Illegal Super Schemes – Beware of Offers to Withdraw Your Super Early

Have you ever been offered help to withdraw your superannuation early? Generally, you cannot access your super until you retire.

Some people promoting illegal super schemes will tell you that they can help you access your super now to pay off credit card debt, buy a house or car, or go on holiday.

These schemes are illegal. They will cost you a lot more than the super you access and may get you into a lot of trouble.

How illegal super schemes operate

Illegal super schemes usually involve someone offering to help you access your super early.

Promoters of illegal super schemes usually:

Illegal super schemes often target people who are under financial pressure or who do not understand the super laws.

Taking your super out from any super fund early without meeting what is called a ‘condition of release’, or encouraging others to do so, is illegal.

Illegal super schemes may lead to identity theft

If you participate in one of these schemes, you may become a victim of identity theft. Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal details to commit fraud or other crimes.

Once your identity has been stolen and misused, it can take years to fix.

Rollovers to an SMSF

Most illegal super schemes require you to transfer your super from your super fund into an SMSF. This can be called a ‘rollover’.

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Super Guarantee

As an employer your not-for-profit organization must provide its eligible employees with a:

  • minimum level of super contributions by the quarterly cut-off date
  • choice of super fund.

If you fail to meet these obligations, your organization has to report this to ATO by lodging a Superannuation guarantee charge statement – quarterly (NAT 9599) and pay the super guarantee charge (SGC).

Organizations that are income tax exempt are not exempt from the superannuation guarantee legislation.

The minimum amount of super contributions you must provide for your employees is 9.5% of each employee’s ordinary time earnings.

Any existing super obligations under an industrial award count towards the minimum level of support, as do payments made under a salary sacrifice arrangement. However, employee contributions do not count towards the employer’s obligations.

Employer contributions must be paid at least quarterly to a complying super fund or retirement savings account. The table below shows the quarterly cut-off dates.

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