A part of managing your super and making it work for you is understanding your annual statement when it arrives. Member statements are often full of terms you may be unfamiliar with, but it’s important to check at least a few key points to ensure your retirement savings are on track.
Your personal details
Verify the accuracy of your personal details to avoid problems. Make sure your contact details are still correct, and, to avoid paying any extra tax, check to see we have your tax file number (TFN).
Your account balance
To see how much you have in your account at the start and end of the financial year, check the opening and closing balances. The difference between the two figures is usually contributions coming in, investment returns, tax, fees/premiums coming out and of course any withdrawals that may have been made.
Understand the different components of your account balance:
- Preserved – can be withdrawn only if you satisfy a condition of release.
- Restricted non-preserved – can be withdrawn when you leave your employer or satisfy another condition of release. Usually it only applies to contributions made prior to 1 July 1999.
- Unrestricted non-preserved – can be withdrawn at any time, but tax may apply.
Check the fees listed on your statement. They usually include an administration fee, which covers the cost of managing your account and an investment fee.
Some funds charge fees which Vision Super does not, such as a fee for receiving contributions or switching investment options. If you have multiple accounts, make sure you familiarise yourself with these costs to ensure you understand what you’re paying for. Understand whether you cabcan consolidate accounts is also worth understand. Please remember if you have an active Defined Benefit account this can’t be consolidated.
Check what insurance cover you have as part of your super account and what the premiums are. Make sure the level of cover you have matches your current expectations.
If you do have insurance cover it is always good to review it when your circumstances change, like getting a pay rise or starting a family. This way you’ll make sure you’re covered for what you need and not paying for something you don’t need.
Also, check if you’ve lost your insurance cover because your account was inactive. As a result of the 1 July 2019 Protecting Your Super reforms, you may wish to reapply for insurance.
Check the investment option listed on your super statement in the notes section because this explains your mix of investment assets. Each investment option has a different mix of assets and may include local and international shares, property, fixed interest and cash. Think about whether your investment option (such as high growth, balanced, conservative or cash) reflects your risk appetite.
Then look to see how your investments have performed during the year and how the investment returns compare to its benchmark. For example, Vision Super’s Balanced Growth option is consistently in the top 10 performing funds for 1, 3, 5 and 10 years rolling returns1 so make sure your fund’s performance is similar or better than its benchmark. This will also help to understand if your return expectations are realistic.
Your contributions and transactions
Review the list of transactions for your super account. Your transactions can include your employer contributions, any personal contributions you made, rollovers that have occurred, and, if you made withdrawals, that information will be in your transaction history also.
Check your employer has paid regular Superannuation Guarantee amounts into your super account. If the payments are not there, contact your employer immediately.
Confirm you’re happy with the beneficiary you’ve nominated to receive the balance of your super account and any insurance benefit if you die.
There are two types of nominations, binding or non-binding, and they’re both significantly different. Estate planning can be a complex matter so you may wish to seek legal advice.
Vision Super is here for you
Reading your statement doesn’t have to be scary. If you’re not sure if you’re doing the right thing, Vision Super’s friendly staff are here to help you on every aspect of your super, from the simplest question through to a comprehensive financial plan. To learn more, head to our Advice page or call us on 1300 300 820 Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5pm.
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance