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Podcast: 10 minutes with Shirley Schaefer on superannuation


BDO Superannuation Partner Shirley Schaefer talks to InDaily’s Business Editor Andrew Spence about self-managed super funds, changes to superannuation rules and how to get the most out of your super.

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Schaefer, who leads the superannuation team in Adelaide, says that like the heightened interest in investing during the pandemic, there has also been an increase in people wanting to manage their own superannuation.

“People want to take control of their retirement destiny and that’s what a SMSF provides for them. It gives the control to make those investment decisions much more directly,” she says.

“We would always recommend they get advice about whether it is the right vehicle for them or not but we’ve certainly seen an uptick in the number of clients looking to manage their own super whether it is in the share market, property or other investments as well.”

Changes to super rules are expected to come before parliament as early as this month and once they are passed they could come into effect from July 1 this year.

Schaefer says the most significant of the proposed changes is in relation to the removal of what is known as the work test.

“At the moment you can contribute to super up to age 67 without having to meet a work test. Once you turn 67 you need to work 40 hours in a 30-day consecutive period and you need to meet that work test every year.

“The proposal is that the work test will be removed entirely up to age 75 for both employer contribution and personal after-tax contributions.”

A regulation known as “stapled superannuation” was introduced in November where super funds stay with an employee across their career and move with them when they change jobs rather than the fund being chosen by the employer.

“This has a number of benefits including a significant reduction in fees because you don’t have multiple superannuation accounts and obviously the more superannuation that goes in, the larger the pool, the greater the investment earnings and the faster you can reach your retirement goals,” Schaefer says.

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