Checking your super statement

Is your superannuation on track?

Checking your annual super statement can make a big difference to how much money you'll have when you retire. Here we explain what to check on your super statement.

Check your personal details and super contributions

Whether you receive your statement by post, online or in an email don't ignore or delete it. Spend a few moments getting to know your super to see if you could be doing better.

Smart tip

Keep all your statements together in a safe place so it's easier to keep track of your super, and have your fund's contact details handy if you need them.

Check the following to see if you need to make any changes:

  • Personal details - Make sure your address and contact details are correct so your money doesn't end up in lost super.
  • Balance - Does the balance look about right? Consider your starting balance, employer contributions, investment returns and fees. If something doesn't look right, contact your super fund and ask them to explain.
  • Employer's payments - Make sure you've received all your employer contributions. Employers only have to transfer super contributions quarterly, but they can pay super more frequently. If you are concerned about unpaid super contributions, see the ATO's information on  unpaid super.
  • Personal contributions - If you've made personal contributions, either directly or through salary sacrifice, make sure your super fund received them.
  • Tax - Employer and salary sacrifice contributions are taxed at 15%. Investment returns are taxed at a maximum of 15%. If you have been taxed more than this, your super fund may not have your tax file number. Check with your fund and give them the details they need.

Compare fees and investment returns

Being in a fund with low fees and good returns can have a significant impact on your income later in life. Use a super comparison website to compare your fund with others over a 5-10 year period to see if it stacks up. The net return (investment return less fees) is what matters in the long run. Just because a fund did well last year, doesn't mean it will do well this year, or the following year. 

Smart tip

Compare funds based on the investment option you want to be in, which may be different to how you are currently invested.

When you review your super statement take a look at:

  • Fees - Do the fees look reasonable? APRA's Annual Superannuation Bulletin shows that super fund members pay an average of 0.8% pa in administration and investment fees. If you're not happy with the fees you're paying consider changing super funds.
  • Investments - Consider whether your investment option is appropriate for your age and attitude towards risk. This may change over time. Most funds allow you to split your money across more than one investment option. Your super fund can help you choose the right options for you.

Review your insurance and beneficiaries

Most super fund members have a basic level of personal insurance within their super fund. The question is, does it meet your needs?

Insurance

Insurance is not a fee, it is a premium for personal insurance cover, typically death, disability and income protection. Insurance through super can be a cost-effective way of protecting you and your family from financial difficulty if something goes wrong.

If you've changed jobs, your life insurance may have also changed, even if you've stayed with the same super fund. Check that your insurance premiums are based on your actual circumstances, for example that you haven't been classified as a blue collar worker or a smoker if that doesn't apply to you. This information might not be on your statement, but your super fund will be able to tell you. 

Check that you have the cover that you need but are not paying for something you don't want.

Beneficiaries

Super cannot be dealt with in your will, so it's important to consider who will get your super (including your insurance) if something happens to you.

A beneficiary is a person you nominate to receive your super benefits (death benefits) if you die. If you have not nominated one or more beneficiaries, the super fund trustee will decide who gets your super. See super death benefits for more information.

Beneficiary nominations can be binding or non-binding. A binding nomination is typically only valid for 3 years so it's important to make sure your nominations are up to date, especially if your circumstances have changed since you last made the nomination.

Consolidate multiple funds

If you receive more than one super statement this year, it probably means you have more than one super account. You might be able to save on fees and insurance if you consolidate your super

Don't automatically keep the fund with the highest balance, compare multiple funds on their merits before you decide which one to keep.

Make sure you can get the insurance cover you need within your chosen fund before you close an account that currently provides you with insurance.

Get personal financial advice if you need help deciding on a super fund and an appropriate level of insurance cover.

If you don't understand your super statement, or think that there's an error, contact your super fund. Make sure your super fund has your correct details and that you know what you're paying for!


Last updated: 07 Sep 2018