Smarter Super - Invest in your future and make the most of your retirement
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Important Notice

This booklet gives information of a general nature and is not intended to be relied on by readers as advice in any particular matter.

You should consider consulting a financial adviser regarding how this information may apply to your own circumstances.

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KEEPING ON TOP OF YOUR SUPER

A small child getting their balance to stand at the top of a human pyramid

Superannuation is important! To get the most out of your super, you need to take more than a 'set and forget' approach to super.

While it is true that superannuation is a long-term investment and it could be dangerous to be too heavily influenced by short-term volatility or to try and time investment markets, it is important you remain proactive with your super.

Even if you do your homework and choose a super fund and an investment option, it doesn't mean this will always remain the best choice for you in the future. It's a good idea to review your superannuation arrangements from time to time. This doesn't necessarily mean you should make a change, but at least see how things are travelling. There are a number of ways you can keep on top of your super.

MONITORING PERFORMANCE

The performance of the investment option you choose will impact on your final superannuation balance and how much you will have when you retire – so it's important that you make an informed decision about what investment option suits your needs and whether it continues to do so as your needs change.

Performance can be hard to judge, especially because superannuation is a long-term investment. But if you are unhappy with the performance results of your super, it might be because you need to rethink your investment option.

CHECK YOUR FUND'S ANNUAL REPORT

You can find a lot of answers about how your super fund has performed in the fund's annual report. This includes details about the types of investments the fund made and how each type of investment option performed during the year – it’s the closest thing to a report card for your fund. This report will also detail latest developments within the fund, news about superannuation and any new investment opportunities.

REVIEW YOUR MEMBER STATEMENT

You’ll also receive a periodic statement which shows details of your super account. It’s important you check the details to ensure they are correct. For example, make sure your employer has contributed the correct amount.

If you don’t understand any of the information on your statement, contact your super fund. You have the right to a clear explanation.

Your periodic statement will outline:

  • The balance of your super account at the start of the period
  • How much your employer contributed during the period
  • How much you contributed during the period
  • What the fund earned on your money which it invested according to your instructions
  • How much the fund charged you for managing your money
  • How much insurance cover you have
  • What was taken out for Government taxes and charges
  • The balance in your super account at the end of the period.

STAY IN TOUCH WITH YOUR FUND

Check that your super fund has your most up-to-date contact details and let it know if things change. If you have more than one super fund, make sure each fund has your correct details.

Don't become one of the many Australians who have 'lost' their super. According to the Australian Taxation Office, more than $9.7 billion of superannuation is ‘lost’. If a super fund loses contact with a member – for example, their annual report and/or statement might be returned over a number of consecutive years – the fund might transfer the super to another fund known as an Eligible Rollover Fund or ERF. So not only might you forget about this super money, you might find it hard to track down.

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When you’re comparing and checking performance, remember:

  • Compare ‘like with like’. Make sure you are comparing your investment option with investment options that have similar underlying investments. Make sure that the performance results being compared relate to the same periods – for example, July to June results would be different from January to December results.
  • Take a long-term view. Superannuation is a long-term investment. Performance fluctuate in the short-term so consider at least a five year time frame when checking performance, as this tends to give more representative results. But keep in mind that past performance is no guarantee of future performance.

 

PROVIDE YOUR TAX FILE NUMBER

If you don’t give your super fund your Tax File Number (TFN):

  • your fund may not accept your contributions (employer or personal after-tax or spouse contributions) or you may pay an additional 31.5% tax (in addition to the standard 15% contributions tax) on employer contributions, including salary sacrifice and any contributions for which you claim an income tax deduction
  • you might miss out on any potential co-contribution made by the Government to your super account.

NOMINATE YOUR BENEFICIARY

It is also a good idea to provide your super fund with the details of your nominated beneficiary or beneficiaries. These are the people that you want your superannuation benefit to go to if you die. Funds may offer a non-binding or binding nomination facility. For more information on nominating beneficiaries, click here.

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