30%+ p.a. Returns Achieved from our Investment Covenant

30%+ p.a. Returns Achieved from our Investment Covenant

Corporate superannuation funds are required to have an Investment Strategy  as part of their obligations under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993. connectingthedots is pleased is offer its wholesale Investment Strategy which has achieved annual returns of excess of 30% per annum for growth assets over the last 6 years (to April 2022).

Our unique Strategy features 2 key portfolio benchmarks as follows:

      1. Valued Added Return above Market Index
      2. Risk Reduction via Reduced Volatility

These are demonstrated in the diagram below (in green).

It is also worth noting that all Investment Strategies are required to be reviewed by the Trustees every year and we recommend quarterly benchmarking and performance attribution.

Please use the email box above to secure a copy of our Investment Strategy in full.

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Retirement Income Covenant – Sample

Retirement Income Covenant – Sample

Connectingthedots is pleased is offer a sample “Retirement Income Covenant” for use by SMSFs and superannuation trustees alike. We’re making setting retirement objectives seamless.

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A clean template of this document is also available by email here.

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Retirement Income – Interactive Heatmap

Retirement Income – Interactive Heatmap

Connectingthedots is pleased to launch its superannuation heatmap for setting retirement income objectives. Simple and interactive, you can see how your superannuation balance compares.

Just by setting a few retirement income objectives - namely your target income, gender and retirement age - you can see if your superannuation balance is adequate to meet your retirement objectives.

Just move the cursor to match your age on the bottom axis and your assets on the left to see your result immediately.

Just click on the chart above to be redirected to this live, interactive chart. You can return to this page anytime.

Alternatively, click here to return to the main page.

The results presented in this tool are consistent with the principles of the Actuaries Institute’s Professional Standard No. 402 – “Accrued Benefits for Defined Benefit Superannuation Funds” and Australian Accounting Standard Board Standard 1056 – “Accounting Standard for Superannuation Entities”.

ATO Superannuation News

ATO Superannuation News

The Australian Taxation Office issues regular updates on superannuation matters. These have been aggregated for 2021 and are listed here.

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Life Tenant Factors – Australian Life Tables 2015-17

Life Tenant Factors – Australian Life Tables 2015-17

Life tenant factors for 2015-17 Australian Life Tables are available here using a discount rate of 5% per annum. It is noted that these factors have increased materially at advanced ages since the previous version.

Life Tenant Factors – Australia

The table above is available for online purchase at $99 +GST here.

For queries on the use and appropriateness of these factors for a stated purpose, please contact us directly.

Alternatively, you could use our online calculator here.

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Retirement Income Targets for All Ages

Retirement Income Targets for All Ages

How much superannuation is enough? For individuals considering a lifetime pension, the correct value is a function of both age and gender. Our actuaries have recently calibrated a complete table of targets required to produce a retirement income of $65,000 p.a.

For example, a retirement income of $65,000 p.a. (indexed) for a 70 year old female is valued at:
$802,776 (on average)

A complete table of targets for all ages is reproduced below:

There are a range of alternate targets applicable depending on other factors such as guaranteed periods, reversionary elements or personal health circumstances. These can be sourced via our online calculator here.

Retirement Income Target - Calculator
Superannuation – Is Cash Accounting Fit for Purpose?

Superannuation – Is Cash Accounting Fit for Purpose?

How do your annual SMSF accounts compare? The financial statements for most SMSFs are prepared as special purpose accounts and on a cash basis with no consideration for the retirement obligations of the fund’s members. This is less than helpful when say:

  • you have less than $200,000 and are mid-career, or
  • you are a couple approaching retirement with a combined balance of $500,000 or
  • you are a young adult with no savings, or
  • you have entered retirement phase with assets of around $650,000

An alternative to cash accounting would include some recognition of the retirement obligations of each SMSF. This is achieved by having each member formally set a retirement objective and including this in the notes to the accounts. This gives rise to a value of accrued benefits over the lifetime of all members relative to their objectives.

  • This would clearly indicate whether the fund is on target to meet its members’ retirement objectives.
  • There would be a greater incentive for all individuals to engage with their retirement objectives and savings.
  • It could be referred to by financial planners as a guide for providing further advice to members and trustees.
  • Any changes to the retirement objectives of the members could be explicitly measured and reported to both members and Government.
  • It would be cost neutral to Government and potentially offer savings in the longer term with a greater emphasis on long-term investment strategies.
  • The fund’s investment returns could be benchmarked annually against the assumptions used to determine the value of accrued benefits.

The concept of accrued benefits is already well established internationally within both accounting and actuarial standards for superannuation and pension funds.

Also by including this value in the notes to the financial accounts as a discretionary liability, it would remain off the balance sheet and yet would provide added guidance to both trustees and members alike.

For an immediate assessment of your accrued benefits, please try our online calculator below:

Valuation of Accrued Benefits - Calculator

Alternatively, you can download our submission to Treasury’s, “Review of Retirement Incomes in 2020,” – here.


Improvements in Australian Life Expectancy Slows

Improvements in Australian Life Expectancy Slows

The Australian Government Actuary (AGA) has released its latest life tables based on 2016 census data and noted the improving life expectancy has slowed since 2011. In its estimates of life expectancy, the AGA adopts improvements based on both the 25- and 125-year trends to estimate the latest life expectancies.

Previously, the shorter 25-year trend showed a greater rate of improvement than the longer 125-year trend. However in its latest estimates, the 25-trend has not been borne out in the latest census at 2016.

Source: Australian Government Actuary - Life Tables 2015-17 Figure 11

This is primarily  due to the mortality rates for those aged between 32 and 62 not being as consistently favourable with the expected trends:

As a result, the AGA has dropped the more favourable 25-year trend from its 2016 cohort estimates. Thus the life expectations for different cohorts of Australians using the 125-year trend only are now as follows:

Year of Birth






















Source: AGA Australian Life Tables 2015-17, p20


The effects of improving mortality are clearly demonstrated in the AGA’s estimates of life expectancy – both with and without these improvements – as follows:

Source: Australian Government Actuary - Life Tables 2015-17 Figure 12

In summary, the overall pattern is one of continued improvement over time which means we are all living longer with implications for aged care needs, retirement policies and aged pension costs.

Actuarial Certificates via BGL SimpleFund360

Actuarial Certificates via BGL SimpleFund360

We are pleased to announce the launch of our actuarial certificate service to superannuation trustees, auditors and accountants via the BGL platform. Through the use of API technology, all account balances and transactions are compiled in real time and presented as charts instantly. No data entry and no waiting.

All our certificates are reviewed by our inhouse actuary and all users can review their fund balances across the current tax year in real time as follows:

Then the results are presented immediately as a daily percentage chart allocated between taxed and untaxed balances together with the overall Tax Exempt Percentage for the year. A sample is as follows:

More information can be found about us on BGL’s help page here.

We hope that you like our approach to providing timely and relevant actuarial certificates.

If you would like to take advantage of this service, please defer to BGL and their SimpleFund360 platform.