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Law -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals.; Law Society of the Northern Territory -- Periodicals.

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Law Society Northern Territory

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Issue no. 1

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Law Society Northern Territory

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C O L U M N L A W S O C I E T Y N T contributions on those super contributions that exceed the $250 000 threshold. However, this effective tax rate of 30 per cent continues to be less than the marginal tax rate for those earning greater than $250 000. Super balances of lower income spouses To help lower income earning spouses increase the superannuation they accumulate, a person can make a contribution on behalf of their spouse and claim a tax offset. To access the offset, the income threshold for the receiving spouse has been increased from $10 800 to $37 000, thereby helping more families to support each other in accumulating superannuation. A contributing spouse is eligible for an 18 per cent tax offset worth up to a maximum of $540 for contributions made to an eligible spouses superannuation account. The tax offset is reduced for income above $37 000, phasing out at an income above $40 000. First home super saver scheme From 1 July 2018, eligible super fund members will be able to apply to withdraw contributions made to super after 1 July 2017 to use as a first home deposit. The Governments intention in introducing the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) Scheme was to reduce pressure on housing affordability. Eligibility for the scheme includes the following: be 18 years or over, have not previously owned property in Australia, have not previously released FHSS Scheme funds, either live or intend to live in the premises you are buying as soon as practicable, and intend to live in the property for at least six months of the first twelve months you own it, after it is practical to move in. Up to $15 000 of contributions made in a financial year can count towards the amount that can be released. The maximum amount of contributions that can be released is $30 000 plus associated earnings. Concessional contributions and earnings that are withdrawn will be taxed at marginal rates less a 30 per cent offset. Government super co-contributions Government super co-contributions have been available since 2003, and remain a helpful way for eligible people to boost their retirement savings. Lower or middle-income earners who meet the criteria and make concessional contributions to their super fund are eligible for a government co-contribution up to a maximum amount of $500. The amount that the government co-contributes depends on your income and how much you contribute. More information on the eligibility criteria can be found on the ATO website.1 Super tax concessions remain one of the best ways to boost your retirement savings While there have been considerable changes to super over the last twelve months, what remains unchanged is that super is one of the most tax effective ways to save for your retirement. Super also remains the only way to make financial contributions to your retirement safe in the knowledge that the funds contributed generally cannot be used for other purposes and will be there when you do retire, or begin to transition into retirement. If you are not sure how recent changes affect you or your family, or you would like to know more about super in general, now is the time to contact your super fund. Andrew Proebstl is chief executive of legalsuper, Australias super fund for the legal community. He can be contacted on telephone (03) 9602 0101 or via aproebstl@legalsuper.com.au 1 See https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/In-detail/Growing/Super-co-contribu tion/?anchor=Eligibilityforthesupercocontribution#Eligibilityforthesupercocontrib ution Super changes in review mailto:?subject= https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/In-detail/Growing/Super-co-contribution/?anchor=Eligibility https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/In-detail/Growing/Super-co-contribution/?anchor=Eligibility https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/In-detail/Growing/Super-co-contribution/?anchor=Eligibility