Super terms explained

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1 Super terms explained Here is a useful reference guide to some of the terms we use with Super. The guide provides plain English information about Super, but does not give formal legal definitions. For more information, see Accumulation funds A fund to which you, or your employer, contribute regular payments. On retirement, you receive the accumulated contributions made by your employer, plus any made by you, plus interest (less management fees, taxes, etc). Approved deposit fund (ADF) A fund that accepts eligible termination payments after you take early retirement, change jobs or are retrenched. Contributions cannot be made directly to an ADF. Adjusted taxable income (ATI) The income test used to calculate eligibility for the dependency tax offsets. Centrelink also use this test to calculate, for example, family benefits. From 1 July 2009, this test includes reportable employer super contributions. Reportable employer super contributions do not form part of a person's assessable income. After-tax contributions These contributions are made with after-tax money, such as your take-home pay. These are sometimes called 'non-concessional' (as these contributions usually count towards your non-concessional contributions cap), 'personal' (as most after-tax contributions are made by the member) or 'undeducted' (as the contributor can't claim the contribution as an income tax deduction). Age-based limits In , there was a limit on the amount of super contributions you could claim as a deduction. This limit was based on your age on the day that the last contribution was made during the income year. Age-based limits and reasonable benefit limits were replaced by contribution caps from 1 July Age pension If you have reached retirement age, depending on your eligibility, the Australian Government age pension ensures you have an adequate income in your retirement. Allocated pension A regular income provided by a super fund. Annuity Regular payments (fortnightly, monthly or yearly), usually purchased with a lump sum from a life insurance company. Assessable income 1 of 11 11/07/2012 1:19 PM

2 This is a person's ordinary income and statutory income before deductions are taken into account. Reportable employer super contributions do not form part of a person's assessable income, but are added to it for a number of income tests that use expanded definitions of income. Assets test taper rate The rate at which some Centrelink payments are reduced by the value of a person's assets, and in some cases, by their partner's assets. Authority to release excess contributions tax The release authority we send to one or more of your super funds if you did not use the compulsory release authority we provided to withdraw the amount of your excess non-concessional contributions tax from your super. The form is called 'Authority to release excess contributions tax and statement'. Average Weekly Ordinary Times Earnings (AWOTE) The average wage of employees in Australia, published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. It is an annual index used in relation to thresholds and limits for super benefits and Superannuation Guarantee. Before-tax contributions Contributions to super for which the contributor can claim an income tax deduction, such as super guarantee and salary sacrifice contributions made by employers. Contributions by the self-employed, for which they lodge a notice of intent to claim a deduction, are also included. These are sometimes called 'concessional' (as they are included in the member's concessional contributions), 'taxable' (as the fund must include them in its assessable income and pay tax on them) or 'deducted' contributions (because the contributor may claim an income tax deduction. Benefits The amount you are paid as a super income stream, lump sum or a combination. Benefits tax The tax paid on benefits taken from super, either by way of a lump sum or a pension. From 1 July 2007, if you are aged 60 or over, benefits you receive from a 'taxed source' will be tax free and not subject to this tax. Complying superannuation fund A complying super fund has: elected to be regulated complied with the regulatory provisions as defined in the Superannuation Industry (Supervision ) Act 1993 (SISA) has not received a notice of non-compliance. Complying super funds that meet SISA standards qualify for a concessional tax rate of 15%. Compulsory contributions Compulsory contributions are employer super contributions that an employer must make to meet their obligations under any of the following: super guarantee law an industrial agreement the trust deed or governing rules of a super fund a federal, state or territory law. Compulsory release authority We send you this release authority if we give you an excess non-concessional contributions tax assessment. You must use the 2 of 11 11/07/2012 1:19 PM

3 compulsory release authority to withdraw the amount of your excess non-concessional contributions tax assessment from your super within 21 days after the date on the release authority. The form is called Compulsory release authority for excess contributions tax and statement. Concessional contributions Generally, these are employer contributions and personal contributions that you notify your fund you intend to claim as an income tax deduction. Employer contributions include super guarantee contributions and contributions made under a salary sacrifice arrangement. These contributions are taxed at 15% as they enter the fund, which is often referred to as contributions tax. Concessional contributions are sometimes called before-tax contributions. Concessional contributions cap The limit on the amount of concessional contributions you can make each year before you must pay extra tax. For the current concessional contributions cap refer to key superannuation rates and thresholds. Contributions tax The 15% tax payable on some contributions paid into a super fund. Your super fund usually reduces your super account by your share of this tax. Deducted contributions Super contributions which you (if self-employed) or your employer claim as an income tax deduction. Defined benefit fund or scheme A super fund with at least one defined benefit member. A defined benefit member is a member whose entitlement to super benefits from the fund is defined by: a reference to salary a specified amount, or specified conversion factors. Contributions to the fund for the defined benefit members are not paid to the fund or accumulated in the fund for any individual member. They are paid to and accumulated in the fund in the form of an aggregate amount. Dependents People who need your financial or domestic support. These can include a spouse, a de facto, a child, or a person in your care. Early retirement scheme An early retirement scheme is a scheme approved by us, which allows you to offer an incentive for certain groups of employees to retire early or resign. Eligible termination payment A lump sum benefit made before 1 July 2007 by: a super fund to a person because they, or another person, were a member of a super fund, approved deposit fund (ADF) or a depositor with a retirement savings account (RSA), 3 of 11 11/07/2012 1:19 PM

4 an employer to an employee, as a result of the termination of employment, or a super fund or an employer after the death of the person who was a fund member or an employee. Eligible termination payments can generally be rolled over into a super fund, ADF or RSA if the recipient elects to do so. An eligible termination payment also includes a lump sum paid when a pension or annuity is converted to cash or the residual capital value is paid at the end of a pension or annuity term. Employment termination payment (ETP) A lump sum paid to you when your employment is terminated. These payments must be made within 12 months of termination, and usually receive concessional income tax treatment. Employment termination payment cap amount This is a limit on the amount of an employment termination payment that qualifies for a lower rate of tax. Employment termination payment - tax-free component The tax-free component of an employment termination payment consists of: the invalidity segment of the payment, and the pre-july 83 segment of the payment. Employment termination payment - taxable component The taxable component of an employment termination payment is the amount of the payment less the tax-free component of the payment. Employer contribution This is a contribution employers make for their employees to a super fund. It includes salary sacrificed amounts. These are deductible (subject to certain rules) to employers and are assessable contributions to the super fund. Employer contributions are not assessable income to their employees. This means that they are not: included in the gross payments on an employee's payment summary, or subject to PAYG withholding tax. Excess contributions Contributions to your super fund that go over the relevant yearly cap. Excess concessional contributions The amount of your concessional contributions in a financial year which exceed your concessional contributions cap. Excess concessional contributions tax A tax of 31.5% on your contributions over the concessional contributions cap. You must pay this tax, but you can use the release authority we give you to ask your super fund to release money to pay it. Excess non-concessional contributions The amount of your non-concessional contributions in a financial year which exceed your non-concessional contributions cap. Excess concessional contributions (see above) are also counted towards this limit. Excess non-concessional contributions tax A tax of 46.5% on your contributions over the non-concessional contributions cap. You must pay this tax, using the release 4 of 11 11/07/2012 1:19 PM

5 authority we give you to get your super fund to release an amount equal to the tax. Fund-capped contribution limit The maximum amount your fund can accept of any single fund-capped contribution. The limits are: Age at 1 July If the member is 65 years of age but less than 75 on 1 July of the financial year. If the member is 64 years of age or less on 1 July of the financial year. Fund-capped contribution limit The non-concessional contributions cap for that financial year. Three times the non-concessional contributions cap for that financial year. Your fund must return the excess amount within 30 days. However, your fund cannot return all or part of a contribution because you would otherwise have an excess contributions tax assessment. Funded defined benefit fund A fund that receives employer contributions, usually annually. These contributions are not allocated to any individual members, but are combined in the fund. Personal contributions may also be made to these funds. Inactive account of unidentifiable member (insoluble lost member account) This is a lost member super account that has been inactive for a period of five years, the super provider is satisfied that it will never be possible to pay an amount to the member and the account is not a defined benefit fund. Depending on the type of fund, funds must report and pay these accounts to the ATO as unclaimed super. For more information, see Unclaimed superannuation money. Income tests Many government benefits are income tested and the income used varies depending on the entitlement or liability being calculated. From 1 July 2009 there have been changes to a number of income tests. For more information see Income tests and how they affect you. Life benefit termination payment A life benefit termination payment is an employment termination payment made as a result of a person's termination of employment, other than as a result of death. Lost member Where a fund can't contact a member, or a contribution has not been received on behalf of the member for the last five years, or a member transferred from another super fund as a lost member, that person is referred to as a 'lost member' (subject to certain other conditions). All funds must report lost members' details to the ATO, and generally a lost member's super remains with their super fund. From 1 July 2010, funds must report and pay lost member accounts to the ATO if the balance is less than $200 (small lost account), or the account is inactive for a period of five years and the provider is satisfied that it will never be possible to pay an amount to the member (insoluble lost member account), and the account does not support or relate to a defined benefit interest. If the member finds the account and the balance is less than $200, if the provider still holds the account the member may have it paid to them tax-free or transfer it to another super account they hold. For more information, see Lost members register - for super providers. Maximum contribution base 5 of 11 11/07/2012 1:19 PM

6 If an employer does not make sufficient super guarantee contributions for an employee, the employee's salary or wages are used to determine the employee's superannuation guarantee shortfall. For this calculation, the employee's salary or wages are limited to the maximum contribution base (indexed each year). From 1 July 2008 all employers must determine their minimum superannuation guarantee obligation using an employee's ordinary time earnings. The amount of the employee's ordinary time earnings is limited to the maximum contribution base. Member contributions Contributions to a super fund made by anyone but your employer. They may be personal member contributions (made by you) or non-personal member contributions (made by someone other than you or your employer). Non-concessional contributions Generally, these are contributions your fund does not pay tax on because you have paid tax already. These include personal contributions that you are not allowed as a personal super deduction and contributions made by your spouse to your super account on your behalf. They are sometimes called after-tax contributions. For more information on what amounts count towards your non-concessional contributions, see Excess contributions tax and how funds report your contributions. Non-concessional contributions cap The limit on the amount of non-concessional contributions you can make each year before you pay extra tax. For the current non-concessional contributions cap see key superannuation rates and thresholds. Notional taxed contributions Since contributions into defined benefit funds are not always linked to individual members, a notional amount of employer contributions is calculated to reflect the increase to the member's benefit for the year. This is the equivalent of an employer contribution, so this amount counts towards the member's concessional contributions cap. Ordinary time earnings (OTE) Ordinary time earnings are what employees earn for their ordinary hours of work including over-award payments, bonuses, commissions, allowances and certain paid leave. An employee's ordinary hours of work are the hours specified as his or her ordinary hours of work under the relevant award or agreement that governs the employee's conditions of employment. If ordinary hours of work are not specified, the ordinary hours of work are the normal, regular, usual or customary hours worked by the employee. For more information about what is included or excluded from ordinary time earnings, see Checklist for salary or wages and ordinary time earnings. Pension age The pension age is 65 for men and 63 years and six months for women, gradually rising to 65 for women by Personal deductible super contributions The personal super contributions that a person claims as an income tax deduction on their tax return if they meet certain eligibility criteria. As a general rule, employees cannot claim an income tax deduction for personal super contributions in an income year where more than 10% of their income is attributable to activities as an employee. Personal super contribution Personal contributions an employee pays into their super fund from their after-tax (net) income. Preservation age The age when you can access your super benefits. Preservation age will rise from 55 to 60 between 2015 and This will 6 of 11 11/07/2012 1:19 PM

7 mean that for someone born before 1 July 1960, their preservation age is 55 years, while for someone born after 30 June 1964, their preservation age will be 60. Reasonable benefit limits (RBLs) A cap on the amount of super and similar benefits that you can receive on a concessionally-taxed basis up until 30 June RBLs were abolished from 1 July 2007 but continue to apply to super benefits paid up to 30 June Release authority An ATO form that you use to authorise a super fund to release an amount from your super account. We must give you a release authority for the amount of your excess concessional or non-concessional contributions tax as soon as practicable after making an excess contributions tax assessment. If the assessment is for excess non-concessional contributions tax you must use the release authority to withdraw the amount of the excess non-concessional contributions tax within 21 days of the date on the release authority. Release authority statement A statement from a super fund which documents a benefit payment paid because the fund received a release authority from either their member or the ATO. The fund must give the release authority statement to the ATO and a copy to the member within 30 days of paying the benefit. Reportable employer super contributions (RESC) The amount of employer super contributions influenced or able to be influenced by an employee that are: above compulsory employer contributions not included in the employee's assessable income. Reportable fringe benefits amount If an employer provides fringe benefits with a total taxable value of more than $2,000 to an employee in a year, the employer must report the grossed-up taxable value of the benefits on the employee's payment summary. For example, a fringe benefit with a taxable value of $2, is a reportable fringe benefit amount of $3,738. For more information about how to calculate the grossed-up taxable value refer to Reportable fringe benefits - facts for employees. Reportable super contributions Reportable super contributions are the sum of reportable employer super contributions and personal deductible super contributions. Reversionary income stream An income stream which, on your death, continues to be paid to your nominated beneficiary. Rollover superannuation benefit A rollover superannuation benefit is: a super lump sum or a super member benefit and it is paid from a complying super plan it is a superannuation lump sum and a superannuation member benefit and it is paid from a complying superannuation fund or is an unclaimed super payment or arises from the commutation of a superannuation annuity, and it is not a superannuation benefit of a kind specified in the regulations, ie it is not a benefit arising from the commutation of a super income stream paid to a person because of the death of another person who is not their spouse it is paid to a complying superannuation plan or to an entity to purchase a superannuation annuity. Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) 7 of 11 11/07/2012 1:19 PM

8 A RSA is an account offered by banks, building societies, credit unions, life insurance companies and prescribed financial institutions. RSA are similar to a super fund. Salary sacrifice contributions This is when you arrange for your employer to pay part of your before-tax salary into your super account for you. These contributions are employer contributions and count toward your concessional contributions cap. Super contributions your employer makes for you under a salary sacrifice arrangement are reportable employer super contributions. Salary or wages Under super guarantee law, salary or wages generally includes any payment an employer makes to a person in return for either: work services labour under a contract. Small lost member account A superannuation account that is a lost member account with a balance that is less than $200 and is not a defined benefit fund. Depending on the type of fund, funds must report and pay these accounts to the ATO as unclaimed superannuation money. For more information see Unclaimed superannuation money. Superannuation benefit A superannuation benefit may be paid as either a superannuation lump sum or superannuation income stream benefit. A superannuation benefit is: a payment made by a superannuation fund, retirement savings account (RSA) or approved deposit fund a small superannuation account payment - payment from Superannuation Holding Account (SHA) special account to an individual unclaimed super payment paid to an individual superannuation co-contribution payment paid to an individual superannuation guarantee payment paid to an individual superannuation annuity payment A superannuation benefit may be a: member benefit if it is paid to a person in their own right, or death benefit if it is paid after the death of another person. A superannuation benefit also includes a contributions-splitting superannuation payment or a family law superannuation payment. Super co-contribution The super co-contribution is a government measure to boost super savings. For more information see Super co-contributions. Super contribution 8 of 11 11/07/2012 1:19 PM

9 This is made to a super fund or a retirement savings account to provide super benefits for a person. This is regardless of whether the benefits are payable to the person's dependents if the person dies before or after becoming entitled to receive the benefits. Super guarantee contributions The Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 sets out the minimum amount of employer super contributions an employer must make for an employee. The minimum amount of employer super contributions is currently 9% of the employee's ordinary time earnings. Super income stream A regular series of payments from a super fund that meets the requirements of the SIS Regulations. Super interest Superannuation interest means: an interest in a superannuation fund an interest in an approved deposit fund an interest in an RSA an interest in a superannuation annuity. A superannuation interest is generally any amount, benefit or entitlement which a member holds in a fund. The total value of a member's superannuation interest at a particular time is the total amount of all superannuation lump sums, benefits or entitlements that could be payable from the interest at a particular time. Typically this is the member's total account balance in the fund. Super lump sum A superannuation lump sum is a superannuation benefit taken as a lump sum payment rather than as an income stream. Taxable contributions Contributions to a super fund that are subject to the 15% 'contributions tax'. These concessional contributions include employer contributions, salary sacrifice contributions and personal contributions for which you have notified your fund of your intention to claim an income tax deduction. Taxed source A 'taxed source' is a super fund where tax is paid on contributions and earnings. Most people have their super accounts in taxed funds. Tax file number (TFN) The unique identifying number issued to you by the ATO. Transitional concessional contributions cap For the period 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2012, people who are 50 years old or over in a financial year are entitled to a transitional 9 of 11 11/07/2012 1:19 PM

10 concessional contributions cap for that year. Concessional cap Transitional concessional cap $25,000 (indexed) $50,000 (not indexed) and $50,000 $100,000 Transitional non-concessional contributions cap Between 10 May 2006 and 30 June 2007 you could make up to $1 million in non-concessional contributions without being liable for excess non-concessional contributions tax. Employer contributions above your age-based deduction limit for each employer also counted towards this cap. Transitional release authority If you made concessional contributions in excess of the $1 million transitional non-concessional contributions cap between 10 May and 6 December 2006 inclusive, you could request a Transitional release authority from the ATO to withdraw the amount of the excess non-concessional contributions made in this period so you did not have to pay excess contributions tax on the amount withdrawn. You had to request the Transitional release authority before 1 July Transition to retirement Since 1 July 2005, people who have reached their preservation age can withdraw part of their super benefits as an income stream while they are still working. This income stream can be no more than 10% of their super account balance per year. Unclaimed super There are five types of unclaimed superannuation money, for: a member aged 65 or older a non member spouse a deceased member a former temporary resident a member with a small and/or insoluble lost member account. Depending on the type of fund, funds must report and pay unclaimed super to the ATO or the relevant state or territory authority - unclaimed super should not remain in the fund. For more information see: Unclaimed superannuation money - for superannuation providers, and Unclaimed superannuation money Undeducted contributions Money you have contributed to super for which a tax deduction has not been claimed. Unfunded defined benefit fund A fund in which member benefits are not financed until just before they become payable to the member. At this time the benefits are generally sourced from the employer of the member. These funds mostly apply to government employees. Untaxed source An 'untaxed' source is typically a government fund for public servants. As amounts have not been accumulating in a fund, contributions and earnings taxes have not been paid. 10 of 11 11/07/2012 1:19 PM

11 Voluntary release authority The release authority we send you if we give you an excess concessional contributions tax assessment. You don't have to use the voluntary release authority to withdraw the amount of your excess concessional contributions tax assessment from your super but you can choose to do so (it might assist you with paying the tax). The full name of the form is Voluntary release authority for excess contributions tax and statement. Work test A test that requires a person to have worked at least 40 hours within 30 consecutive days in a financial year. Once you turn 65 you must meet the work test for your fund to accept any contributions for you (including employer contributions, personal contributions, spouse contributions and government co-contributions). The relevant provision with regards to conditions for accepting contributions is Reg 7.04(1) of SISR which provides that a fund may accept contributions for a member as follows: under 65 - no restrictions 65 to under 70 - mandated employer contributions, and if a work test is met, non-mandated employer and member contributions and payments from a First Home Saver Account 70 to under 75 - mandated employer contributions, and if a work test is met, non-mandated employer and personal member contributions 75 and over - mandated employer contributions. Last Modified: Thursday, 15 November 2007 Our commitment to you We are committed to providing you with accurate, consistent and clear information to help you understand your rights and entitlements and meet your obligations. If you follow our information and it turns out to be incorrect, or it is misleading and you make a mistake as a result, we will take that into account when determining what action, if any, we should take. Some of the information on this website applies to a specific financial year. This is clearly marked. Make sure you have the information for the right year before making decisions based on that information. If you feel that our information does not fully cover your circumstances, or you are unsure how it applies to you, contact us or seek professional advice. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia This work is copyright. You may download, display, print and reproduce this material in unaltered form only (retaining this notice) for your personal, non-commercial use or use within your organisation. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, all other rights are reserved. Requests for further authorisation should be directed to the Commonwealth Copyright Administration, Copyright Law Branch, Attorney-General s Department, Robert Garran Offices, National Circuit, BARTON ACT 2600 or posted at 11 of 11 11/07/2012 1:19 PM

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