Term Deposits Frequently Asked Questions
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Are term deposits worth it?
Ultimately, whether term deposits will work for you will depend on your particular financial needs.
Term deposits can be a great way to get your money working for you. By locking it away and forgetting about it for a period of time, it can earn interest for you. If you have the interest paid on a regular basis, rather than at maturity, you can either have some extra spending money or you can reinvest it into the term deposit to compound.
Of course, locking your money in a term deposit means you cannot access it for the length of the term, without paying a penalty for early withdrawal. This can remove the temptation to spend the money, while it also earns interest.
Is a term deposit an asset?
The short answer is yes – a term deposit is, indeed, an asset.
Regardless that the funds are locked away for a fixed period, when it comes to the balance sheet, it’s considered an asset.
Aside from being an asset, term deposits are also cash investments which are held at financial institutions like banks or credit unions.
Term deposits work by investing a set amount of cash in a bank account for a fixed period at a fixed interest rate.
When you deposit your money in a term deposit, you’re agreeing to lock it away for a predetermined period, ranging from short-term periods of one month all the way to long-term periods of up to 10 years.
Term deposits are a popular way to boost your bottom line by investing your money and increasing the value of your asset.
What is a fixed term deposit?
A fixed term deposit is a safe and stable way to earn a fixed return on your cash investment.
Fixed term deposits are essentially bank accounts where you lock your money away for a fixed period and earn a fixed interest rate on those funds.
Fixed term deposits can be both short term, which is usually anything under 12 months, or long term, which can be up to 10 years.
Once the fixed term has ended, the bank or financial institution will give you back your initial deposit plus any interest you earn during the fixed term period.
Depending on the type of fixed term deposit account you open, when the term matures, you may have the option of rolling the funds over for a new term or withdrawing the funds.
Unlike other savings or transaction accounts which offer variable interest rates and flexible features, fixed term deposits offer fixed interest rates, which means the amount of interest you earn will remain the same during the term of the deposit.
How often do term deposit rates change?
One of the advantages of a term deposit is that this type of investment enjoys a fixed interest rate. This means that the interest rate that you have signed up for will not change during the period of your term deposit, regardless of rising or falling market interest rates.
However, it is important to be aware of the end of your term deposit. Once your term ends, whether this is in three months or three years, many banks will default to rolling over your deposit into a new term, sometimes with a lower interest rate. Once your term deposit rolls over, you will then be locked into this new fixed interest rate for another term.
Make sure to use the grace period at the end of your term to your advantage. Shop around for a competitive interest rate and reinvest your money accordingly.
Are term deposit accounts subject to capital gains tax?
The tax you pay on a profit generated by a term deposit is not classified as capital gains tax (CGT). CGT applies to an asset (or investment), such as real estate or shares, where you either make a capital gain or a capital loss.
Interest earned on a term deposit is considered income though, and would need to be included in your annual income tax return.
The interest can be declared in the year the investment matures, or for the financial year it was credited to your account.
This also applies if you roll over your investment into a new term; you are still required to declare the interest earned at the rollover date (whatever financial year that falls in).
Can children have term deposit accounts?
It’s many parents’ wish to invest money for their child early, so you might be asking the question, “Can children have term deposit accounts?”
The short answer is yes. You can open a term deposit with funds that will be used to support your child. There are two options when it comes to opening a term deposit for your child. The first is that you open the term deposit in your name rather than theirs. Opening the deposit in your name means that you have full control over the deposit and can withdraw money by signing a request.
You can also open a deposit in your child’s name, but you should consider waiting until your child can sign his or her name, as well as understand their term deposit account. If your child isn’t old enough to sign a request for withdrawal, you won’t have access to withdraw the funds if you need to.
Can you take a term deposit out early?
If you are considering a term deposit, you may be wondering if you can take out your money early. It is possible to break a term deposit, but it will cost you both time and money.
Many banks require 31 days’ notice if you wish to break a term deposit. This means that if you need money urgently for an unexpected expense, it may not be worth breaking your term deposit. Make sure to read the fine print to see if this wait period applies to the term deposit you are considering.
You will also most likely need to pay a breakage fee in order to access your funds, and you may also incur a reduced amount of interest. All of this information – including the fee amounts – should be available in the term deposit product disclosure statement (PDS), so ensure that you read the fine print before committing.
What can a Westpac business term deposit offer me?
If you have a business registered in Australia, you can earn fixed returns on your funds with a Westpac business term deposit. These accounts are offered for a minimum investment amount of $50,000.
Westpac business term deposit interest rates vary based on the term and interest payment frequency that you select.
If you are a Westpac customer and use online banking, you can apply for a Westpac business term deposit online. If you don't have a Westpac account currently, you need to speak with a business banker to discuss your term and repayment options. You can find details on this webpage and can ‘request a callback’ from someone in the business team.
If you are an existing customer you may be eligible for a bonus rate on top of the standard Westpac bank business term deposit rates. You can log in to your bank account to check whether your banking records qualify you for extra interest.
If you open a deposit and need to access your locked funds before the maturity of your term deposit, you must provide 31 days of notice, except in cases of hardship.
What are the Commonwealth Bank business term deposit rates?
You can invest surplus funds in a Commonwealth Bank (CBA) business term deposit for between one month and five years. The minimum deposit amount required by Commonwealth Bank is $5,000. The CBA business term deposit interest rates are based on the length of time or term you set when first investing your funds. Each term attracts different interest rates.
When it comes to other fees, there are no establishment fees or ongoing account keeping fees for business term deposits. The CBA business term deposit rates are fixed, so you know the exact amount you will receive on maturity. But suppose you want to withdraw the amount before maturity. In that case, you need to give 31-days’ notice and may also have to pay an admin fee, and the interest rate may also be reduced.
You can open a CBA business term deposit if you’re over 18 years and possess a Tax File Number (TFN) and Australian Business Number (ABN) for your business.
You can find the current rates on CBA's website.
What are Bendigo Bank’s business term deposit rates?
Bendigo Bank offers businesses two types of term deposits - Standard and Gold. You can open a Standard term deposit by investing at least the specified minimum amount for a flexible investment period ranging up to five years. A Gold term deposit requires a larger minimum investment over a fixed term, which is currently one year.
However, you can’t add funds to a Standard term deposit after the first seven days, and any withdrawals before the review date need to be done on request. If you’ve opened a Gold term deposit, you can add more funds over the year, but withdrawals may be restricted just as with a standard term deposit.
A Standard term deposit’s interest rate depends on the amount deposited, the frequency of compounding interest, and the deposit term. Further, this interest rate may apply irrespective of how often interest is compounded. On the other hand, Gold term deposits usually offer a flat interest rate no matter how large or small the deposit, with the interest likely compounded every quarter.
To find out about Bendigo Bank’s current business term deposit rates, visit the banks’ website.
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