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Commonwealth Bank of Australia Superannuation

Commonwealth Bank, CommBank or CBA as it is commonly known as operates internationally with businesses in New Zealand, Asia and the United Kingdom. Commonwealth Bank was founded in 1911 by the Andrew Fisher Labour Government. Unlike any other financial institutions in Australia, it was the first and only bank in Australia to receive a Federal Government guarantee which provided security for the Bank to carry out both savings and general bank trading business. The Bank became a public company in 1991 and underwent three stages of privatisation until 1996. The Commonwealth Bank brand has grown to become one of the best recognised in the financial services industry. Their other award-winning brands include Colonial First State investments and retail broker Commonwealth Securities (CommSec). The Bank has positioned itself for future growth as it continues to provide a full range commercial and of retail banking services including home loans, credit cards, personal loans, term deposits, transaction accounts and car insurance.

Car Loans Disclaimer: Applications are subject to the Bank’s normal credit approval. Apply and fund a new Secured Car Loan by 31 July 2016 to receive a 1% discount on your approved interest rate.

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Choosing your superannuation fund is an important decision to get right, as the performance of your fund can affect how much money you have when you retire.

But how do you compare one fund with another, especially when so many institutions seem to be offering similar products? Here’s how to choose a super fund that meets your needs.

Can I choose my own super fund?

Thanks to reforms made by the government in 2005, most workers in Australia have the freedom to choose their own superannuation fund, whether that’s one run by the Commonwealth Bank or another institution.

When you start a new job, your employer will give you a standard choice form that allows you to request which fund you would like your super contributions to be placed in. You can also change your super fund at any time by filling out an ATO rollover form and sending it to your new fund.

If you don’t select your own super fund, your employer will choose a default fund for you, so it’s worth taking the time to choose a fund you’re happy with.

Here are some questions to ask when comparing Commonwealth Bank super with other funds on the market.

What investment options does the fund offer?

Super funds offer different investment options with varying levels of risk and return. Although each fund has its own mix, these options can generally be grouped into three categories:

  • Growth most of your money is invested in growth assets (for example, shares or property) to deliver long-term returns, but with greater risk of loss
  • Conservative most of your money is invested in income assets that offer a steady but modest return, such as fixed interest or cash.
  • Balanced this strategy strikes a balance between high-risk growth assets and low-risk income assets.

Before signing up with a super fund, find out if they have an investment strategy that suits your needs.

If you have 20 years of work ahead of you, a balanced strategy may help you grow your nest egg, while a conservative option may be suitable if you’re close to retirement and want to keep your money secure.

Does the fund give a good long-term return on investment?

How a super fund performs can make a big difference to your nest egg, even if it’s only a matter of a few percentage points. When you are researching super funds on the market, rather than simply looking at last year’s investment return, it can be a good idea compare each fund’s performance over the last five years using the RateCity website. This will give you an indication of how each fund performs over time.

Also, make sure you are comparing apples with apples. For a fair comparison, compare, say, the growth option of one super fund with the growth option of another, not with the balanced option.

What insurance products does the fund offer?

There can be advantages to buying insurance with your super fund. They tend to offer cheaper policies compared to stand-alone insurance products, and the premiums you pay are tax-effective, as they are deducted from your pre-tax income.

Many funds offer a range of insurance products for its members, such as life insurance, total and permanent disability cover and income protection cover. When selecting a super fund, check what types of insurance they offer, the premiums they charge (some are more expensive than others) and what limitations they have for each policy.

What fees does the fund charge?

Fees can eat into your superannuation over time, so don’t forget to check what fees a fund charges by reading the product disclosure information. Some common fees charged by super funds include:

  • exit fees for closing the fund
  • administration fees
  • financial advice fees
  • fees for managing your investment
  • contribution fees
  • switching fees when you swap investment options.

Are there any other services the fund offers that are of interest to me?

Like any other financial product, super funds often come with features that make it easier for you to keep track of your super.

This may include things such as an online account, financial planning services, financial education products, assistance with retirement planning and financial calculators.

Find out if the fund you are researching has any features that appeal to you.

Superannuation and CBA

Investing your superannuation with Commonwealth Bank may help you better save towards your retirement.

To open a Commonwealth Bank super account, you can speak to someone over the phone, visit in person at a local branch, or simply apply online. If your money is spread across multiple accounts and you’re not sure how to locate it, you can also use Commonwealth Bank’s online services or app to find your lost super.

Commonwealth Bank will offer support if you need help setting up your super account.

FAQs

Australia’s modern superannuation system – in which employers make compulsory contributions to their employees – started in 1992. However, before that, there were various restricted superannuation schemes applying to certain employees in certain industries. The very first superannuation scheme was introduced in the 19th century.

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^Words such as "top", "best", "cheapest" or "lowest" are not a recommendation or rating of products. This page compares a range of products from selected providers and not all products or providers are included in the comparison. There is no such thing as a 'one- size-fits-all' financial product. The best loan, credit card, superannuation account or bank account for you might not be the best choice for someone else. Before selecting any financial product you should read the fine print carefully, including the product disclosure statement, fact sheet or terms and conditions document and obtain professional financial advice on whether a product is right for you and your finances.

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