Have you ever pictured yourself enjoying a life of leisure in retirement, travelling to new places, spending quality time with your loved ones, or simply relaxing?
While retirement may seem far off if you’re starting your career, it’s never too early to start planning. One of the essential components to achieving a comfortable retirement is your superannuation. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of super and how it can help you create the future you envision.
What is superannuation?
Superannuation, also known as ‘super’, is a way for Aussies to save money for retirement. Building a healthy super balance is one of the best ways to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in retirement, with the little luxuries and fun you’ve always dreamed of.
While working, your employer must pay a percentage of your salary into the super fund of your choice. This is known as the superannuation guarantee. The minimum super guarantee is set at 11% of your ordinary time earnings (that is, your basic wage, not counting any overtime or allowances), but this is legislated to increase incrementally to 12% by July 2025. Visit the ATO website for more information.
When it comes to eligibility for super payments, the rules are simple: your employer must pay super if you are over 18. Whether you’re a casual, part-time, or full-time employee doesn’t matter. If you’re under 18, employers must pay super if you work more than 30 hours per week. Generally, your fund holds your super until you retire from the workforce and have reached the ‘preservation age’. This varies between 55 and 60 years old, depending on when you were born.
What do super funds do?
Your super fund is responsible for safeguarding and optimising your superannuation until you can access it.
Super funds typically invest in various assets to grow their members’ balances, including cash, shares, property and fixed interest. Each asset type has a different risk and return level – so it’s essential to review the various investment options available and decide what’s right for you.
How do I choose a super fund?
You generally have the right to choose your super fund. It’s a good idea to spend some time researching, as selecting the right fund can make a big difference to your balance when you retire.
It’s particularly important to look at the fund’s performance and fees, as these will directly impact your savings. But you may also want to consider insurance, other services like financial advice and help, investment options, and the fund’s attitude towards responsible investment.
How can I grow my super?
The more you can do to maximise your super, the better your position can be when you retire. There are a few things you can do:
- Check your fund’s net benefit.
- Consider making additional contributions
- Look into consolidating your super
- Consider your investment options
- Consider getting financial advice before you make a decision.
Wherever you are in life, your super is one of the best ways to give your future self a financial boost.
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.*This information is general advice which does not take into account your personal financial objectives, situation or needs. Before making a decision about Vision Super, you should think about your financial requirements and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination. Issued by Vision Super Pty Ltd ABN 50 082 924 561 AFSL 225054.