Thinking Super? Think Philanthropy



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Far reaching changes to superannuation from 1 July 2017 will limit the amount that people can contribute to super over a lifetime, thereby limiting the substantial tax concessions available. This has sparked a need for many people, particularly those with substantial assets or high incomes, and those nearing or in retirement, to review their strategies and maximise their position by 30 June.

Perpetual's Head of Strategic Advice, Colin Lewis, says that the detailed rule changes are complex and most people would benefit from professional advice. People should talk to their advisers and review their overall position, their plans and the lifestyle they want to lead after work. This extends to estate planning and the role philanthropy will play in their retirement and as part of their legacy.

"The bottom line is that super will continue to be the most tax effective savings vehicle people can invest in for retirement. In the accumulation phase most contributions receive generous tax concessions and once inside the fund the investment assets are taxed at just 15 cents in the dollar or less," says Colin.

"In the retirement phase it's even better, with the fund paying absolutely no tax and the retiree paying no tax on any income they draw from age 60. The upcoming changes do not affect these great tax benefits. What they do is limit the extent that people can take advantage of them.

"In the future, those with considerable wealth or on high incomes may need to hold more assets outside of superannuation which will affect their tax planning. Philanthropic giving obviously attracts its own tax benefits as contributions are tax deductible and any registered fund pays no tax on its earnings or disbursements."

A fulfilling retirement is about much more than money

According to Perpetual's National Manager Philanthropy and Non Profit Services, Caitriona Fay, preparing for a fulfilling retirement is about much more than just getting your financial affairs in order.

"When we're talking about super and planning for retirement, we're also talking about what we want to achieve for the rest of our lives and the legacy we want to leave, for our family, and for our community," says Caitriona.

"We know that retirement planning is the trigger for people to start thinking about philanthropy. For many Australians who have worked hard to build their assets over a lifetime, engaging in philanthropy is an opportunity to see that wealth achieve something potentially significant for their community. It can be an enormously rewarding thing to engage with and to have their families get involved with, too.”

Tax benefits mean more money can be put to work for chosen causes

"There are a number of ways to get involved in philanthropy and it’s not just limited to those of significant wealth. Today, those interested in philanthropy can structure their giving in a dedicated endowment or trust with an initial donation of $20,000”, she says.

"The point of establishing an endowment or trust is to generate a sustainable future income stream for the causes you believe in. The tax benefits available mean that more money can be put to work for their chosen causes. In fact, by including tax-deductible donations to their endowments as part of tax planning, many of our clients are able to reduce their tax liabilities while providing more funding towards the causes they’re passionate about."

Caitriona believes the changes to super are the perfect moment in time for individuals to consider whether philanthropy is something they wish to engage in.

"The changes to super taking place mean that a lot of people will be sitting down with their trusted advisers to consider what they need to support their lifestyle in retirement. It presents as a wonderful opportunity to raise the prospect of philanthropy as part of a future tax strategy, or as something they would like to explore doing more of. For those individuals that are concerned about having enough money in retirement there is also the option of considering gifting via their estate," she says. 



Are you rethinking your retirement funding in light of the changes to super? Consider philanthropy as part of your planning for life after work – it’s a tax effective way to make a big difference and leave a legacy.

To find out how philanthropy can work as part of your retirement planning, speak to our philanthropy experts.

Talk to us

Speak to one of our philanthropy specialists on 1800 501 227 to find out how you can build charitable giving into your tax and super strategies.

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Perpetual’s Philanthropic Services are provided by Perpetual Trustee Company Limited (PTCo), ABN 42 000 001 007, AFSL 236643. This publication has been prepared by PTCo and may contain  information contributed by third parties. It contains general information only and is not intended to provide you with advice or take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. The information is believed to be accurate at the time of compilation and is provided by PTCo in good faith. You should consider whether the information is suitable for your circumstances and we recommend that you seek professional advice. To the extent permitted by law, no liability is accepted for any loss or damage as a result of any reliance on this information. PTCo does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any wording in this document which was contributed by a third party. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.