Federal Election Day is six days away. Yes, superannuation is back in the news. Last week on nation affairs commentator said it was to be ‘$ raised’ after the election.
Five years ago I wrote about superannuation rules have a "proclivity to change" as it is highly politicised as it amounts to a "bewildering amount of money" so say a multitude of financial analysts and once again, its borne out in a recent claim.
At that time, I quoted the News.com article - "The Budget looks set to add $1 billion to the tax bill of the richest superannuation savers by putting an end to the 15 per cent flat tax on contributions. And the Government will challenge the Opposition to reject this means-testing measure which will affect only the top income earners."
By the end of 2009, which was then two and a half years previous, Australia was deemed to have the world's fifth largest Superannuation to the value of $1.2 trillion. That is more money than many of the world's third countries have in total.
The Australian Taxation Office web site describes Superannuation as: "Super is money set aside over your lifetime to provide for your retirement. For most people, super begins when you start work and your employer starts paying super for you. You can also build your super with your own contributions to take advantage of super's favourable tax treatment."
Mercy of the markets
"Super funds" are at the mercy of the markets. The GFC saw losses in the true value of superannuation funds. I was personally aware of numerous situations as individuals spoke to him privately.
It was nothing secret as the media was all over the story with news items week after week, detailing in robust language, how much the value of super funds had dropped. Some of his contacts lost up to half the value of their super funds and it's no small measure to claw back those values.
It takes many years. Their superannuation savings built up over thirty or more years, then simply dissipated. Strange as it might seem, with all the furore surrounding President Donald Trump, he might, as it's said, “there arises a man for such a season” and his fiscal policies may save a drama. .
The baby boomer generation of Australians who have retired and have made choices as to where to house their superannuation nest egg – increasingly that nest egg is substantial, but right now - no wind-fall. This means there is enough money to engage in one or two, maybe a third investment, all to the idea of providing enough monies week by week to maintain the lifestyle they have enjoyed during their working life.
This is where financial planners come into the picture. They advise, but the final decision is that of the superannuate. After dinner 'current affair television programs' have littered the viewing waves with story after story of retires who have taken such measures and found themselves penniless. Some have even lost their homes. Every one of us have said - “it will never happen to me"!
Superannuation in reality has proven to be no golden egg for many Australians, and indeed, smarter Aussies too!
The Scriptures are replete with warnings regarding nest eggs and being dependent upon them. Superannuation is a tricky business. One way forward is the philosophy of that of spending the kid's inheritance commonly referred to as KISS. They proceed to spend until it lasts or at least, until poor health steps in.
Another way forward is that of investing in eternal values as to where such monies might be utilised for the benefit of evangelism and Kingdom values. Some have purchased a house and then gifted leased it to Missions in order that they can benefit from its use. Some have lent large amounts of money to Churches and Christian agencies for projects and in good time will receive their monies back. In the meantime, their superannuation has been phenomenally Kingdom orientated. And many other such similar outcomes and Kingdom practical ideas.
Moreover, Australian Government "Aid" to the third world - some dare to say is something along such lines - although the parallels are by no means exact, and it's why so many Christian Australians ‘press government’ for increasing such foreign aid.
Dr Mark Tronson - a 4 min video
Chairman – Well-Being Australia
Baptist Minister 45 years
- 1984 - Australian cricket team chaplain 17 years (Ret)
- 2001 - Life After Cricket (18 years Ret)
- 2009 - Olympic Ministry Medal – presented by Carl Lewis
- 2019 - The Gutenberg - (ARPA Christian Media premier award)
Gutenberg video - 2min 14sec
Married to Delma for 45 years with 4 children and 6 grand children