Nuts and Bolts
Sorting your super will feel as good as cleaning out your wardrobe – we promise! If you’ve decided to take action, read on …
1) Understand the basics
- The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s consumer website, MoneySmart, has a great section on superannuation with lots of information.
2) Sort out your super
- Sounds obvious, but find out how much you currently have in your super account/s. Do this by checking your account on your super fund’s website or by looking at your last annual statement.
- If you have more than one fund, think about rolling them over so that you only have one fund. You’ll find a rollover form on your current super fund’s website (if that’s the fund you decide you want to stick with).
- Check to see if you have any lost super – enter your details in the Check your super section of the Australian Taxation Office website.
3) Understand what type of fund you’re in & how much you pay in fees
- Make sure your super is invested in the right type of fund for you. If you need help think about speaking to a financial adviser.
- Understand how much you’re paying in fees. Experts generally advise that between 1-1.5% is reasonable.
4) Decide on your goals
- What sort of lifestyle do you want to lead when you retire? Read about the Association of Superannuation Funds in Australia’s retirement standards – it’ll give you a few ideas about what to aim for.
- Work out how much you’ll have in your super fund when you retire based on your current contributions. MoneySmart has a great superannuation calculator that’ll work this out for you.
5) Think about boosting your super
- Consider making the most of the Australian Government’s super co-contribution scheme (rules apply) and contributing something to your super.
- Also think about about salary sacrificing – it could make a big difference to your future returns. The Association of Superannuation Funds in Australia say that a 15% salary contribution (instead of the current 9.5%) is necessary for most people to accrue enough income to retire on without suffering financial hardship.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s consumer website MoneySmart has a fantastic section on superannuation. Make sure you use the calculator to project what your retirement fund could be worth in the future if you continue with the same contributions or if you start making extra payments.
The ATO website has a good overview of superannuation with a strong taxation bent.
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s website is is the place to go if you think your super is being mismanaged, or if you don’t believe that your employer is forwarding super payments.
Find a financial adviser
Check out the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s website MoneySmart – it has loads of great information about obtaining personal financial advice and finding a qualified financial adviser. Experts often suggest you find an adviser who charges by the hour instead of receiving a commission.
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