Are you aware of the significant changes to superannuation tax concessions that may impact your retirement planning?
These proposed changes are intended to affect those who have already achieved a large balance, however the proposal will increasingly impact Australians with ambitions for a comfortable retirement in the future.
The proposed changes to superannuation tax concessions aim to bring the tax rate to 30%, up from 15%, on earnings. This additional tax will apply to the proportion of an individual’s Total Super Balance (TSB) that is greater than $3 million.
The TSB value will be calculated based on the total superannuation balances in both the accumulation and retirement phases. Additionally, it will include amounts held in defined benefit funds, while Constitutionally Protected Funds (e.g. West State) will not be subject to the tax.
Although the government stated the new measure would only impact a small number of individuals, it was surprising to see in the announcement the $3m limit will not be indexed. This means significantly more people will be affected over time as inflation erodes this limit in real terms.
The proposal creates concern as the additional tax will apply to both realised and unrealised gains, creating a burden that needs to be paid each year, even if the asset hasn’t been sold. The tax on unrealised gains represents a drastic change from the usual way that investments are taxed. Unlike most investments where the capital gain or loss is realised only on sale, this proposed system would apply tax based on the fluctuations of the market rather than on actual realised value.
Clients who may be particularly impacted are those who hold property portfolios in self-managed funds. Under the new proposed rules, the growth in the estimated market value of property could trigger a higher rate of tax, even if the property isn’t sold. Given the illiquidity of property, this additional tax burden could require heavier drawdowns on more liquid parts of the portfolio to fund this tax and eventually require the forced sale or transfer of the property (with the associated cost).
Although these measures are only proposals and are subject to change, if passed, they may require some family businesses to restructure ahead of the 1 July 2025 start date. It is essential to review your retirement planning and consider how these proposed changes may affect your superannuation strategy.
We encourage you to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns regarding these proposed changes. Our team is here to support you in navigating these changes and ensuring your retirement savings remain on track.