Lynn [00:00:07] The members in this SASS scheme. It's a really interesting time. The scheme has been closed now for more than 30 years, so a lot of members will be finding they're reaching that milestone of 180 points, which seems like it should be something that celebrated. But for members who are still thinking about retirement 5 to 10 years out, what does it mean for their employer obligations, for their super, and what are their options? I wonder if we could start, Joe, with just understanding what does it mean to be at 90 points.
Jo [00:00:38] Reaching 180 points to just one of the defined benefit components within SASS and basically what that means is when it does come time to retire, your final average salary is going to equal about four and a half times that component. You've then got the SANCS defined benefit component, which includes the basic benefit and additionally employer contributions, but that doesn't have an upper limit so that will continue to accrue. You've also then got your personal account, which is the money that you've put in, which is also invested.
Lynn [00:01:11] But what about those members who may be any 55 or 56 and they hit that 180 point milestone? What options do they have?
Jo [00:01:20] So hitting the 180 milestone is great, but it does mean that you do still need to contribute to SASS while you're with that employer all the way up until age 65 when you do meet a condition of release. At that point, you can choose to defer with SASS and then start claiming the superannuation guarantee from that employer if you are continuing to work.
Lynn [00:01:45] Should members reduce the percentage they're contributing to SASS once they reach 180 points?
Jo [00:01:51] So I wouldn't say that reaching 180 points to reduce your contributions, I would say keep contributing at the rate that you are. But what it does is it opens up opportunities for you to make extra contributions to a secondary fund because the employer's notional contribution does significantly reduce at that point. So you can make those extra contributions to that second fund within the cap limit.
Lynn [00:02:18] In what other circumstances would you recommend that members either defer or exit from SASS?
Jo [00:02:23] I would recommend a deferral or exhibit says at age 65, unless they were expecting a significant increase to their salary, which would bump up their final average salary. At age 55 if a member is experiencing a significant drop in the salary due to a change in the role, they may be able to lock in the benefit at that higher salary and then restart and join SASS again with a new account on the lower salary moving forward.
Lynn [00:02:49] Jo, thank you so much for sharing all of the information and particularly your experience and insights. If members want to find out more or book an appointment with a financial planner, how can they get in contact with us?
Jo [00:03:01] Well if members wanted more information or to have an appointment with an Aware Super financial planner. They can visit the website or they can give us a call.