Time away from work can be a wealth hazard

Time away from work can be a wealth hazard – including for your super balance. 

Get up to speed with these smart strategies to boost your super while you’re not working or while you’re working part-time. With the help of some special government benefits - and by arming yourself with information and advice from GuildSuper, you can get a healthier stream of contributions going into your super account.

Did you know that women are currently retiring with a lot less super than men – in fact, about half as much?

The average superannuation balance at retirement for women is $138,150, compared to the average superannuation balance at retirement for men of $292,500.*

There are a few reasons for this huge gap. Many women take time off from the workforce when they have children and they also tend to take long periods out to care for their families. Many women work in part-time jobs, which often means they earn less money than men and therefore accumulate less super than them. Women are also more likely than men to work in low-paid jobs. 

How to catch up on your super savings

If you think you’re not going to have enough super saved for a comfortable retirement, there are some concrete things you can do. There are benefits and services that you can access through the ATO and GuildSuper that will help you increase your balance at retirement. Here are some of the key strategies for you to consider.

Spouse contributions – more super for you and a tax break for your spouse

To help non-working or low income people increase their super balances, the ATO offers a tax rebate to their spouses who make superannuation contributions on their behalf. If your income is $13,800 or less, your spouse (married or defacto) can make super contributions on your behalf and can claim an 18% tax offset on those contributions up to the value of $3,000 per annum. This means your super balance grows while your spouse or partner gets a tax break. 

Splitting super contributions with your spouse

If you’re not working or on a low income, another good tax strategy may be for your spouse to ‘split’ their super contributions with you. This enables you and your spouse to even out your superannuation balances. Your spouse can split up to 85 per cent of their annual pre-tax super contributions with you. They can make their normal super contributions during the year and then have until 30 June of the following year to transfer a contribution across to you.

Receive a super contribution from the Government

Under the Government’s Co-Contribution Scheme you can receive a super contribution of up to $500 from the Government for personal after tax contributions you make to your own super. In the 2016-2017 financial year, if you earn less than $51,021 per year, the Government can contribute up to $500 to your super account. Depending on your income, the government will contribute up to 50 cents for every one dollar you contribute yourself from your after-tax (non-concessional) income. To receive the maximum co contribution of $500 your income needs to be $36,021 or less (in the 2016/17 financial year).  As your wage increases the level of the co contribution decreases.

Get informed and stay close to your super

While you’re not working or you’re working part-time, you should also try to do everything you can to stay informed and to stay close to your super.

In particular:

  • Register for educational seminars that are run by GuildSuper at your workplace
  • Read GuildSuper's newsletters and bulletins
  • Register for online access, to keep track of how it’s going
  • Make sure we have your current address and contact details
  • Get advice on how to maximise your super while you’re not working or working part-time

GuildSuper offers all these services and more and can provide advice to help you stay on track when you take maternity/paternity leave or if you’re off work for long periods or work part-time.

To provide or update your details with GuildSuper, login to your account or call 1300 361 477.

*Superannuation account balances by age and gender, ASFA, December 2015

This document contains general advice only and doesn't take into account what you currently have, want and need for your personal circumstances. It is important for you to consider these matters and read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before you make a decision about a superannuation product. You can get a copy of the GuildSuper PDS by calling 1300 361 477 or by visiting guildsuper.com.au. You may also wish to consult a licensed or appropriately authorised financial planner. Guild Trustee Services Pty Limited ABN 84 068 826 728 AFS Licence No. 233815 RSE Licence No. L0000611 as Trustee of the Guild Retirement Fund ABN 22 599 554 834 (which includes GuildSuper) My Super Authorisation No. 22599554834526