Superannuation for Translators in Aus
Thread poster: DJHartmann

DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Jun 12, 2015

After living between my source country and Australia for the past decade, I've realised that 10 years of potential super contributions could've been made and haven't.

Are there any industry-specific superannuation funds in Australia for us translators?

As most of my income is foreign, and I plan to continue living between my source country and Aus, I suppose I'll have to make voluntary contributions.

What has been your experience? Any recommendations?

Always great to hear from you,

DJH


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Daria Bontch-Osmolovskaia
Australia
Local time: 08:12
English
+ ...
it's up to you, but... Jun 13, 2015

DJHartmann wrote:

After living between my source country and Australia for the past decade, I've realised that 10 years of potential super contributions could've been made and haven't.

Are there any industry-specific superannuation funds in Australia for us translators?

As most of my income is foreign, and I plan to continue living between my source country and Aus, I suppose I'll have to make voluntary contributions.

What has been your experience? Any recommendations?

Always great to hear from you,

DJH


Hi DJ,

I haven't heard of ANY translation-specific super funds (why would it even matter?) I have one with the ANZ bank, most major banks will open a superannuation account for you. They will try to push you into getting financial advice from them, of course, but if you just call the call centre and say "I would like to open a super account with you", it will take 15 minutes.

Just make sure to find a fund that's flexible enough to allow you to change a percentage of investments - cash, local company shares, international, etc., depending on your risk profile. This is why I liked the ANZ one - it's very easy to tweak percentages.

Yes, you will need to make voluntary contributions, unless you are registered as a company and pay yourself a wage. In which case, our company MUST pay your super as well (9%). My accountant tells me that a sole trader doesn't have to pay super.

Experience? Well, personally I think that the entire super system is a rort. It's taxed on the way in, it's taxed on the way out, and in the middle you have minimal choice in how your money is invested. And you can't touch it at all until you are 65 years old (or 70, for my generation...)

I lost over 30% of my super savings in the GFC, and what did the super fund say? "Sorry about that, but we are not responsible for the global financial market situation". Right. It's not like it was their money.

So, personally, I prefer to invest my savings in other investment vehicles - e.g. paying off our mortgage at an accelerated rate, savings (towards a deposit on future investment property, currently sitting in a mortgage offset account - best place for it, considering almost non-existent cash rates) and shares that I can manage myself, thank you.

It does require greater discipline though, as you have to set aside that amount every single month.

If you have over 200K in super savings, you can set up your own super fund, and tell the managing accountant how to invest it - shares, property, etc. But it's not worth it if you have less than 200K, the fees are too high.

I would suggest you speak with a financial advisor or three about your options. Take what they say with a pinch of salt though, as they will try to push their own "investment opportunities" onto you. Advisers, attached to banks, are usually the most dispassionate.

Good luck!

D.


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mag013
Local time: 08:12
Italian to English
+ ...
Tax considerations. Jun 13, 2015

I am not aware of translation specific super funds.

I would advise asking an accountant about your super situation. Small business people may claim super contributions as a tax deduction. See https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/In-detail/Contributions/Claiming-deductions-for-personal-super-contributions/?page=2#Are_you_eligible_to_claim_a_deduction_

I make super contributions from time to time into an industry fund that I have had for most of my working life, linked through my previous employer. I have stuck with this fund as they rate well in their performance compared to other funds and and have low fees–two important factors to consider when selecting a fund. cheers marisa

[Edited at 2015-06-13 07:15 GMT]


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