Finance

Many employers pocket super benefits, study shows

A new study has found that many employers are effectively pocketing some or all of the benefits of employees who salary sacrifice super contributions from lower incomes.

The analysis, undertaken by Industry Super Australia and Construction and Building Unions Superannuation (Cbus), showed an estimated 2.4 million Australians are not being paid their legal super entitlements.

Raising standards for financial advisers will help rebuild trust, say seniors

Seniors have welcomed the introduction into parliament of legislation lifting professional standards for financial advisers.

National Seniors Chief Executive Dagmar Parsons said that raising the mandatory professional and educational standards of financial advisers was long overdue.

“Access to quality financial advice is vital for older Australians seeking to manage their lifetime savings, especially for those nearing or in retirement who have limited opportunity to recover from losses,” Ms Parsons said.

Scammers active in spring racing

Australian gamblers are being alerted about confidence tricksters on the hunt for more victims during the Spring Racing Season.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said that Australians have lost over $1 million to con artists pushing sports investment scams so far in 2016.

Betting and sports investment scams convince victims to invest in ‘foolproof’ systems or software that can 'guarantee' a profit on sporting events. These scams are often promoted as a legitimate investment.

Plan now for pension assets test changes

National Seniors is urging its members to check if they will be impacted by the Age Pension assets test which comes into force from 1 January 2017.

Media reports this week have said that affected pensioners will not be officially notified until Centrelink sends them a letter shortly before Christmas.

National Seniors Chief Executive Dagmar Parsons said some older people are very anxious and need help to understand how the changes will affect them, so they can consider their options.

Saving for retirement stresses workers

The need to save for retirement is a key reason for financial stress in Australian workers.

New research by AMP for its 2016 Financial Wellness report shows that workers’ confidence in their finances has declined in the past two years, from 54 per cent of people confident in 2014, compared to 48 per cent in 2016.

AMP spokesperson Vicki Doyle said financial stress was common in the Australian workers with over 2.8 million employees, or one in four, under financial stress in 2016.  

The end of tax time looms

The Australian Taxation Office is urging taxpayers to get their 2016 tax returns in now ahead of the 31 October deadline for people who lodge their own returns.

Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte said that while more than 7.8 million people have lodged so far and the ATO has already issue 5.9 million refunds, there were still millions of taxpayers yet to lodge a return.

Mr Whyte said that MyTax, the ATO’s online lodgement service, contained pre-filled information, fully integrated tools and calculators and was safe to use.

Superannuation Reform Package Exposure Bills

National Seniors has restated concerns about the proposed objective of superannuation and calls on the Federal Government to undertake further work to develop an objective that will better shape future superannuation policy. 

Submission on Objective of Superannuation Discussion Paper

National Seniors recommends the legislated objective clearly state the purpose of superannuation as supplementing the Age Pension and other voluntary savings, with wording that includes ‘dignity in retirement’, ‘financial security’, ‘lifetime savings’ and ‘comfortable standard of living’.

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