So you've got a little spare cash?
Not sure whether you should repay your mortgage sooner and pay extra in to super?
Which is the best option?
A lot of people wait until their home loan is paid off before investing more in super. However, if you are currently making more than the minimum home loan repayments, you may be better off when you retire if you make additional super contributions instead.
There are two key reasons why topping up your super could be a better option.
The first is that home loan repayments are usually made with after-tax money. Alternatively, super contributions can be made with pre-tax dollars (if you’re an employee) or claimed as a tax deduction (if you’re self-employed and meet other eligibility requirements). These concessions can help you use your surplus cash flow more effectively.
The other reason is the amount of concessional super contributions* you can make each year is far lower than it used to be. As a result, it has become much more difficult to make large tax-effective super contributions just before you retire.
To achieve the retirement lifestyle you desire, you may need to make additional super contributions earlier than you had planned. That way you can take greater advantage of the contribution cap over the remainder of your working life.
Max is 45, earns $100,000 pa, plus 9.5% Superannuation Guarantee contributions from his employer and wants to retire at 60. He owns a home worth $700,000 and owes $300,000 on his mortgage. The remaining term is 15 years and the minimum loan repayment is $2,696 per month.
He’s considering the following two options:
The table below shows the results from both options. In this scenario, it’s estimated Max could retire with his mortgage still paid off and an extra $127,995 in super.
Assumptions: Home loan interest rate is 7% pa. Total pre-tax investment return is 8.1% pa (split 3.2% income and 4.9% growth). Investment income is franked at 30%. Salary is not indexed. SG contributions are increased progressively to 12% by 2025/26 as legislated. CC cap is increased by $5,000 in 2018/19, 2022/23, 2026/27, 2030/31 and 2033/34. Earnings in super are taxed at 15%. No allowance has been made for CGT that would be payable if the investments were redeemed.
Click here for a calculator that helps you work out if you are better off putting spare money into your super or your mortgage.
Key Issues To Consider
Will you need access to any of the money before you retire?
While making additional concessional contributions could help you retire with more super, it’s important to consider whether you’ll need access to the money before you meet certain conditions. A key benefit of making extra home loan repayments is the money can usually be accessed at any time through a redraw facility or offset account.
What's your current age and work status?
If you’re 55 or older**** and intend to keep working, you may want to use some of your super to start a Transition to Retirement pension. This could provide you with additional income that could be used to make extra super contributions.
How much investment risk is right for you?
Making additional mortgage repayments is considered a low risk financial strategy and provides savings through lower interest costs. It may be more appropriate for you. But if you’re prepared to take a moderate degree of investment risk, making additional concessional contributions could be worthwhile.
The Bottom Line
This super contribution strategy may be an effective way to boost retirement savings, but it won’t suit everyone and the results will depend on your circumstances, including your age, risk profile and when you’ll need access to your funds.
To find out more, contact us.
*Concessional contributions are all employer contributions (including Superannuation Guarantee and salary sacrifice), personal contributions claimed as a tax deduction and certain other amounts. Currently, the cap on concessional contributions is $35,000 per financial year if you were aged 49 or over on 30 **June in the previous financial year, otherwise it’s $30,000 per financial year.
Non-concessional contributions include contributions made from your after-tax pay or savings into your own or spouse’s super account and certain other amounts.
3. These figures ignore Max’s existing super balance.
****The minimum age at which a Transition to Retirement Pension can be started may be higher than 55, depending on your date of birth.
Important information and disclaimer
Any advice in this publication is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Accordingly, reliance should not be placed on the information contained in this document as the basis for making any financial investment, insurance or other decision. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information.
Information in this publication is accurate as at the date of writing, May 2015. In some cases the information has been provided to us by third parties. While it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, the accuracy of that information is not guaranteed in any way.
Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue and are subject to change. AspectFP Dealer Services, nor their employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy, not accept any responsibility for errors or omissions in this document.
Case studies in this publication are for illustration purposes only. The investment returns shown in any case studies in this publication are hypothetical examples only and do not reflect the historical or future returns of any specific financial products. Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns as future returns may differ from and be more or less volatile than past returns.
Any general tax information provided in this publication is intended as a guide only and is based on our general understanding of taxation laws. It is not intended to be a substitute for specialised taxation advice or an assessment of your liabilities, obligations or claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under taxation law, and we recommend you consult with a registered tax agent.