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State Authorities Superannuation Scheme (SASS)

SASS is a hybrid scheme. This means it’s a mix of defined and accumulative benefits. As there are two parts, there can be varying results.

The defined part of your benefit is based on a unique formula which means your final payment will not be affected by market conditions when you retire. The accumulative side will be subject to market returns.


What's the right SASS investment allocation?

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Importance of your points

If you’re a member of SASS, your benefit is made up of 3 parts:;

  1. Personal Account
  2. Employer Financed Benefit (EFB) – a defined benefit based on your Final Average Salary (FAS), length of membership and your rate of personal contributions
  3. Basic Benefit – a defined benefit equal to 3% (before contributions tax) of your Final Average Salary

Enjoy the benefits

For every 1% of your salary which you contribute to your SASS scheme, you’ll accrue approximately 1 benefit point. Each benefit point you accrue will generally provide you with an Employer Financed Benefit of 2.5% (before contributions tax) times your Final Average Salary. So, the more you contribute from your salary, the more benefit points you get and the greater your Employer Financed Benefit will be.

You can contribute up to 9% of your salary to SASS, however excess contributions (above 6% per year) may not increase your Employer Financed Benefit, though they will earn interest and increase your Personal Account benefit.

You can accrue a maximum of 6 benefit points per year and an overall maximum total of 180 benefit points. It’s important you make sure you’re accumulating the right number of points so that you can maximise your final end benefit payment when you finally exit the scheme.

Your friendly financial planner at StatePlus can design the right plan for you. A plan that’s specifically designed to suit your particular circumstances, both now and in the future.

You can meet with one of our professional financial planners without cost or obligation. The fee you pay will reflect the advice you actually need and the level of service that you want.

Make sure you take advantage of all the benefits which come from being a member of SASS. Give your member service team a call on 1800 620 305, or book an appointment now to speak to the experts in your scheme choices.

Investment choice contributory member of SASS

SASS offers members four Asset Allocation options. These range from a conservative Cash option (100% cash) to a more aggressive Growth option (54% liquid growth, 31% alternatives, 15% liquid defensive). If you don’t make an investment choice, the automatic investment choice default is the Growth fund. The investment choices you make will only apply to your personal contributions.

What's the right strategy for you?

Your Employer Financed Benefit, which is usually the largest portion of your super, won’t be affected by your investment choice or market conditions. This means that the default growth strategy may be the most appropriate for contributory scheme members as, overall, your super benefit remains quite conservatively invested.

However, it’s important you make sure your asset allocation strategy is appropriate to your circumstances. That’s why you should speak with your professional financial planning team at StatePlus, who can take you through the different multi-fund investment strategies and proportional asset allocations which are available, and provide you with the help you need.

If you’re a deferred SASS benefit member there are different rules which apply to your investment choice and it’s important you understand the impact the application of these rules will have on your investments before you make any decisions.

Is it time to speak to a financial planner?

Concessional Contributions Caps for SASS Members

For most of us there are limits to the amount of concessional, or before tax, contributions we can make tax effectively into our super. However, special conditions do apply for SASS members.

Members of the State Authorities Superannuation Scheme (SASS) receive favourable treatment in the calculation of concessional contributions.

If SASS is your only super fund, you usually cannot exceed the concessional contributions cap. That’s because under special regulations applying to defined benefits funds, a SASS member who would otherwise exceed the cap is deemed to be within the cap. The concessional contribution cap for the 2015/16 financial year is $30,000, unless you were age 49 or older on 30 June 2015, in which case it is $35,000.

Conditions do apply

However, you will lose this special treatment permanently if you have moved to a higher benefit category (see tables below), than the higher benefit category you were in on either 12 May 2009 or 5 September 2006.

Your Benefit Category is determined by your personal contribution rate.

Even when the special conditions apply, if you’re making any additional concessional contributions to another fund, you should ensure total contributions across all your super accounts are within the cap.

Options to suit you

Employer concessional contributions to SASS are calculated as a percentage of ‘superable’ salary. The actual percentage to use depends on your predecessor scheme:

Standard SASS 

Your Contribution Rate (and Benefit Category)  Percentage to use in formula 
less than 4%  6% 
4%  7.2% 
5%  8.4% 
6% or more  9.6% 

SPSSS

Your Contribution Rate (and Benefit Category)  Percentage to use in formula 
3% or less 6% 
4%  8.4% 
5%  9.6% 
6% or more  12%

NRF

Your Contribution Rate (and Benefit Category)  Percentage to use in formula 
Up to and including 3.8% 6% 
Over 3.8% to 4.7% 7.2% 
4.7% to 5.7%  8.4% 
Over 5.7% 9.6% 

If you continue to work after you’ve reached 30 years of scheme membership and reached 180 points, then your employer concessional contributions will be 1.2% of your salary.

Of course, if you salary sacrifice your member contributions, these will also be counted.

Example One

Anne, age 48, is a standard SASS member, and has not increased her benefit category on or after 1 April 2010. Her employer concessional contribution to SASS is $150,000 x 9.6% = $14,400pa and she is also salary sacrificing her 9% SASS contributions ($15,882pa). While her combined employer and member contributions total $30,282, which is higher than her concessional contribution cap for 2015/16, SASS will only report concessional contributions of $30,000. Any other pre-tax superannuation contributions Anne receives to another fund will be excess contributions.

Example Two

Joe is a Police Officer who is a member of SASS with a salary of $80,000. Joe is contributing 9% to SASS as pre-tax contributions and both he and his employer are also contributing to his Police Blue Ribbon Insurance scheme. Joe’s 9% SASS contributions are $8,470 p.a. and his employer SASS contributions are $7,680. Joe and his employer are also required to contribute $1,440 and $5,440 respectively. Therefore Joe’s total concessional contributions will be $23,030 for the 2015/16 financial year.

Of course, the easiest way to be confident about your future, is to contact your friendly StatePlus team member today.

See our Building Your Wealth page for more information on the concessional contribution caps.

Visit one of our seminars to find out more about preparing for retirement.

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