Money Older property owners set for potential super windfall in 2018

01:27  12 january  2018
01:27  12 january  2018 Source:   MSN

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  Older property owners set for potential super windfall in 2018 © Joel Carrett/AAP Image Older Australians looking to downsize their main home are in store for a potential windfall as new changes to superannuation laws take effect this year.

First announced in the 2017/18 Federal Budget, the Downsizer super contribution scheme will allow those over the age of 65 to make a non-concessional contribution into their superannuation of up to $300,000 after selling their home.

The scheme comes into effect from the 1st of July 2018, and is expected to cost the Treasury up to $30 million.

Couples aged over 65 can reap double the benefits, with the $300,000 contribution being applicable to both – meaning $600,000 could be contributed from the sale of a single home.

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The government hopes that by incentivising older Australians to downsize out of large family homes they will open up supply for younger families looking to enter the market.

"Being unable to invest the proceeds of selling their home into superannuation discourages some older people from downsizing," state the 2017 Federal Budget papers.

"This means many larger family homes sit occupied by only singles or couples. Encouraging downsizing should enable more effective use of the housing stock by freeing up larger homes for younger, growing families."

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Gemma Dale, director of self-managed super funds at NAB, says it's important that consumers look into the fine print of these schemes, and ensure that they're eligible before taking advantage.

"It is important to note that these contributions only apply to contracts of sale entered into from 1 July 2018, and the property also needs to be owned for at least 10 years before disposal," said Dale.

It isn't just older Australians who are set to benefit from sweeping changes to super, as the first-home super saver scheme will also come into effect from mid-year 2018.

"This scheme will allow eligible individuals who make voluntary super contributions from 1 July 2017 to withdraw these contributions, together with associated earnings for the purpose of purchasing their first home," said Dale.

"These voluntary contributions will be limited to $15,000 per year, up to a total of $30,000, and count towards the relevant contribution cap.

"However, it is important to note, that the legislation for this scheme is yet to be passed, so there is a risk any voluntary contributions made in anticipation of it could be locked into individuals’ super."

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