From 1 July 2017, individuals can make voluntary contributions (concessional or non-concessional) of up to $15,000 per year and $30,000 in total, to their superannuation account to purchase their first home.
For most people, this means you could accelerate your savings by at least 30% using your super as a “supercharged savings account”. This is due to the concessional tax treatment and the generally higher earnings within superannuation, compared to a standard savings account.
The finer detail
Under the scheme, from 1 July 2018 you’ll be able to withdraw up to $30,000 of voluntary contributions made to your super after 30 June 2017 to help you purchase your first home.
Contributions can be voluntary deductible (before-tax) or non-concessional (after tax) contributions. Voluntary deductible contributions include salary sacrifice contributions and any other personal super contributions where a tax deduction has been claimed. Non-concessional (after tax) contributions include personal member voluntary contributions (where no tax deduction has been claimed), spouse contributions that are made from after-tax income, amounts you transfer from overseas funds and any excess concessional contributions. You can learn more information about the different ways to contribute here.
You can contribute up to $15,000 per financial year up to an overall limit of $30,000. A couple can withdraw a combined $60,000 ($30,000 from each account).
Your existing superannuation contribution caps will continue to apply.
Withdrawal applications can be made from 1 July 2018.
Only contributions made into your super account from 1 July 2017, along with a deemed rate of earnings can be withdrawn for a first home deposit. This means you won’t be able to withdraw contributions made prior to 1 July 2017.
For contributions made in the 2017‑2018 financial year, earnings are calculated using a deemed earnings rate from the first day of the year. However, for contributions made in later financial years, contributions are calculated from the first day of the month in which the contribution is made.
The earnings are calculated using a deemed earnings rate and therefore, does not reflect the actual earnings in respect of particular contributions. Withdrawals for concessional contributions will be taxed at marginal tax rates less a 30% offset.. Non-concessional amounts that are withdrawn will not be taxed.
You will need to buy a home within 12 months of release of the funds from your super account. A 12-month extension for the purchase can be applied for. If you don’t go ahead with the purchase, you can put the released amount back into your super, or hang on to the money and pay an additional 20% flat rate of tax.
Downsizing home into Superannuation
Kids moved out? Are you aged 65 or over and thinking of selling your home for a sea change or to downsize?
From 1 July 2018, people aged 65 and over will be able to make a non-concessional (after-tax) contributions into their superannuation of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of selling their home.
This will assist people aged 65 and over who are currently unable to contribute all or any proceeds from the sale of their home into superannuation because of the existing restrictions and caps.
The finer detail
It must be for the sale of your primary residence, which you have lived in for at least 10 years.
If you’re a couple, both of you can take advantage of this this scheme for the same home.
These contributions will be exempt from the existing age test, work test and the $1.6 million super balance test for non-concessional contributions under the new special downsizing cap.
Any change in your superannuation balance as a result of making this ‘downsizing’ contribution, will count towards the Age Pension assets test.
The contributions will not be exempt from the $1.6 million transfer balance cap.