Thursday, August 18, 2011

Superannuation and Life and Disablement Insurance

I finally got my job contract and have signed and returned it, so now I have a permanent job. As I discussed, I decided to make no additional contributions to superannuation (retirement) beyond the 17% my employer is contributing. Additional contributions have to come from after tax income as the employer contribution already almost hits the annual $A25k ($US26k) ceiling on pre-tax contributions. As I won't be paying any capital gains tax for a while and franking credits help reduce my tax bill it seems to make sense to invest outside super for the moment. There will be plenty of opportunity to invest extra in super nearer retirement (assuming the laws don't change). The cap on after-tax contributions is $A150k per year and at the moment for over 50s there is a $A50k cap on pre-tax contributions. I'm 46. So from age 50 to 65 I could in theory put $A3 million into super! I don't think I need to make extra contributions now.

I think we will instead increase Snork Maiden's superannuation contributions to the maximum pre-tax level. Currently her employer pays 15.4% on top of her salary. We contribute $A225 every two weeks from pre-tax salary. We could double that to $A450 and stay within the $A25k cap.

I did opt for the maximum life and disability insurance that is allowed by my superannuation provider without providing health information. This would be a lump sum payout of $A255k currently. That declines to $A231k next year and so forth. It makes sense that the number goes down as there are less years of salary to replace and savings will increase at the same time. The premium is $A218 a year for that amount. I'm not a big fan of paying premiums to insurance companies given the insurance company failures I've seen. But this amount made Snork Maiden feel more comfortable.

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