Indigenous - Super and us mob
About ASIC and MoneySmart
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
regulates financial services.
ASIC's MoneySmart website is designed to help you make smart
choices about your personal finances. It offers calculators and
tips to give you fast answers to your money questions.
Visit moneysmart.gov.au or call ASIC on 1300 300 630 or
ASIC's Indigenous Helpline on 1300 365 957.
About this booklet
This booklet helps you understand super and how to get the most
out of it for you and your family.
If things go wrong
If you are having problems with money or your health and need to
get your super early, see Getting your super
If you are having problems getting your boss to pay your super,
finding lost super or getting a tax file number, call the
Australian Taxation Office's Indigenous Helpline on 13 10 30 or
If you are in financial trouble, a financial counsellor can
help. Call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 to talk
to a financial counsellor.
If you disagree with a decision a super fund has made, and would
like to complain, see If you have a problem with
a super fund.
What is super?
Superannuation is a way of saving money while you are working so
that you and your family will have money when you retire.
Your boss pays your super into a fund and it is the fund's job
to look after this money and invest it until you retire.
- Super is on top of what you earn - If you are
over 18 and earn at least $450 per month (before tax), your boss
must pay an extra 9.5% on top of your wages into a super fund. This
is called the super guarantee. (If you are under 18, you also need
to work more than 30 hours a week to get super.) So, if you earn
$25,000 per year before tax, your boss must pay $2,375 into your
super account. The super guarantee is gradually increasing to 12%
in the coming years.
- Watch your money grow - During your working
life, your super will grow so that you will have money for your
retirement. The super fund will add investment returns to your
super, and take out fees and charges for administration, any
insurance premiums, and tax.
- Insurance - Most super funds offer insurance
for an extra fee so your family can get some money when you pass
away or if you are too sick or injured to work.
Make sure you are being paid super
Getting super is your legal right. To make sure your super is
being paid, you can:
- check your payslip - It should show how much
super you are being paid
- talk to your boss - Ask how often they are
paying your super, how much they are paying, and which fund it is
- check with your fund - Call your super fund to
check whether your boss has been paying your super
- sign up for a myGov account - Create an
account at my.gov.au and link it to the Australian Taxation
Office (ATO) to see how much has been paid to your super fund. You
will also see the details of any other super funds you have
- contact the ATO - If you're still not sure if
your boss is paying enough super, visit ato.gov.au or call the ATO's
Indigenous Helpline on 13 10 30.
Case study: Bec asks her boss about her super
I've been working in a cafe for a while and I know I'm meant to
be getting super on top of my wages. When I asked my boss about it,
she said she was paying my super every month and gave me the name
of the super fund. I called them and found out I have about $3,000
in my super account. I'll get a statement every year so I can check
how it's growing. I'm glad I spoke to my boss because now I know
more about my super.
a super fund
Most workers can choose their own super fund. This means you can
choose a fund that works best for you, like one with low fees and
insurance that suits your needs.
To find out if you can choose your fund, call the Australian
Taxation Office (ATO) on 13 10 30 or visit ato.gov.au.
Starting a new job and super
When you start a new job, you need to fill in forms to choose a
super fund. You can join your employer's standard fund, stay in
your existing super fund, or start with a new fund.
If you're not sure whether you already have a super fund, you
can check online using your myGov account. Log in to the myGov
website and create an account, then link it to the ATO. Then
you'll be able to see all your super funds in one place.
Smart tip: A good time to think about super
Starting a new job is a good time to check all your different
super accounts from past jobs and choose the best super fund for
you. Make sure you don't lose insurance or other features you might
want. Contact your super fund or a Financial Information Service
officer at your local Centrelink Office, if you need help.
How to choose a super fund
Tell your boss which fund to pay your super into by filling in a
'standard choice form' from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Ask your boss for a copy of this form.
Make sure your super goes to the fund you choose. Your boss can
give you general facts about super, but can't tell you which fund
is best for you.
What if you don't want to choose a fund?
If you don't choose a super fund, your boss will pay your super
into a MySuper
account with basic insurance and low fees.
Case study: Travis chooses a super fund
I've started a new job as a health worker and I need to let my
boss know, in writing, which super fund I have chosen. I can go
with my employer's fund or choose my own. I am looking for a fund
that has low fees and good insurance cover.
Super and your ID
If you are trying to access your super or look for lost super,
you will need to prove your identity. To do this, you may need your
tax file number (TFN), your birth certificate, driver's licence or
other documents that prove who you are.
Sometimes these documents can be hard to find, and your name
might be spelt slightly differently on each document.
It will be easier to prove who you are if you:
- keep identity and tax documents - Store them
in a safe place and make sure your family know where they are
- use the same name - Try to use the same name
and spelling when filling in important forms.
Smart tip: Get a tax file number (TFN)
If you work or receive a Centrelink benefit, you will need a
TFN. A TFN is given to you by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
to manage your tax and super. Everyone gets their own TFN and it's
yours for life and you should be the only one who uses it.
If you don't have a TFN or you don't know what your TFN is, call
the ATO's Indigenous Helpline on 13 10 30.
Super and your tax file number (TFN)
Make sure your super fund has your TFN because:
- it will be easier to find any lost super
- you won't pay more tax than you need to
- it will be easier to get any government contributions (see Putting extra money into your super).
Even though your boss is meant to pass on your TFN to your fund,
some bosses don't, so always check your annual super statement or
call your fund to make sure they have your TFN.
Case study: Jill starts a new job
Starting my new job at the local store means filling in heaps of
forms. But I know I have to give my boss my tax file number and
they'll pass it on to my super fund. Otherwise, I could end up
paying a lot more tax than I need to. I found my TFN on an old
letter from the ATO. I've put all my important documents in a
safe place at home so I can find them when I need them next.
money into your super
If you can spare some extra money now, you can put it into your
super fund so you will have more when you retire.
If you put more money in, you might get extra money from the
government for your super. This is called the 'super
co-contribution'. The government will pay this money straight into
your super fund.
Low income super tax offset (LISTO)
If you earn less than $37,000 you may also get a 'low income
super tax offset' of up to $500 from the government every year. You
will get this whether or not you add extra money to your super. The
Australian Taxation Office will automatically make these payments
into your super if you meet the criteria. However, government
policy about this contribution is subject to change, so visit ato.gov.au to find out the
Smart tip: Check you can spare the money
If you're thinking of putting some of your own money into your
super, make sure you can spare it. Once you have put extra money
into super, you usually can't touch it until you retire.
Case study: Aunty Kelly puts extra into her super
I've been teaching at my local primary school for 14 years, and
I'm starting to think about retirement. I heard that if I put some
of my own money into my super fund, the government will put some
in, too. It's called a super co-contribution. I reckon I might do
this. It'll help me live more comfortably when I retire.
Keeping track of your super
It's important to keep track of your super, especially if you
have more than one job or change jobs.
Ask your boss which super fund your super is going into. If you
don't choose a fund, your boss will pay your super into a MySuper
Check your yearly super statement
Each year you should receive a super statement from every fund
you belong to. Keep your statements because they tell you important
facts about your super.
Smart tip: Check your super fund has your address
If you don't get a super statement in the post or by email once
a year, your super fund may not know your current address. Find out
who your super fund is by asking your boss and call them to update
Finding lost super
If you've ever changed your name, address or job, you may have
lost track of some of your super. Having more than one super
account could mean you are paying more fees and charges than you
need to, which will mean you get less when you retire.
Here are some ways to find your lost super:
- Link your myGov account to the Australian Taxation
Office (ATO) - This will let you see details of all your
super accounts, as well as any ATO-held super, which is money being
held for you because your boss or the government couldn't find an
account to transfer your super to.
- Check with your previous bosses - Ask them
which fund your super was paid into, then contact each fund.
Your boss was probably not required to pay super before 1992, so
you may not have any super from jobs you had before this time.
For tips on finding the super of a family member who has passed
away, see Finding the super of a deceased family
Case study: Cousin Stan checks his super
I work on the fishing boats and get paid by different people. I
keep my pay slips even though sometimes I have to chase them up,
but I'm not sure about my super.
I'm going to ask my bosses what funds they pay my super into, so
I know what's going on. It would be good to bring all my super
together into just one fund so it's easier to keep track of. Also,
I'll only have to pay one lot of fees. But I need to make sure
I pick a good fund for me. If I need help moving my super into one
fund, I'll talk to a financial counsellor. They can also give me
more information about my super funds so I can decide which one I
want to keep.
Putting all your super into one fund
If you have more than one super account, you might want to bring
your money together into one fund. This makes it easier to keep
track of, reduces paperwork and saves on fees.
Here's what to do:
- Choose one fund - Decide which super fund you
want to keep. See our tips on how to compare funds and find a good one
- Tell your employer - Then they will know
where to pay your super.
- Contact the fund you want to move to - Tell
them you want to transfer super from other accounts into their
fund. You will need to send a form to each fund you're closing
along with identification. The fund you are staying with should be
able to help you do this.
You can also use your myGov account linked to the ATO to move
your super into one account.
If you're planning to move your super from one fund to another,
check first to see if you'll have to pay an exit fee to leave the
fund. You should also check what insurance cover you have in each
super fund, because if you close a fund, you will lose this
insurance. A free financial counsellor can help you
find out what insurance cover you have with your super funds.
Financial counsellors can't tell you which fund is best for you,
but they can help you get the information you need to make this
Fees and charges
Super funds charge you fees for the services they provide. There
are different types of fees, like administration and investment
fees, as well as indirect costs. All funds charge fees but some
cost less than others.
Find out what fees the funds are charging and compare them
before you decide which one to go with. Try the super
calculator to see how fees can affect your super.
When you change jobs
If you change jobs, or have more than one job, you can generally
choose to have all your super paid into a single super fund (See Choosing a super fund).
Case study: Tahlia sorts out her super
I have had a few different jobs over the years and my super is
in different accounts. I decided it was time to get it all in one
place. It was much easier than I expected. I signed up for a myGov
account and I could see all of my super funds in one place. I put
them all in one fund and now I pay less fees, which means I'll
have more money when I retire, and it's easier to keep track of my
Life insurance through super
Most super funds offer life insurance so your family
will get a payout when you pass away, or if you are too sick or
injured to work.
If you have life insurance, you will pay regular amounts called
premiums, which come out of your super.
You may lose your insurance cover if you move to a different
fund, leave your job, or your boss stops making your super
Check your insurance cover
Find out how much insurance cover you have by calling your super
fund. They will tell you the amount your family will get if
anything happens to you. You will need to decide if this amount is
enough to look after anyone who depends on you if you can't
Getting help with your insurance
Super and insurance can be tricky because the type of insurance
cover and the cost of insurance is different for each fund. If you
need help to work out the best insurance for you or to make an
insurance claim, talk to your super fund, a local legal
service, a financial counsellor or a
Financial Information Service officer at your local Centrelink
Case study: Uncle Danny checks his insurance
I became a grandpa for the ninth time yesterday! Real proud
grandpa I am. I reckon it's time I checked that my family will be
ok if something happens to me. The other day my boss had a yarn
about that super stuff and I found out that I get insurance with my
I'm going to call my super fund to find out how much it costs to
get enough insurance cover for me and my family. If I'm not happy
with their answer, I'll think about changing my super fund.
Smart tip: Check your insurance cover
Before signing up for separate life insurance or income
protection, check if you already have cover with your super fund.
This will save you paying two lots of premiums for insurance
Getting your super
When you turn a certain age and retire, you can get the super
that has been saved over your working life. To be retired, you must
work less than 10 hours a week.
Look for your date of birth in the table below to find out when
you can get your super.
|Your date of birth
Age you can get your super
|Before 1 July 1960
|1 July 1960 - 30 June 1961
|1 July 1961 - 30 June 1962
|1 July 1962 - 30 June 1963
|1 July 1963 - 30 June 1964
|From 1 July 1964
The age that you can get your super can change, so use
the super and pension age
calculator for the most recent information.
Planning your retirement
Working out how much money you'll have when you retire is
important. When you retire, you can choose to get your super as a
lump sum, a regular income stream (for example, $400 a month), or a
combination of both. The retirement planner can help you work
out what income you'll have in your retirement.
You can also get free help from a Financial Information Service
officer at your local Centrelink office.
Getting your super early
There are very strict laws about when a fund can release your
super. You will only be able to get your super early for these
- Incapacity - You are not able to work because
of a physical or mental medical condition.
- Severe financial hardship - You have received
Centrelink benefits for 26 continuous weeks and are still not able
to meet your immediate living expenses.
- Compassionate grounds - You need to pay for
medical costs, modify your home or vehicle for a severe disability,
stop your home being sold, or pay for the funeral of a
- Terminal medical condition - If you have an
illness or injury and doctors have told you that you are likely to
pass away within 24 months.
For more information, call the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
on 13 10 20 or visit
Before you talk to your super fund about getting your super
early, talk to a financial counsellor. They might be able to
explain your other options.
Stay away from dodgy people who tell you they will help you get
your super early for a fee. These are scams. Some people have lost
all their super savings and risked paying extra tax because they
got caught up in one of these scams. Report anyone who tries to get
your super out early for a fee to ASIC's Indigenous Helpline
on 1300 365 957.
What happens to your super when you pass
There are two ways to pass on your super:
- Tell your fund - Tell the fund who you want
your super to go to by filling out a 'binding nomination form'. The
person or people you nominate must be your dependants or the legal
representative of your estate. If you nominate anyone else, the
fund may decide not to pay them your super. Not all funds offer
binding death benefit nominations.
- Let the fund pay one or more of the people eligible to
receive your death benefit - If you have not told the fund
who to pay your super to, it will pay either your dependants or the
legal representative of your estate, according to super laws and
rules of the fund. Some funds let you suggest who they should pay
in these circumstances, but they don't have to follow your
It is worth talking to your fund about where you want your money
to go and what they can do to help you.
This is an important decision. You can get help from a Financial
Information Service officer at Centrelink or get legal advice.
Smart tip: Who are dependants?
Dependants are your children, your spouse (e.g. husband, wife,
de facto or same sex partner) and other people who rely on you for
financial or personal support.
What will be paid out?
The super fund will pay out the money in your super account, as
well as any life insurance you had with your super. This is called
your 'death benefit'.
Case study: Natalie cares for her nephews
I've been looking after my two nephews since their mum passed
away. I want to make sure those young fellas will be treated like
my other kids if anything happens to me, so I called the super
fund. They sent me a binding nomination form and I nominated my
husband, three kids and two nephews. This way there'll be no
arguing if I pass away because the super fund will know who I want
the money to go to.
Finding the super of a family
member who has passed away
If someone in your family has passed away, contact their super
fund to discuss how their super will be paid out. If you don't know
the name of their fund, here are some steps to track it down:
- Look for documents - Payslips might tell you
the name of their super fund, or any letters from the fund that
your relative kept.
- Contact their past employers - They might be
able to tell you which fund your family member's super was paid
- Call the ATO - Phone the ATO's Indigenous
Helpline on 13 10 30 for help finding a deceased family member's
- Contact APRA - If the fund is no longer in
business, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority may be
able to give you a current contact address. Visit apra.gov.au or call 1300 558 849.
If you have
a problem with a super fund
If you disagree with something a super fund does, like how they
pay a death benefit, or if there is a mistake or delay with your
super, talk to the fund first. You can send them an email or a
letter to explain the problem and how you would like it
If you cannot agree with the fund or they don't respond to you
in 90 days, you can complain to the Australian
Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) on 1800 931
If you're not happy, take action as soon as possible, as time
limits may apply.
Where to get more information
Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
or call ASIC's Indigenous Helpline 1300 365 957
Contact ASIC to:
- get help with any issues you are having with super, including
problems proving your identity, working out where your super is, or
who you should contact
- find a free local financial counsellor who can help sort out
- report anyone who tells you they can help you get your
superearly for a fee.
Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
ato.gov.au or call ATO's
Indigenous Helpline 13 10 30
Contact the ATO to get:
- help if your boss has not paid your super
- a Tax File Number (TFN)
- help finding your lost super.
ASIC's MoneySmart website has calculators, tools and tips to
help you with:
Last updated: 01 Nov 2018