‘Catch-up’ contributions proposed in budget
The government has proposed the introduction of catch-up concessional superannuation contributions by allowing unused concessional contribution caps to be carried forward – however, there are notable limitations.
From 1 July 2017, the government plans to allow taxpayers with a super balance of less than $500,000 to utilise a rolling concessional contributions cap for a period of five consecutive years. The unused portion of the concessional contribution cap can be accrued and carried forward.
“The basis for these changes is to allow for people with interrupted work patterns to benefit through periods of time where they may have an ability to catch up if they have a capacity to do so,” said the SMSF Academy’s managing director Aaron Dunn.
While this is a step in the right direction for flexibility, some are questioning the adequacy of the five-year window proposed by the government.
“Very pleased that they’ve introduced this carry forward measure. [However, we] would’ve preferred an unlimited carry forward provision,” said PwC director of private clients, Liz Westover.
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) was also openly sceptical of the five-year time frame.
“The changes to the flexibility caps will allow women, in particular, who currently retire with less than half the superannuation of men, to catch up. However, the restriction of a five-year period for the calculation of previously unused cap amounts restricts the effectiveness of this,” said ASFA chief executive Pauline Vamos.