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Doctors And Super: Should You Top Up Before 30 June?

By now you may be familiar with the reduced super contribution limits that will kick in on 1 July 2017.

To refresh your memory, the concessional contribution limit will reduce to $25,000 p.a. irrespective of your age and the non-concessional limit will reduce to $100,000 p.a. or $300,000 if you bring forward 3 years (down from $180,000 p.a. or $540,000 over 3 years).

For many doctors this has raised questions about whether you should be making large super contributions before this deadline, in particular after-tax or non-concessional contributions.

This is certainly reminiscent of a few years ago when there was a short-term window where you could contribute $1m to super. Some people ended up taking out a loan to ‘shovel’ as much into super as they could prior to the deadline.

So what about this time? Should you try and contribute as much as you can?

Let’s look at a few considerations.

Availability of funds

Do you have access to a few hundred of thousands of dollars in cash, perhaps from the sale of an asset or an inheritance? Will you require those funds for another purpose in the short to medium term? Consider the preservation of the funds in super – you need to be mindful of the age when you can access your benefits.

If you are considering borrowing the funds, remember that the interest will not be tax-deductible. How long will it be before you can repay the loan, for example when needing to sell an asset? Always seek advice before resorting to this strategy.

Age

The younger you are when you make the contribution, the longer before you will be able to access the funds, and the greater the legislative risk you will be exposed to. Undoubtedly, the superannuation legislation will continue to be subject to change, which may restrict access to your benefits in the future.

Risk

If you decide to contribute the funds or have already done so, be mindful of the investment risk you are taking. Will you be investing the funds all at once or drip-feed them in via a dollar-cost-averaging strategy? There is nothing worse than to see you funds being decimated early on due to bad returns.

Overall position

What is overall wealth position? Do you have sufficient funds you can access outside of super, in the event of an emergency or if you would like to retire before you can access your super? You also need to be mindful of the $1.6m pension transfer cap, which limits the amount of funds you can tax-effectively hold in super.

These are just a few issues you will need to consider in light of your personal circumstances. Before making any large super contributions, prior to 30 June or after, you should always seek specialist advice, and consider any previous contributions made, to make sure you don’t exceed the caps.

Please contact me on 08 6160 5918 or yves@affluenceprivate.com.au if you wanted to discuss your options before 30 June.


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