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  • Writer's pictureAndre Dirckze

Unlocking Superannuation Potential: The Power of Bring-Forward Arrangements

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

In the countdown to retirement, bolstering your superannuation fund with extra contributions can be a prudent move. Whether you've come into an unexpected windfall, like an inheritance or the sale of a valuable asset, or you simply wish to fortify your retirement savings, maximizing your super contributions becomes paramount. However, the constraints imposed by contribution caps can make this task challenging, particularly when you're aiming to inject a substantial sum in a single year. Enter the bring-forward arrangement, a financial maneuver offering a solution to this predicament.

The concept might sound intricate, but at its core, bring-forward arrangements allow eligible individuals to expedite their non-concessional contributions caps, enabling them to make larger contributions within a shorter timeframe. By utilizing this strategy, Australians can give their retirement savings a substantial boost, all while capitalizing on the tax benefits associated with superannuation withdrawals in the retirement phase.

So, what exactly is a bring-forward arrangement? In essence, it permits you to automatically bring forward your non-concessional contributions caps from future years, allowing for increased contributions within a shorter period without incurring additional taxes. This stands in contrast to carry-forward contributions, which involve using previously unused concessional (before-tax) contributions caps over a rolling five-year period.

The beauty of bring-forward arrangements lies in their simplicity. They empower you to contribute up to three years' worth of non-concessional contributions in a single financial year, either as a lump sum or in multiple installments. As of the 2023–24 financial year, the annual general non-concessional contributions cap stands at $110,000. However, your personal cap might differ based on your existing super balance.

It's essential to be aware that once a bring-forward arrangement is triggered, any subsequent changes to the non-concessional contributions cap during your active period won't affect you. This means you won't miss out on potential increases but won't be affected by decreases either.

Significant changes were introduced to these rules on 1 July 2022. Previously, individuals needed to be under the age of 67 during a financial year to initiate a bring-forward arrangement. However, the age limit was raised to 75, allowing even those in their early 70s to take advantage of this valuable opportunity. Additionally, the work test requirement was eliminated, providing flexibility to individuals who aren't currently employed.

To illustrate the practical application of bring-forward arrangements, let's consider two case studies:

Case Study 1: Dean's Strategic Boost

Meet Dean, a 74-year-old Australian whose total super balance at 30 June 2023 was $800,000. Dean plans to maximize his contributions using a bring-forward arrangement in the 2023–24 financial year. By contributing $75,000 in October 2023 and another $75,000 in April 2024, he triggers a bring-forward arrangement by exceeding the general non-concessional contributions cap. This allows him to contribute up to $330,000 within a three-year period, ensuring a substantial addition to his retirement fund.

Case Study 2: Joan's Tactical Move

Joan's, aiming to bolster her retirement savings, sells an investment property and contributes $280,000 into his super account in October 2021. This substantial contribution automatically triggers the bring-forward rules, allowing her to contribute an additional $50,000 in either 2022–23 or 2023–24, utilizing his full $330,000 three-year cap. In 2024–25, Joan's non-concessional contributions cap will reset, allowing her to plan further contributions based on the prevailing regulations.

One of the advantages of bring-forward arrangements is their seamless initiation process. There's no need for extensive paperwork or formal applications. Your super fund reports all your contributions to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), automatically granting you access to your future years of contributions caps when you exceed the annual general cap.

Before making substantial contributions, it's prudent to check your ATO online services account to ensure you haven't already triggered a bring-forward arrangement. By staying informed and leveraging these opportunities, Australians can navigate the complexities of superannuation with confidence, ensuring a secure financial future.

In a world where financial planning shapes our tomorrows, understanding and embracing strategies like bring-forward arrangements can be the key to a prosperous retirement. By taking advantage of these opportunities, individuals can pave the way for a comfortable and worry-free life after work.

So if you'd like to plan your retirement and possibly take advantage of strategies like this one please contact us on 1300 459 101 or click the below to book a 45 Retirement strategy session.

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