It’s Federal Budget time, one of the few occasions most Australians sit up and listen to what’s going on in Canberra.
Without doubt, most of us are interested in a personal tax cut. Power and petrol bills are high, as is the cost of housing, and every extra cent in our pockets can help make life a little easier.
Short-term relief is great, but what about the bigger picture, particularly when it comes to planning for your children’s inheritance?
Next to the family home, superannuation is the most important investment most of us will make.
Our super nest egg not only helps pay for our retirement, but increasingly, it’s a significant portion of what we hand to our children as inheritance after we die.
You might not know it, but your superannuation is also an insurance policy, and changes announced today could threaten your children’s inheritance, depending on how well your estate is managed.
This will particularly impact young people, people who work in casual jobs and those who’ve changed careers.
We’re talking about forced superannuation roll-overs. Under today’s budget, all inactive superannuation accounts with balances of less than $6000 will be transferred to the Australian Tax Office and those balances “actively reunited” with active super accounts.
Sounds great! The government doing the hard work for me and reuniting our lost super.
But there’s a catch. Those super policies usually come with a death benefit, and for many of us, that death benefit was vital to providing our partners and children with some security in the event of our early death, and far outweighed any money we held in that account in the first place.
Here’s a hypothetical:
A young couple in their mid-20s, their first child on the way and a modest house on a variable rate mortgage. They both work in highly casualised industries; the husband as a tradesman’s assistant, and the wife in retail.
Over the years they’ve had a few different employers, which means they’ve each got a couple of different super funds. The husband, a FIFO worker, has three. Two have been inactive for years and only have a few thousand dollars in each.
Sadly, the husband is killed in a workplace accident. He had no life insurance policy, and the economic realities hit home hard for his family, who still have a mortgage to pay.
Luckily, two of his super funds held death benefits, meaning his wife receives a payout of $500,000 – just enough to pay off the mortgage with a little set aside for their child’s education.
Under changes announced today, those extra super funds would be rolled over and those death benefits potentially lost.
This change will impact tens of thousands of Australians, even more so those that don’t have a proper estate plan in place.
Wills and estates aren’t just for old people.
If you don’t have a proper estate plan in place, now is the time to speak to an estate planning specialist at Welden & Coluccio Lawyers.