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Local News

Slash Red Tape to Save Thousands of Retirees Super Fees

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Retirees Super Fees

Slash Red Tape to Save Thousands of Retirees Super Fees

 

The Australian Government should reduce regulatory burdens on superannuation accounts in retirement to save tens of thousands of retirees from paying multiple sets of super fees and to provide greater flexibility for those who wish to continue working in retirement, according to the Super Members Council.

Currently, a cumbersome rule forces Australians who wish to engage in part-time work after retirement to open an additional super account for their contributions. This prevents them from making payments directly into their existing retirement super accounts.

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To simplify and enhance flexibility in retirement, the Government should end the prohibition on receiving contributions from part-time work or other sources into retirement (decumulation) phase accounts.

The Super Members Council estimates that approximately 100,000 retirees would benefit from this change.

This outdated law adds unnecessary complexity to retirement, causing some retirees to pay two sets of fees and often more tax than necessary. Recent consumer research commissioned by the Super Members Council found that one in four Australians continues to work into their early 70s, highlighting the need for a more adaptable system.

“As more than 2.5 million Australians approach retirement in the next decade, the focus needs to be on making the system easier, simpler, and more flexible,” said Super Members Council CEO Misha Schubert.

“Increasingly, many Australians want to dip back into the workforce from time to time after they start their ‘capital R’ retirement. But instead of making that process easy, they currently must open a second super fund account, face the administrative hassle of transferring money, and pay extra fees—potentially more tax—than necessary.”

“The easy fix is to legislate for Australians to make super contributions from part-time work and other sources directly into their retirement account. This simple reform would make retirement easier and more flexible for tens of thousands of Australians.”

Deidentified data from a large Super Members Council member fund shows that around one quarter of their members in retirement set up new accounts to accept contributions and then commute to a new retirement income account. The number of members doing this increased by 45% between 2022 and 2023.

The change would require a minor legislative update to the Superannuation Industry Supervision Act and adjustments to associated regulations. The Super Members Council does not propose changes to the pre-tax super contribution settings.

To streamline retirement while maintaining flexibility for retirees, the Government should:

  • Swiftly consult and legislate the retirement and super component of the financial advice reform package before the end of this year.
  • Make it easier for members to switch into retirement products and end the current ban on adding contributions to a retirement-phase super account.
  • With member permission, notify super funds about their members’ eligibility for pensions and other government supports, enabling tailored information on maximising retirement income.
  • Develop a comprehensive retirement test for super products that measures investment performance, flexibility in accessing funds, and control over the level of risk.
  • Avoid mandating the use of annuities for members. Trustees are best placed to create investment strategies for their members.

The Super Members Council advocates for over 11 million Australians, managing more than $1.5 trillion in retirement savings through profit-to-member superannuation funds. The council aims to protect and advance their interests, ensuring that superannuation policy remains stable, effective, and equitable.

 

For more seniors news, click here.

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Local News

The Beauty of the Sugar Industry

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Harwood Sugar Mill Mural

The Beauty of the Sugar Industry

 

A recently completed mural at the entry to the 150-year-old Harwood Sugar Mill is stopping traffic and creating excitement in the little village with the oldest Australian owned sugar mill.

In the lead up to the 150-year celebrations, artist Nitsua, has created an artwork that reflects the blending of the cane growing and milling activities in the Northern Rivers, that exists thanks to the all-Australian partnership between the grower-owned NSW Sugar Milling Cooperative and family-owned Manildra Group.

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The artwork was commissioned by Sunshine Sugar as part of the preparations to celebrate the significant milestone of 150 years continuous manufacturing operation and Australian ownership – all on the same location on the bank of the mighty Clarence River.

As Sunshine Sugar CEO, Mr Chris Connors commented: “Not too many businesses in Australia can say they have achieved such a significant milestone, which is why we are making the effort to celebrate and promote the resilient industry we have here in NSW.”

Sunshine Sugar and the NSW sugar industry have a line-up of community events and activities happening at Harwood (near Yamba) in August. The celebrations with culminate in a massive outdoor community event to be held at the Harwood Cricket Oval on Sunday 25th August.

Find out more at: 150th Harwood Mill Landing Page – Sunshine Sugar

 

For more rural news, click here.

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Kyogle News

Services Australia’s Mobile Service Centre “Golden Wattle” to Visit Northern Rivers Region

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Golden Wattle

Services Australia’s Mobile Service Centre “Golden Wattle” to Visit Northern Rivers Region

 

Services Australia’s Mobile Service Centre, Golden Wattle, is set to visit towns in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, providing easy access to Centrelink, Medicare, National Disability Insurance Scheme, and Department of Veterans’ Affairs services.

Golden Wattle will visit:

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  • Nimbin: Wednesday, 17 July, opposite the neighbourhood centre, Cullen Street (9:30 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Urbenville: Thursday, 18 July, near Captain Cook Park, Urben Street (9:30 am to 3:30 pm)
  • Woodenbong: Friday, 19 July, in front of Woodenbong Hall, Unumgar Street (9:30 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Kyogle: Monday, 22 July and Tuesday, 23 July, in the Kyogle visitor centre car park, Summerland Way (9:00 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Bonalbo: Wednesday, 24 July, in front of Bonalbo Hall, Koreelah Street (9:30 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Tabulam: Thursday, 25 July, opposite the hotel, Court Street (9:30 am to 3:00 pm)

About Mobile Services Centres: Mobile Services Centres are 20-tonne trucks operated by Services Australia staff, providing regional and rural Australians with friendly, face-to-face service and tailored support. On this trip, staff can assist with:

  • Centrelink claims
  • Medicare registrations
  • Accessing online services

Additionally, information about the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Department of Veterans’ Affairs programs and support services will be available.

For more information, visit the Services Australia website.

 

For more local news, click here.

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Lismore News

Saffin Secures $30,000 Grant for Youth Crime Prevention

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Lismore MP Janelle Saffin with North-Tracks Works Chair Patrick Higgins, Secretary/board member Kevin Bell and Mr Bell’s working dog Maezzie. - Youth Crime Prevention

Saffin Secures $30,000 Grant for Youth Crime Prevention

 

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin has successfully secured a $30,000 grant for North-Tracks Works, a Lismore-based organisation dedicated to empowering vulnerable young people. This funding will enable the expansion of their life-changing programs to engage more youth in Goonellabah, Coraki, and Casino.

Ms. Saffin expressed her gratitude to NSW Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism Yasmin Catley for approving the grant following her advocacy on behalf of North-Tracks Works. She praised the organisation, which operates out of a shed in South Lismore, for its impactful work with young people aged 11 to 18, offering one-on-one support, mentoring, and practical learning opportunities.

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“I previously secured a $44,000 Local Small Commitments Allocation grant to help North-Tracks purchase equipment and materials for skill-building,” Ms. Saffin said. “This additional grant will allow North-Tracks to employ youth workers and expand their proven youth program, which is supported by Richmond Police District Commander Superintendent Scott Tanner.”

Patrick Higgins, Chair of North-Tracks Works and a local real estate agent, thanked Ms. Saffin for her efforts in securing the additional funding from Minister Catley. “We don’t fit in the box for normal funding. Our approach is about creating a sense of belonging and purpose through our skills program and training working dogs. It’s the work with the dogs that bridges the gap,” Mr. Higgins explained.

“At North-Tracks, we spend 10 percent looking back, 10 percent at where you are now, and 80 percent looking forward. We help them chase their dreams and goals,” he added. “Our team has three basic goals: keep them safe and alive, keep them out of jail, and help them move forward to live a full and productive life.”

This funding is set to sustain and expand North-Tracks Works’ impactful initiatives, providing more opportunities for at-risk youth to gain essential skills and find a sense of purpose and for Youth Crime Prevention.

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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