Choosing the best option for your super

If you have a West State Super account and you’re working for the WA public sector, your 9.5% employer super contributions will be automatically paid to your West State Super account unless you choose another super fund.

In 2012, the State Government introduced an initiative known as Choice of Super, which means you can choose another fund for these contributions. At GESB, we support this initiative and encourage you to learn as much as you can about your super. This will help you make the right choice for your situation and retirement goals.

Understand your options before you make any changes

If you’ve thought about transferring your super or having your employer contributions made into another super fund, it’s important you understand what this will mean for you. Please read the information below so that you can understand the unique benefits available to you as a West State Super member, as your decision may be irreversible. It’s also a good idea to seek financial advice relevant to your own personal circumstances before making any changes to your super.

There are not many funds like West State Super in Australia

Your West State Super is an untaxed, constitutionally protected super fund. This means you could take advantage of some unique benefits not available with other super funds.

West State Super is an untaxed scheme

This means that you don’t pay income tax on any contributions or on investment earnings that your super account receives while it accumulates. This is sometimes called ‘deferred tax’ because tax only applies to your benefit when it is paid to you. While your money stays in your super account, you benefit from the compounding effect of having 100% of your concessional contributions and investment earnings invested, rather than 85%.

Concessional contributions do not count towards your concessional contributions cap

Most individuals can only contribute $25,000 of concessional contributions per financial year into super and still be subject to concessional tax treatment. Concessional contributions to West State Super are not capped, but they count towards your cap when making these contributions to a taxed scheme. For example, if you made $50,000 concessional contributions to West State Super (including your employer contributions) you would not be able to make any further concessional contributions to a taxed scheme.

You can take advantage of concessional tax treatment

As a West State Super member you have an untaxed plan cap, which means your West State Super account allows you to accumulate an untaxed benefit of up to $1.480 million1 and still be concessionally taxed. If you exceed this cap, tax on the excess is levied at 47%. If you are a West State Super member, you might be able to take advantage of some unique strategies to reduce tax, especially if you started working in the WA public sector before 1 July 1983.

Essential things to know if you’re considering changing super funds

If you’ve thought about stopping your employer contributions into your West State Super account or changing to another super fund, it’s important to understand what will happen next.

If you change funds, your super will be taxed immediately

West State Super is an untaxed scheme. If you transfer your benefit to a taxed super fund, you will be taxed on the taxable component - untaxed element by the other fund at a rate of 15% when it is received. So you’ll immediately have up to 15% less invested in your super.

Your concessional contributions will also count towards your annual cap, which means you might not have the same opportunity to grow your super easily with more contributions.

You can’t change your mind

West State Super is closed to new members. If you choose to close your account, you may not be able to re-join in the future.

Learn more before you make a decision to change your super fund

Find out more about what makes your West State Super account unique or call your Member Services Centre on 13 43 72. It’s also worth reading the West State Super Product Information Booklet for more details. We recommend that you seek independent financial advice from a licensed financial adviser before deciding to change your account. West State Super is a rare scheme that some advisers may not be familiar with. Visit our financial advice for West State Super page to help you and your adviser understand the unique benefits.

1 For the 2018/19 financial year, indexed annually in line with Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings, in increments of $5,000 rounded down. The untaxed plan cap applies for each untaxed scheme you are a member of.

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Page last updated 13 November 2018