It’s New Year’s Eve and time to pop the champers! Ok, so it might not be the NYE you would usually celebrate and I doubt crowds are gathering in Times Square, but it’s the day before the new financial year and there is a bit to get happy about.
As of tomorrow, the superannuation for all employees earning more than $450 a month will go up a bit. Today you get 9% of your pay going into super, tomorrow it rises to 9.25%. Doesn’t seem like much, but it will mean a difference of several thousand dollars by the time you get to spend it. The plan is for your super to go up to 12% by mid 2019, so you can expect at least an extra $100,000 more in your nest egg than what it would’ve been before the increase starts.
Tomorrow also sees the introduction of laws governing payments to financial planners. If you make an appointment with a planner from Monday, they can no longer accept payment in the form of commissions from investments that they recommend to you. For decades there has been a big conflict of interest for a financial planner who takes commissions from fund managers. Why would they recommend you put your dosh in an investment that they wouldn’t receive money from? Well, the simple answer is that they should have been advising what you do based on what is in your best interests, not based on what is best to line their pockets. Now financial planners are much more conflict-free (but not entirely as the system still isn’t perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot better).
As with everything related to money, there’s a catch. Both these news changes depend on the Rudd government being re-elected. Tony Abbott has been saying for years that he will overturn the laws that see financial planners being made more accountable. And recently he announced that super payments made on behalf of millions of Aussies will be frozen at 9.25% for two years. Given that he has said in parliament that he believes superannuation to be a con job, my fear is that he would freeze contributions at that level indefinitely, as John Howard did when he became Prime Minister.
So you’d better get blotto while you can as the hangover may be a doozy.