According to the Association of Superannuation Funds Australia (ASFA), we had a total of $2.02 trillion in super funds as a nation at the end of June 2015. There was $428 billion tied up in MySuper assets, and $16.8 billion paid into funds as contributions in the three months to June alone.
Clearly, when it comes to using super as a savings account, Australians aren't messing around. It is a good way of generating wealth, and when done right can set you up for a secure retirement. However, many Australians are unsure about exactly how to use their super fund or the most appropriate way of building up their savings.
There's so much information on the internet about superannuation, it can be hard to know who to listen to. Here are some resources that can help turn you from a super beginner to super expert.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
When it comes to superannuation, the ATO can be a fount of knowledge. Whether you need information on your particular details, advice on what super-specific terms mean or even how to operate a self-managed super fund (SMSF), this government organisation can help you out.
Australian Super provide over-the-phone or in-person advice on your super fund. This gives you personalised service for your specific financial situation, which is important. After all, you won't have the same income or retirement goals as the next person and as such any one-size-fits-all advice might not be appropriate.
Super Woman Money
The differences between people's financial situations and their super goals can be quite distinct between men and women. The Workplace Gender Equality Association noted that the full-time gender pay gap in September 2015 was still 17.9 per cent.
With this in mind, Super Woman Money presents a five-week program to help women get ahead with their finances and their super. The site also contains expert advice articles on topics such as building up your super account.
This website is a comprehensive, independent website that provides information to those with a super fund. If you're unsure which fund to choose, whether you should increase your contributions, start operating an SMSF or almost any other query, the site will have a relevant blog post.
As always, it shouldn't be taken to the letter, but it can be excellent general advice guiding you onto a more specific next step.
The ASFA is an excellent, authoritative service that anyone can use for super advice. The Retirement standard outlines how much people need in their super, while they also conduct extensive research and advocacy for those with super funds.
Described as "Australia's money management visionary" in his Sydney Morning Herald profile, Noel Whittaker hosts a column in the publication where he answers readers' questions each week. They can be about home loans, investment risks as well as superannuation. It is a great read for anyone interested in the financial issues other people face, especially when the conversation turns to super.
This is only a small sample of online resources regarding superannuation and SMSFs, but they are worth checking out. However, remember that sound professional advice should always be sought before committing to anything concrete.