cbus news We’re working for you and your industry
Cbus property developments
“Your super is at work with Cbus, investing in jobs and changing the skyline in cities across Australia... and now they’re creating and building homes too.” Continued on page 5.
Forecast The European Economic
With all the news about the European crisis, it’s only natural that Australians are concerned about its effect on our own economy, and, more specifically, our own personal finances – including superannuation. Continued on page 4 4446 02/12
Reduce the cost of
living With living costs soaring, many people are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet and get ahead financially… Continued on page 6
building your super? What’s
Most of us only consider the ‘bottom line’ when looking at our superannuation. But what goes into your superannuation? What sort of investments are used to help ‘build’ your super – and why? Trish Donohue, Executive Manager, Investments at Cbus told us more about the ‘building blocks’ of the fund and why they’re chosen for particular Cbus options.
Cbus website gets new coat of paint Cbus members looking at improved quality and speed might be considering updating the VE Commodore to the SV6 or updating the BF Falcon to the FG MkII.
At Cbus we are looking to improve your experience so we have updated your website to make things easier and faster.
The section also has links to our Cbus planning seminars and super advisers, which are free of charge.
The Cbus website had been hanging around for almost five years – and in that time so much has changed – so our website is now catching up and getting with the times!
We also know you’re interested in performance and not just in your car! So we have updated the investment section and now it provides a monthly report to members on investment performance and market commentary.
Frequent visitors to the site will notice the new streamlined look and the addition of a mega menu system which allows you to get the information you need quicker. The new website also has better links between content and action. Now each content page will have a direct link to the action you can take in that space. Cbus also now provides a dedicated section for members to go and seek information on the financial advice available to them.
The new website also allows us to keep you up to date with goings on across your industry – with better links to the activities of unions and employer associations. Take the time to check out your website and see what you think – as always we are interested in your feedback so drop us a line if you have something to say on the website – firstname.lastname@example.org
Risk and Return “There’s the element of ‘risk and return’ in every investment,” says Trish, “and that’s what we take into account when we select investments for a particular Cbus option.” “Shares, property and some other investments have the potential for high returns but have more risk of a loss in the short term,” she explains. Investment with less risk, like cash and fixed-interest investments, generally deliver lower, but more stable, returns over the longer period. “That’s why you’ll see our ‘Growth’ option investing in shares, property and infrastructure amongst other investments. On the other hand, the Cbus ‘Conservative’ option consists mainly of cash and fixed-interest investments.”
What about these unstable times? Trish says Cbus is very aware that many members are concerned about today’s unstable economic conditions. For example, she says that there will be ‘ups and downs’ in the Cbus High Growth and Growth options over the shorter term, but that members should know that “these options are well positioned over the medium to longer term”.
“From a fund perspective, our aim is actually to take advantage of these conditions,” she continues.“Times like these can often provide us with some very good investment opportunities and we can make them work very well for our members.”
Well placed for retirees Trish says the fund’s strong cash flow position has definite advantages for retirees or those soon to retire. “Being a fairly young fund means that we have a high ratio of member contributions coming in,”she explains, “so retirees can get all the advantages of a growing fund, while still being able to access tax-free dollars through an allocated pension.”
Investments that build jobs Another major difference with Cbus, says Trish, is the fund’s strong history of supporting the building industry by investing in property and infrastructure. “Our investment in our own property developer, Cbus Property, sets us apart from other super funds, and shows our commitment to members. “Investing back into construction and building means that we’re not only building our members’ retirement savings, we’re also building jobs in the construction and building industry.”
Trish Donohue, Executive Manager, Investments
A personal difference The Cbus focus on members also makes a personal difference for Trish and the people on her team. “Working for Cbus means there’s no conflict of interest with shareholders or outside ownership. “You’re working only for the members. That’s something that makes working at Cbus that much more rewarding.” cbusnews February 2012
Forecast. The European Economic
by David Koch, co-host of the Seven Network’s breakfast television program Sunrise
The European economy, Australia – and your super.
With all the news about the European economic crisis, it’s only natural that Australians are concerned about its effect on our own economy and, more specifically, our own personal finances – including superannuation. But what are European governments doing about the crisis? What is Australia doing? Will the crisis spread to our shores and our lives? How worried should we be? We spoke to TV personality and recognised financial commentator, David ‘Kochie’ Koch, to find out more. Cbus News: Is the European crisis over-hyped? David Koch: Not at all, it’s real and it’s serious. And worse, this situation could lead to another Global Finance Crisis even more severe than the last. But as we speak, European and global political leaders are forming plans designed to prevent the situation worsening – plans that must reduce foreign government debt levels while still promoting economic growth. Cbus News: More specifically, how are different countries affected – and how are they working to correct the problem? David Koch: Greece is the prime example. Their economy shrank by more than 5% last year, government debt is more than the value of the entire economy and unemployment is close to 25%. The actions they’re taking will be painful for
Greek citizens – but they are taking action. For example, social security payments will be cut by 5 billion Euros over the next four years, public service wages will be cut by 20% and pensions for many will be cut as well. As important, many industries will be deregulated to promote competition. But the key is convincing Greeks to pay their fair share of tax. Would you believe more than 900,000 Greek people or businesses owe back taxes? More than 41 billion Euros in total. Cbus News: What are we in Australia doing to keep us out of this predicament?
David Koch: Over time, government policies have been designed to promote competition. Plus our banks are quite tightly regulated compared to those in Europe and the US – and that insulates them to a degree from the events in Europe. And of course, most Australians are pretty scrupulous about paying taxes. Cbus News: We are constantly told Australia is in a good position to weather the storm. Why? David Koch: Compared to Europe, we have low unemployment, low government debt and a growing economy. Plus trade with big partners like China and India is still healthy. That doesn’t mean we’re not vulnerable if things get worse but it does mean that we’re in better shape than many other countries. Cbus News: How might we be affected? David Koch: If the big banks make investment losses, they will go into the
The opinions expressed in this article are those of David Koch and might not represent the views of Cbus.
Before taking any action with your super, consider contacting a Cbus Superannuation Adviser on 1300 368 212. |
Your super is at work with Cbus, investing in jobs and changing the skyline in cities across Australia.
bunker and not lend as much. So credit will be harder to get and it will cost more. In other words, if you are successful in getting a loan, you’ll probably be paying higher interest. Cbus News: What’s likely to be the impact on superannuation, particularly over the long term? David Koch: Super has proven to be a safe and smart option over time. The fact that it’s such a tax-efficient environment for your savings is a big plus. Right now, however, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re in the right super investment option. For example, the closer you are to retirement the more conservative the mix of options. If you’re young, however, then you’ve time on your side and can afford to be a bit more adventurous and stick with a growthoriented option.
Cbus News: Do you have any more advice for Australians? David Koch: It’s really just about common sense – and using a bit of caution. Certainly you should have a debt reduction program and stick to it. It might be also worthwhile to cherish those lines of credit which you already have approved. Even if you pay down the line of credit, think of keeping it open in case you need it in the future. Remember, markets and economies move in cycles. Every boom is followed by a bust and every bust is followed by a recovery – so the recovery will come. It’s just a question of when.
Warleigh Grove Interior
Cbus Property* is one of Australia’s leading property investors and developers. When you see the Cbus Property banner on skyscrapers and office developments, you know that they are creating work for Cbus members and investing towards building profits that go into members’ super funds. Now they’re creating and building homes, too. The master-planned harbour-front community of Breakfast Point in Sydney will take 6 – 8 years to complete and create 12,000 jobs. There’s also ‘The Residence’ at Hyde Park in Sydney and two new developments: ‘Dominion’ in Sydney, and ‘Warleigh Grove’ in Melbourne. Together, Dominion and Warleigh Grove will create hundreds of construction jobs, as well as ongoing returns for members of Cbus. Dominion is a stylish apartment complex in the vibrant inner-city suburb of Darlinghurst, near Kings Cross, close to buses and trains and within walking distance of Sydney’s central business district. The seven-storey complex will include 109 residential apartments and four retail areas. Two heritage buildings on the site will be refurbished to contain seven apartments.
Cbus property developments
Cbus Property Chief Executive Adrian Pozzo said almost 80 of the apartments had already been sold. “If you walked past tomorrow you’d see a massive hole in the ground, but it will be completed by April or May 2013,” he said. Cbus Property’s ‘The Residences’ is just a couple of blocks away and Mr Pozzo said both complexes are part of the company’s future. “It’s an area that we’re looking at in great depth,” he said. “There’s a market for owner-occupiers, 5–15 kilometres from the central business district.” The apartments are designed to include generous open-plan living areas and – on the upper levels – beautiful views of the city skyline and neighbouring suburbs. Warleigh Grove is a residential complex in beautiful beachside Brighton, spread across two separate four-storey buildings and seven two-storey townhouses. “It’s behind one of the premier shopping strips in Victoria: Bay Street, Brighton,” Mr Pozzo said. “We’re looking for investments close to transport, so that people don’t need to have two cars.”
There will be around 108 dwellings on the site. The first building on Warleigh Grove will consist of 39 two and three-bedroom apartments ranging in size from 90sqm to 150sqm. The second building – which is accessed by a new tree-lined drive running through the development – has 62 smaller apartments ranging from one-bedroom units to a 130sqm three-bedroom unit. “The one-bedrooms are about 65sqm, which is very comfortable compared to what is in the market,” he added. The townhouses each have three bedrooms, a study and secure parking. Warleigh Grove will be completed at the end of 2013. Prices will range from $500,000 to $2.1 million. More details are available at www.thewarleighbrighton.com.au Cbus property looks to incorporate best practice environmentally sustainable investments into their residential projects. Importantly, the fund you support is supporting you by creating jobs. For more information, visit www.cbusproperty.com.au * Cbus Property is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Cbus trustee and has responsibility for the strategic performance and management of all Cbus direct property investments.
cbusnews February 2012
How to reduce the cost of living
But Esta is convinced that it’s easier than most of us think to “turn your finances completely around!” Here are just a few of Esta’s top tips:
* Using menu plans and shopping lists can save you thousands of dollars each year by helping you to avoid a) doubling up items, b) purchasing more than you consume, and c) buying unnecessary items. Always start by looking in your pantry and fridge first to incorporate all those tins, packets and other items into your menu plan before they expire.
* Get a better deal on your home or investment loan. A 0.5% lower rate on a $300K loan will save you about $100 per month. The abolishment of exit fees makes it even easier to switch and save. Visit www. homeloanfinder.com.au and www.ratecity. com.au to compare home loans and find a better deal. Also call your existing lender once you have done your research, asking them to match rates and offers.
* Shop around for a better deal – you could save between $100 and $200 per year. Companies such as www.GoSwitch.com.au and www.SwitchWise.com.au offer a free comparison service.
* Love your junk mail. Those pesky catalogues can help you save hundreds of dollars over the course of the year. You can do your menu plan around the specials. * Learn to cook a dozen cheap meals from scratch that you can rotate. * Brown Bag It to work. It’s difficult to even buy a meat pie and drink for under $6 these days, which might not sound like much – but over the course of a year that adds up to almost $1500!
Phone Bills * Go Unlimited. There are many providers that offer prepaid plans with unlimited calls and texts, and up to 4GB worth of data, starting from as little as $39. You won’t have to worry ever again about exceeding your plan regardless of how much you talk. * Look into alternative internet services such as VoIP and Skype to stay in touch with friends and family.
* Replace your bank account with a 100% transactional offset account linked to your home loan. Every dollar in your offset account comes directly off your home loan principal, saving you interest (which is calculated daily). For example, if you had $5000 in your offset account, you would save yourself around $7000 in interest over the life of a $300,000 loan (based on a 7%, 30-year loan). * Get a Professional Package. Packages entitle you to interest rate discounts and account keeping fee waivers, and other discounts and benefits that vary from lender to lender. The cost is generally around $300 per year, but the saving usually outweighs the cost.
* Turn off standby power and save about $120 per year. Set up appliances and power outlets to be easily turned off at the wall. Consider purchasing power boards, timers, or an EcoSwitch (www.ecoswitch.com.au) to help eliminate standby power. We hope you found Esta’s tips helpful, and of course don’t forget to put any money that you do save to good use, such as investing it back into your Cbus Super! Just adding a few extra dollars each week could make a significant difference over time – making it a great investment into your future. Condensed from an article by Esta Hammond, author of ‘Save It – easy ways to save money’ (available at www.easywaystosavemoney.com.au and Big W)
* Buy phone cards for your international calls. There are hundreds of different phone cards – some starting from as low as 1c per minute to some countries. Visit www.cheapcard.com.au
Entertainment Cbus member Phil Milne and his daughter Isabel
Lots of people talk about saving money. Here at Cbus, we know someone who has made a career of it! Esta Hammond, author of ‘Save It – easy ways to save money’, told us she knows what it’s like to face piles of debt and other financial problems. “Having personally gone through my own financial difficulties,” says Esta, “I know firsthand what it is like to be in that position.”
* Go online and get it cheaper. Visit www.Lasttix.com.au for theatre and concert tickets that can be reduced by up to 75%. Visit Gumtree and eBay for movie and theme park tickets for sale. You can also do a Google search or visit the promoter’s website to see if there are any promotions or coupons.
Insurances * Ring around when your premiums are due to get the best deal. Once you have hunted down the best quotes, find insurance providers that have promotions to beat competitors’ quotes. * Compare and review your current health insurance with sites such as www.choosewell.com.au and www.helpmechoose.com.au. Make sure you are not paying for things you don’t need. cbusnews February 2012
statebystate Cbus members are building the nation
While many Cbus members are familiar with the successful Cbus Property story and rightly proud of Cbus’ commitment to invest back into construction and building jobs, some members might not know much about ISPT’s contribution. Take a look below at some of the projects going on around Australia – creating thousands of construction and building jobs and improving investment returns for you.
ACT ISPT refurbished 2 National Circuit, a 5,000sqm heritage listed building, which was reopened by the Prime Minister on 5 December 2011. ISPT is developing 4 National Circuit, a new 30,000sqm sustainable office in two linked buildings which is scheduled for completion in 2012.
VIC Two Melbourne projects currently underway are the upgrades to ISPT-owned Casselden Place at 2 Lonsdale Street and Barkly Square Shopping Centre in Brunswick.
Work is underway to expand Southgate Plaza shopping centre in Adelaide’s southern suburb of Morphett Vale. Current construction work is seeing an expansion to the existing Target store. The $3M works commenced in Jan 2012 and is expected be completed by mid-year. More than 100 jobs will be created on the project.
Industry Super Property Trust (ISPT) is one of Australia’s largest unlisted property funds. ISPT has a strong investment track record and with over $7 billion of funds under management is considered amongst Australia’s leading property fund managers. Cbus founded ISPT in 1994 along with four other leading superannuation funds. ISPT has grown and is now co-owned by 23 of the nation’s most prominent industry super funds and ‘like-minded’ organisations. Cbus currently invests around $700 million in ISPT as part of our property investments. ISPT invests in office, retail, industrial and development properties across Australia – many of these assets would be well known to Cbus members. Over the last nine years ISPT’s Core Fund has returned 9% on average each year – a good return by any measure for Cbus members.
QLD Needing a facelift after more than 25 years of operation, the Wintergarden Shopping complex in the heart of Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall is being upgraded with a $140M investment by ISPT. When completed in April 2012, the 13,175sqm centre will comprise approximately 75 stores. The works spread over two stages have seen 1,200 jobs created for construction and building workers. A further office tower is
proposed for the site if ISPT can find suitable tenants to pre-lease. The planning approval is for a 40-storey tower and is a huge potential project which would create up to 400 jobs.
NSW Planning is underway for a $15M refit of the ground floor of 345 – 363 George Street in Sydney. The new ground and first floors will feature a retail precinct including shops and eateries. Construction work is due to commence in 2013 with 200 jobs expected to be created. A common services upgrade has commenced at Defence Plaza at 270 Pitt Street Sydney, at a cost of $12M. Works include upgrading the entrance lobby, lift lobbies and bathrooms, with 200 jobs expected to be created on this project.
These two projects created 700 jobs for construction and building workers.
Casselden Place (home of Cbus in Melbourne) is being transformed to meet current industry expectations for A-Grade commercial offices. The upgrade represents major building works to achieve 5 Star Green Star v3 Design rating and minimum 4.5 Star NABERS Energy and Water ratings – making the building cheaper to run. Demolition and construction works on the ground and basement are due to be completed by December 2012. Work will then start on the tenant floor refurbishments in 2013 and in total over 300 jobs will be created on-site. Up the road at Barkly Square Shopping Centre, planning permits have been approved by Council and pre-leasing is nearing completion. The $30M project includes a complete upgrade of the interior and exterior finishes of the centre, a lifecycle upgrade of services, and the reconfiguration and remixing of tenancies; over 400 jobs are expected be created.
Plenty of changes also took place around Sylvania Southgate shopping centre over 2011. The exterior of the building has received a major facelift, giving the centre greater visibility and a modernised appearance at a cost of $5M. Inside, shoppers are enjoying lighter, brighter, more comfortable common areas, upgraded public amenities and a new, expanded parents room. This project created 80 construction and building jobs.
WA ISPT is planning the major upgrade of Forrest Chase shopping centre in the heart of Perth, expecting to create thousands of jobs. Currently ISPT is working up a concept design and engaging a range of architectural, engineering, design and building consultants for the proposed redevelopment.
Registrations opened for the annual Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic walk and run for breast cancer research on Tuesday 7 February 2012. Join thousands of Australians who will give the gift of research on Mother’s Day by registering to walk, run, volunteer and fundraise on Sunday 13 May. With more than 120,000 people expected to participate, the Mother’s Day Classic is now Australia’s largest national charity event, involving communities in all capital cities and at least 25 metropolitan and regional locations across the country. Since the first event in 1998, the Mother’s Day Classic has raised $10.8 million for the National Breast Cancer Foundation and created a Mother’s Day tradition that raises awareness about a disease that affects one in nine Australian women. Sandra Madeley has been a member of CBUS since she started work at the age of 17. Sandra says, “My personal reason for participating in the Mother’s Day Classic is that as a family we have relationships with people that have suffered from breast cancer. By coming together as a family we are able to raise funds for a cause that affects all Australians and raise awareness.” Help change the future for Australian women by registering to walk, run or volunteer, and fundraise for breast cancer research at www.mothersdayclassic.com.au Cbus – a proud national silver sponsor of the 2012 Mother’s Day Classic.
cbusnews February 2012
a “You areR!” WINNE
“Get ric quick!”h
Too Good To Be True
“Just send us your ba details...”nk
ght “Lose weliy instant !”
Are you eligible for DHS payments or concessions? If you have money in a superannuation fund or an income stream, you may still be eligible for a payment or concession card from the Department of Human Services. For seniors this would usually be an Age Pension, Pension Loans Scheme or a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. Age Pension
Sound familiar? Chances are you’ve heard or seen offers and promises like these more times than you can count. And they all have one thing in common – they all seem too good to be true. And 99.9% of the time, that’s exactly what they are – ‘scams’ designed to get your money, while giving you little or nothing in return. Consumer protection authorities notify and list numerous types of scams. Beware of offers and claims like these! ‘You are a winner!’ This scam may reach you by letter, email or a text message that informs you that you have won a large sum of money or a fabulous prize. ‘We can see into the future and bring you good luck’ This scam will promise to change your life – or even give you the winning lottery numbers. ‘Get rich on the stock market or by buying property’ A so-called ‘expert’ claims to have special knowledge of a very profitable investment and promises fantastic returns. ‘Be your own boss!’ This scam says you can earn big $$ at home – if you pay for their special training courses. 10
‘Door-to-door’ scams Here, the scammers will ask for a deposit for a service or product. They may also ask you to donate to a charity you haven’t heard of.
What to do – and what not to do. • Do not say yes or pay money to people you do not know. • Do not let people rush you. Stop and think. Take your time. ‘Lose weight without dieting or exercise’ You may be asked to commit to an expensive program of courses or food supplements. ‘Your payment is overdue’ This scam pressures you to make ‘overdue’ payments for something you haven’t purchased. ‘Pyramid schemes’ and ‘chain letters’ In this scam a letter asks you to get your family and friends to send money in order for you to get a much larger sum of money in return. ‘Fax or phone us back’ You receive a special offer but need to use a special (and costly) fax or phone number to reply. The money you pay to make the call or fax is collected by the scammer while you get nothing in return.
• Never give your bank details to anyone you do not know. Never send your bank details in an email. • Always remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Beware!
The Age Pension is subject to an income and assets test, with the rate of payment being reduced if a person’s income or assets are above a certain limit, beyond which the rate of payment is reduced until a cut-off point is reached. This means that even if you have too much income and assets to receive the full pension, you may still receive a part pension, provided you are below the applicable cut-off point. The cut-off point varies depending on if you are single or a couple, and if you own your home. If you are eligible for a part pension, you will also receive a Pensioner Concession Card, which can help with concessions on medicines available under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and some out-of-pocket medical expenses including assistance with hearing services. Some state and territory, or local governments and private businesses also offer concessions to card holders. Pension Loans Scheme
For more information or if you think you may be the victim of a scam: Contact the Department of Consumer Affairs in your state or territory. You can also visit the following website: www.scamwatch.gov.au Scams can appear to be from genuine, well-meaning people or from legitimate companies and they’re often very convincing. They might even appeal to your best emotions by, for example, asking you to send money to a person in need.
If your income or assets are too high to receive only a part or no Age Pension payment, you may still be eligible for a payment under the Pension Loans Scheme if you have equity in Australian real estate. The Pension Loans Scheme is a voluntary arrangement, which provides support in the form of a loan, paid in regular fortnightly instalments. If you have capital
tied up in Australian real estate, including your principal home, this can be used as security under the Pension Loans Scheme. If you are close to the cut-off point and are not sure if you are eligible, you may like to speak to one of the DHS Financial Information Service (FIS) Officers. They can give you further information on how the department assesses income and assets, and provide information on claiming processes for the Age Pension or the Pension Loans Scheme. Note: if you know you are over the cut-off point and are considering gifting income or assets to drop below the limit, you should talk to an FIS Officer first. The department may consider the gift as deprivation and continue to assess the income or assets against you. Commonwealth Seniors Health Card If your assets are too high to receive any Age Pension, you may still be eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. This card is income tested, but not assets tested. The annual adjusted taxable income test limits are currently $50,000 for singles, $80,000 for couples, and $100,000 for couples separated by illness or respite care. The card entitles you to concessions on the cost of prescription medicines and other health services.
Cardholders can also receive a Seniors Supplement. This is a lump sum payment made each quarter into your bank account, to assist you with paying regular bills such as energy, rates, phone and motor vehicle registration fees. Seniors Card State Seniors Cards are offered by each state and territory. To find out if you qualify, make contact with your local State MP. For more information More information can be found in the DHS booklets About to retire or in retirement and A guide to Centrelink concession cards and Pension Loans Scheme factsheet. For Age Pension, the Pension Loans Scheme and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card eligibility criteria, rates and income and assets test limits go to www.humanservices.gov.au or call 132 300. To book an appointment with a DHS FIS Officer to discuss payment and concession eligibility or gifting rules, call 132 300.
cbusnews February 2012
Will you pay when you sell? For many, retirement is when we downsize – and that often means selling some of the assets we’ve accumulated over the years. But selling assets can also bring unpleasant surprises, like the requirement to pay capital gains tax. To make sure you’re not caught unawares, take a minute to read the following.
What is a capital gains tax? A ‘capital gain’ is when you sell an item for more than what you paid for it. Capital gains tax is the tax you pay on any profit (capital gain) made from selling taxable items (e.g. property, shares, units in a trust and collectables). How do you know how much you have to pay? You work out your capital gain and net capital gain. The net capital gain is added to your other taxable income and you pay the tax at your marginal rate.
you have owned it for more than one year, you can apply for a 50% discount.
What if I sell an asset for less than I paid for it?
If you have owned the asset for less than a year, there is no discount.
If this is the case you work out your loss and report it on your tax return.You can then subtract that loss from any future capital gains you make from assets of a similar nature.
What if I share ownership of the asset with others? If you sell a capital gains tax item which you own with others, then the capital gain and net capital gain figures are divided by the number of owners and each reports their figures on their tax returns. Note that shares or property in an allocated pension are not subject to the tax.
Is capital gains tax ever discounted?
Do I have to pay capital gains tax if I sell my home for more than I paid for it?
If you have owned an asset, subject to capital gains tax, and you sell the asset after
Your home or ‘principal place of residence’ is not subject to capital gains tax.
That is, a loss on (say) shares or property can be offset against future gains on shares or property but cannot be offset against losses on such things as paintings, collectables or other assets. Where can I find out more? Determining how much (or how little) you pay in capital gains tax can be complicated. It’s best to consult with an accountant or tax agent, call the Australian Tax Office on 132 861, or visit www.ato.gov.au
Retirement. Hazardous to your health? Cbus News talks to the President of the Australian Medical Association about health and retirement. Retirement may be something you’ve looked forward to for a long time – but now that it’s well and truly here, you may have discovered that retirement does have some challenges. After all, leaving your life’s work is a big change – a change that, according to Dr Steve Hambleton, President of the Australian Medical Association, can lead to problems with your health. New lifestyle. New problems? Dr Hambleton points to “lifestyle and weight-related diseases” such as diabetes and heart disease as risks to consider in retirement years. “With more time on your hands,” he says, “you also have more time for bad habits – so you could wind up eating more or drinking more alcohol. This, combined with less exercise, means you could be stacking on extra pounds without realising it.”
“Both diabetes and heart disease are all too common amongst retirees,” he continues, pointing out that type 2 diabetes is Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease and that almost 1,500 people are diagnosed each week, 214 per day. Heart disease continues to be Australia’s biggest killer.
For some, retirement also means big changes between husband and wife. “It’s almost like developing a new relationship that can cause some stress. Again, a stressful situation combined with extra time on your hands can increase the risk of stroke, heart disease and other health problems.”
“Plus”, says Dr Hambleton, “we all tend to wear out with age – so if we put on extra weight, we’re also putting extra strain on parts of our bodies that aren’t as strong and resilient as they used to be, like knees and hips.”
Cholesterol, he continues, is also something to be aware of, as high levels can increase risk of heart disease and stroke. Simple steps. Important adjustments. But the news isn’t all bad. Dr Hambleton points out that there are some simple, common sense actions we can all take to help ensure better health in retirement. “First, find a doctor you’re comfortable with,” he says, “and make sure you get regular check ups – about every six months.” “Women are much better at this than men,” he continues, “but men need to realise they’re not indestructible – and in retirement age, seeing your doctor on a regular basis is more important than ever.” Dr Hambleton also recognises that retirement can also call for major adjustments.
If adjusting to retirement is leading to health problems, Dr Hambleton says now’s the time to talk to your doctor. And while it’s true that men – especially older men – often find it difficult to seek help, Dr Hambleton says that your doctor should be easy to talk to. “You won’t be the first person with a problem,” he says, “and you certainly won’t be the last. Whatever it is, the doctor won’t be surprised.” Enjoy! Finally, Dr Hambleton reminds us that retirement is to be enjoyed. “This should be a great time in your life,” he says, “and the healthier you are the more you’ll enjoy it.” “It might take a little effort – and it surely will take some common sense – but it’s well worth it.”
“We all need a purpose in life.” he says, “and for many of us, that’s all about work. So one of the best things you can do is find a replacement for work – something that’s important to you and that you enjoy.”
• Find a doctor you feel comfortable with. Get regular check ups (every six months).
That could involve becoming more active in a sport, developing a skill that you’ve always wanted to try or simply learning something new. “It’s about keeping active,” says Dr Hambleton, “both mentally and physically.”
• Treat your extra free time as an opportunity – not a problem. Keep active with something that’s important to you and that you enjoy.
• Help prevent ‘lifestyle related diseases’ like diabetes and heart disease with healthy eating habits and regular exercise.
cbusnews February 2012
Providing for your loved ones. on’t just make a wish, D
make a plan.
• Whether you have insurance policies that adequately provide for your partner and family •W hether all members of the family are being treated fairly • Whether you have a Will or Trust in place and the date on which it was last reviewed.
You should also consider using an ‘Enduring Power of Attorney’. An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a legal agreement that enables you to appoint someone (or some people) you trust to make financial and property decisions on your behalf.
The BENEFITS of SERVICE Are you eligible?
Repatriation Health Cards
If you have served in the Australian Defence Forces, you could be eligible for a wide variety of veterans’ benefits. Many could be of great help to you in your retirement years.
Check to see whether you qualify for one of the DVA’s Repatriation Health Cards. Holders of these cards are entitled to full health care services (Gold Card), services for specified conditions (White Card) and subsidised pharmaceuticals only (Orange Card).
Here’s a brief overview of just some of the benefits you may be entitled to.
Income Support Pension A Service Pension can provide you with regular income support. Eligible partners, widows or widowers can also claim this pension. Payment is based on grounds of age, disability and financial need.
Who will get your super? Having a good plan is all about looking after the people you care about. To make sure your super is passed on to the right people, you can tell Cbus who you want to receive your super benefits. You can do this in either of two ways. They are a ‘non-binding nomination’ and a ‘binding nomination’.
You’ve spent a lifetime acquiring your assets and possessions – your home, your car, your savings and all the other things you own. But have you spent any time at all in making sure all those things are directed as you wish them to be should anything happen to you in the future? Now is the perfect time to put your mind at ease by forming a sensible plan – and have the comfort of knowing that your wishes will be carried out. More than a will Making sure your wishes are followed takes more than just a will. You should have an overall plan of action to protect the wealth you have 14
built and make sure it’s passed on to those you choose – safely, legally and in a tax-effective way. Remember, this plan isn’t just about you – it’s making sure your loved ones have a clear direction from you about dividing the material things you leave behind. That way, they will be spared the burden of decision-making and possible disagreements. Your planning checklist When forming a plan, make sure you have all your important documents well organised and kept in a safe place. And take these factors into consideration: • The net worth of all your assets and possessions • Outstanding debts or liabilities
A non-binding nomination means your benefit will be paid to either (or both) your dependant/s or your legal personal representative. However, Cbus will have ultimate responsibility in making this decision, which will be made in accordance to the Cbus Trust Deed and relevant laws. A binding nomination can provide you with greater certainty as to who receives any benefits in the event of your death. Cbus will be required to pay your benefits to the dependants you nominate. However, for your nomination to remain valid you must renew your binding nomination every 3 years. Need more advice? You can also check out the following for free or low-cost advice: •C entrelink Financial Information Services • COTA Seniors Voice: visit www.cota.org.au
This is a tax-free benefit paid to Australian veterans who have had an illness or injury caused by their service. The rate of payment depends on the severity of the illness or injury.
War Widows and Widowers Pension These pensions can be claimed by eligible partners of deceased veterans who had previously been receiving certain types of pensions prior to death.
Health Care You and your dependants may also be eligible for a broad range of health care and support services, including: •� general practitioner services •� medical specialist services including pathology and radiology •� allied health services, e.g. podiatry, physiotherapy •� dental care •� community nursing •� spectacles and hearing aids •� care in public and private hospitals including day procedure centres •� home support services •� subsidised pharmaceuticals under the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
Incapacity Benefits are taxable payments for economic loss due to the inability to work because of an accepted condition.
You may also qualify for loan assistance and insurance benefits, including a loan of up to $25,000 repayable over 25 years. A Home Support Loan of up to $10,000 is also available to assist with the cost of home maintenance and other housing-related purposes.
Permanent Impairment Payments If you have an injury or disease as a result of your Australian Defence Force service that has left you with some permanent impairment, you may be entitled to receive compensation from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Need more information? Visit the DVA website at www.dva.gov.au or email your questions to DVA at: GeneralEnquiries@dva.gov.au. You can also phone the DVA for the cost of a local call on 133 254 or 1800 555 254 for country callers. Or ask at any DVA office.
The opinions expressed in Cbus News are those of the authors and are not necessarily the official policy of the Fund. Stories have been reproduced with consent, which has not been withdrawn at the publication date. All care has been taken to ensure that the information contained herein is correct, but neither the Trustee nor its advisers accept responsibility for the content, any error or misprint, or for any person who acts on this information. Cbus News is issued by United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 as Trustee for Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262. Any advice is of a general nature and does not take into account your specific needs. You should consider your own financial position, objectives and requirements before making any financial decisions. You should read the appropriate Product Disclosure Statement to decide whether Cbus is right for you. Call Cbus on 1300 361 784 or visit www.cbussuper.com.au for a copy. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.
cbusnews February 2012
Stay in the loop Cbus now produces a monthly Investment Update so members can keep up to date with the latest returns on their superannuation. The update also includes an economic overview of both home and abroad, a property update and an investment market overview. The update is published on the Cbus website around the 25th of each month.
More advice available for our members Cbus has expanded its capabilities to deliver financial advice to members. The Cbus Advice team has recently been bolstered with ten additional staff to assist members. Cbus members can call Cbus on 1300 361 784 to speak with an adviser free of charge.
Victoria Jeff Gray Simon Power Peter Jackson
Western Australia Craig Austen
Cbus keeps getting bigger Over the last financial year Cbus grew by 10% or 60,000 members. Cbus now has just over 660,000 members across Australia.
South Australia Damian Brunello
NSW Luke Verwey Isabelle Zhang
Winner! The major prize winner of the $13K Cbus Drill ‘N’Grill prize pack promotion was Greg O’Loughlan of Upwey in Victoria. Greg is now the proud owner of the ultimate backyard – including a six burner BBQ, outdoor setting, garden shed and masses of power tools valued at a massive $13,000!! Cbus posted out one hundred Bunnings gift vouchers valued at $100 each to the runnersup; for full details of the competition wrap-up visit www.cbussuper.com.au/drillngrill
ACT Luke Verwey
QueenslandD Noelene Mouritz
Tasmania Ky Ayres
www.cbussuper.com.au 1300 368 212 8am to 8pm AEST Mon – Fri for the cost of a local call. Mobile calls may be charged a higher rate.
n MAIL: Cbus, Locked Bag 200, Carlton South VIC 3053 n VIC: Level 2, Casselden Place, 2 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne n NSW: Level 5, Sydney Central, 477 Pitt Street, Sydney n QLD: Level 10, 120 Edward Street, Brisbane n SA & NT: Level 2, 104 Frome Street, Adelaide n ACT: Level 2, 11 London Circuit, Canberra n TAS: Ground Level, 119 Macquarie Street, Hobart n WA: Level 2, 12 St George’s Terrace, Perth
your financial planners
If you are seeking professional advice and wish to arrange an appointment with a Cbus Financial Planner, please call
1300 361 784