If you’re one of the millions of Australians who hold multiple superannuation accounts, you might be ready to move your retirement savings into one place.
When you start a new job, the amount of paperwork you’re obliged to complete can seem overwhelming. So, it’s understandable that you might have opted for an employer’s default super fund on more than one occasion, simply out of convenience.
The downside is that while it may have made your life a little easier in the moment, it’s likely you’ve consequently accrued an assortment of unnecessary super funds over the years. This can make it difficult to keep track of your nest egg and means you’re likely paying much more than you need to in fees.
Luckily, consolidating your super funds is a fairly easy process that can significantly impact how much money you retire with.
What to consider before consolidating
Before you get started with the super consolidation process, there are a few things worth considering:
Choose a super fund
First thing’s first, you’ll need to decide which super fund you are rolling the others into. Whether it’s one of the funds you’re already a member of, or you’re interested in opening a new one altogether, consider taking the opportunity to compare your options. When comparing super funds, it’s important to take into account the type of fund, fees charged, past performance, investment options and any insurance or services offered.
Check employer contributions
MoneySmart recommends checking your current accounts to see if switching funds could affect how much your employer contributes, as they may contribute more to certain funds.
Check your insurance cover
If you have insurance with a current super fund, such as life, total and permanent disability (TPD), and/or income protection insurance, it’s worth considering whether you will be able to access the same cover through another fund.
Those who have pre-existing medical conditions and/or who are over the age of 60 should pay particular attention to this.
Check for exit fees
Some funds will charge you a fee to close your account. It’s important to have an understanding of any penalties that may apply before you make a decision.
Tell your employer
Unless you ultimately decide to keep the super account that your current employer has on file, don’t forget to pass on the details for the fund you choose.
- TIP: If you’ve changed your name, address, job or lived overseas, there’s a chance that you could have unclaimed super. The ATO can help you recover any money that you’ve unintentionally lost track of.
How to consolidate your super
Once you’ve got your ducks in a row, there are five simple steps to follow to consolidate your super:
- Get in touch with your chosen fund to see if they are able to consolidate your super for you. Often, they will give you the option to complete an online form on their website or fill in a PDF.
- However, if they don’t offer this service, or you’d like to do it yourself, you can log into your myGov account – or sign up if you don’t already have one.
- Go to the ATO section of your myGov account – or link it if you haven’t already.
- Click the Super tab, which is where you should be able to find details of all your super accounts.
- Identify the one you want to have as your primary super account and transfer the money from the other account(s) to this one. Your money should be transferred within three days.