and income are taxed at the highest marginal tax rate.

This measure will enable SMSF and SAF members to keep and continue to contribute to their fund while predominantly undertaking overseas work and education opportunities.

Early release of super scheme for victims of domestic violence not proceeding

The Government is not proceeding with the measure to extend the early release of superannuation to victims of family and domestic violence.

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