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Death Benefits

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Common confusions with death benefit pensions

Awareness of common misunderstandings in relation to the payment of death benefit pensions can assist in estate planning matters. Given the large amounts involved, seeking professional advice helps.

Court holds SMSF trustees accountable

A recent case highlights the importance of SMSF trustees exercising discretion to pay death benefits in good faith, with real and genuine consideration and in accordance with the purpose of the conferred power.

Strategies for avoiding the super 'death duty'

The 17% tax on the taxable component of superannuation paid to non-dependants upon death acts like a death duty, and it's worthwhile finding out how to avoid it using legal means.

What happens at death of an SMSF member?

By understanding superannuation law and implementing the right structure, SMSF members can ensure their super is passed onto their heirs after death with a minimum of fuss.

When death benefits include life insurance

SMSF trustees should understand the tax consequences when death benefits include insurance proceeds because it can vary greatly according to circumstances, and these should be planned for in advance.

Limits to a will’s power over an SMSF

Unlike the rest of a person's estate assets, a will has no power over the decisions of trustees of a superannuation fund when it comes to the payment of a death benefit.

Easier transfer of death benefit pensions

Transferring a death benefit pension can be complicated but new legislation from 1 July 2017 simplifies the process.

Court defends super death benefits from bankruptcy

Falling into bankruptcy is rarely a planned event, and can leave little to start over. Recent court decisions provide confidence that when Plan A fails, superannuation is a good Plan B.

Four ways to avoid super death benefit taxes

Superannuation death benefits paid to adult children can incur a heavy tax impost, but there are strategies available to avoid paying more tax than necessary. It's not always possible to know when you'll die.

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10 little-known pension traps prove the value of advice

Most people entering retirement do not see a financial adviser, mainly due to cost. It's a major problem because there are small mistakes a retiree can make which are expensive and avoidable if a few tips were known.

Check eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

Eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card has no asset test and a relatively high income test. It's worth checking eligibility and the benefits of qualifying to save on the cost of medications.

Hamish Douglass on why the movie hasn’t ended yet

The focus is on Magellan for its investment performance and departure of the CEO, but Douglass says the pandemic, inflation, rising rates and Middle East tensions have not played out. Vindication is always long term.

Start the year right with the 2022 Retiree Checklist

This is our annual checklist of what retirees need to be aware of in 2022. It is a long list of 25 items and not everything will apply to your situation. Run your eye over the benefits and entitlements.

At 98-years-old, Charlie Munger still delivers the one-liners

The Warren Buffett/Charlie Munger partnership is the stuff of legends, but even Charlie admits it is coming to an end ("I'm nearly dead"). He is one of the few people in investing prepared to say what he thinks.

Should I pay off the mortgage or top up my superannuation?

Depending on personal circumstances, it may be time to rethink the bias to paying down housing debt over wealth accumulation in super. Do the sums and ask these four questions to plan for your future.

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