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Time to check your super

THE current turmoil on world sharemarkets is bad news for all investors but it’s especially unwelcome if retirement is looming on the horizon.
Nanjing Night Net

The lead-up to retirement is the time to think about how to get the most from your superannuation savings.

Around 80 per cent of working Australians have their super invested in a balanced fund, which typically holds around 70 per cent of its investments in shares.

This being the case, your super will be feeling the brunt of today’s sharemarket volatility. However there are good reasons to keep your nest egg in the superannuation environment once you retire.

Taking your super as a lump sum may be helpful if you need to pay off debts like your home loan. But using the money to invest in, say, term deposits or other non-super assets, doesn’t make sense because you’re shifting money out of a very tax-friendly environment and into a far higher tax environment.

Another option is to use your super to purchase what’s called an “account-based” pension.

Investing in one of these pensions, previously known as allocated pensions, involves swapping a lump sum of super for a regular series of payments. It provides an income stream much like the wage or salary you’ve earned during your working life, usually with options to receive payments monthly, quarterly or annually.

Investors have the freedom to access lump sum withdrawals and you can broadly choose where your money is invested.

However one of the key benefits of this type of investment is that your money remains in the super system, and that means valuable tax savings.

But there are drawbacks. The amount you can withdraw annually must fit within government guidelines. And importantly, your pension account can be prematurely exhausted — either by drawing down too much money each year, or if the underlying investments generate poor returns.

Choosing a share-based pension can mean your investment enjoys healthy long-term returns. Though as we’ve seen in recent weeks the sharemarket can be extremely volatile, dishing up substantial gains or losses over the short term.

On the flipside, underpinning an account-based pension with more conservative investment choices may not provide the long-term capital growth your money needs to last through retirement.

There are over 350 superannuation funds and the majority offer account-based pensions.

To help retirees cut through the clutter, research group Canstar Cannex has compiled a rating of account-based pension funds, which you can find at canstar南京夜网.au.

While the Canstar report is a useful starting point, the decision on how to invest your super savings is critical to the quality of your retirement.

Seeking professional advice is something I would urge all pre-retirees to consider – super is a complex area and you want to make sure you’re on the right financial track.

Paul Clitheroe is a founding director of financial planning firm ipac, chairman of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board and chief commentator for Money magazine.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Sports community in shock

WAGGA’S rugby league and kickboxing communities have been shocked by the sudden death of Jason Plum.
Nanjing Night Net

Mr Plum, a relative of Penrith Panthers player Nigel Plum, played several sports at the top level locally and was most recently on the coaching staff of Brothers rugby league club.

A former personal trainer at Workout Gym, he was Brothers’ fitness coach during the 2010 season.

Brothers secretary Riley Mullins said it was sad to see the end of a young life.

“He was on board last year and became pretty close with a lot of the boys through training,” Mr Mullins said.

“It’s a big loss … he was a good contributor to the football club.

“I was just at the game (prior to Brothers running out against Cootamundra yesterday) and a lot of the boys were pretty upset.”

Mr Plum played much of his football for Brothers’ cross-town rival Wagga Kangaroos although he has not been part of that club for five or six years.

Kangaroos secretary Geoff Honey struggled to find words to describe the impact the death would have on the rugby league community.

“It’s a tragedy one of our past players has come to this,” Mr Honey said.

“Our thoughts go out to his family.

— DAILY ADVERTISER

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.