Get to know your super
How Australians can find out about
chances are you've got some money in a super fund. But it can be
hard to find the motivation to engage with your super because
retirement may seem a long way away.
Here at MoneySmart we think it is important to 'get to know'
your super. Take a few small steps to understand your situation and
you will be able to improve your financial future through
Log in to your super account
In a recent MoneySmart poll, around 6 in 10 people said they
know how much they have in super. Around 4 in 10 said they either
didn't know or only sort of know how much super they have. This
suggests many Australians could benefit from finding out about
Most super funds have a lot of information online. If you've
never checked out your super fund's website then this is the first
thing you should do.
Consolidate your super into
one account so it is easier to manage your super and you will only
pay one set of fees.
You may need to create a username and
password. Once you've done this, log in and find out about your
fund. Have a quick scan over their information and feel free to
phone them if you have any questions.
You may also be able to download statements about your account
and see your balance, fees, insurance and investment options.
If you have money in more than one super fund you may decide to
consolidate it into a single fund. It is a good idea to see what
each fund offers when making this decision.
Find out what
investment options you're in
If you've never made an active choice about how your money is
invested within a super fund, your money will be put into a MySuper investment option. This is a
simple default option.
It is a good idea to see what types of investment options your
super fund offers. Most funds offer a range of investment choices.
Find out about super investment options.
By investigating what investment options your fund offers, you
may decide to take on more risk for possible higher investment
returns, or reduce your risk and secure what you've got. There is
no right or wrong approach. It is a personal decision that only you
can make based on your circumstances.
Find out what fees you're
Super funds charge different fees for managing your account,
contributions, insurance and more. As a general rule, the less you
pay in fees the more your super will grow. Find out more about super fees.
You can find out what fees you're being charged in your annual
statement, on the fund's website or in the Product Disclosure
Statement (PDS). You can also phone your fund and ask them.
To work out whether your super fund is charging you high or low
fees, compare it to other similar funds. Our superannuation
calculator can help you do this.
Compare the impact of fees on your super fund.
What insurance do you
have in super?
If you're in a MySuper option, you'll most likely have default
life insurance covering Total and Permanent
Disability (TPD) and death. You can opt out of this or you may be
able to change your level of cover. Other forms of insurance such
protection might also be available.
If you have money in more than one super fund, you could be
paying multiple insurance premiums. Consider whether you need all
of this cover, particularly since in some cases you may only be
able to claim once. Talk to your super fund to find out more about
your insurance including the limits of your cover.
contributing more to super
You can give your super a boost by contributing extra to your
super account from your own money. This can be done by salary
sacrifice or by after-tax contributions.
Contributing more to super is a great way to build your wealth.
You only need to make small, but regular contributions to see a big
impact over time. Of course, keep in mind the extra money you
contribute is locked away until you retire.
Case study: Jean-Luc finds out about his super
Jean-Luc, 35, working full-time, decides it is time
to take a look at his super. He goes to his fund's website and
finds out he is in the MySuper investment option which he is happy
with because of the balanced/growth approach.
Jean-Luc thinks carefully about his situation and decides he can
afford to salary sacrifice $100 every fortnight into super. By
doing this he increases his projected super balance at retirement
by the equivalent of around $100,000. That means Jean-Luc can have
a better lifestyle in retirement.
Getting to know your super is something
that many Australians put off because there may be more pressing
financial issues. But if you can take some time to love your super,
over time, it will love you back.
Last updated: 30 Jan 2017