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TMD

Showing superannuation funds based on investment performance of
and a super balance of
Past 5-year return
8.89

% p.a

FYTD return

0.89

% p.a

Company
Calc fees on 50k

$444

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
SuperRatings Platinum 2021 MySuper
Go to site
More details
Past 5-year return
7.48

% p.a

FYTD return

1.97

% p.a

Company
Calc fees on 50k

$450

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
SuperRatings Gold 2021 MySuper
Go to site
More details
Past 5-year return
8.35

% p.a

FYTD return

0.98

% p.a

Company
Calc fees on 50k

$613

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
SuperRatings Platinum 2021 MySuper7 Yr Platinum Performance 2014-2021
Go to site
More details
Past 5-year return
10.03

% p.a

FYTD return

0.98

% p.a

Company
Calc fees on 50k

$473

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
SuperRatings Platinum 2021 MyChoice Super15 Yr Platinum Performance 2006-2021Net Benefit 2021Smooth Ride Finalist 2021SR50 Best Balanced Return 2015-2020MyChoice Super of the Year Finalist 2021
Go to site
More details
Past 5-year return
8.45

% p.a

FYTD return

0.91

% p.a

Company
Calc fees on 50k

$482

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
SuperRatings Platinum 2021 MySuper7 Yr Platinum Performance 2014-2021Momentum Finalist 2021MySuper of the Year Finalist 2021
Go to site
More details
Past 5-year return
8.83

% p.a

FYTD return

0.91

% p.a

Company
Calc fees on 50k

$578

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
SuperRatings Platinum 2021 MySuper7 Yr Platinum Performance 2014-2021Smooth Ride Finalist 2021Infinity Recognised 2021MySuper of the Year Finalist 2021
Go to site
More details
Past 5-year return
8.93

% p.a

FYTD return

1.38

% p.a

Company
Calc fees on 50k

$522

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
SuperRatings Platinum 2021 MySuperCareer Fund of the Year Finalist 2021
Go to site
More details
Past 5-year return
7.91

% p.a

FYTD return

1.45

% p.a

Company
Calc fees on 50k

$208

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
SuperRatings Platinum 2021 MyChoice Super10 Yr Platinum Performance 2011-2021Infinity Recognised 2021
Go to site
More details

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Superannuation funds we compare at RateCity

Learn more about superannuation

Superannuation is designed to be difficult to access, but there are circumstances where you may want to dip into your balance early.

If you have severe debt from credit cards which is impacting your ability to meet day-to-day living expenses, in some cases super funds can be used to meet repayments. This is by no means a simple solution however, and one that should be undertaken with upmost caution.

We’re going to look at superannuation can be used to help meet debt from your credit cards in extreme situations, and why you should be wary before undertaking this process.

When can I access my super?

In most cases, you are not able to access your super until you’ve reached your preservation age, which is determined by the year you were born. Once you’ve reached the preservation age, you can access your superannuation provided you meet the following criteria:

  • You have retired – If you have permanently retired and met the superannuation perseveration age, you’re legally allowed to access your super funds.
  • You’re semi-retired – If you’re working part-time, it’s possible to access part of your super through a transition-to-retirement pension offered by some funds.

When can I access my super early?

In some cases, you might wish to access part of your super before you have reached the superannuation perseveration age and met the eligibility criteria. These might include:

  • Financial hardship – If financial issues, like credit card debt, are still hindering your ability to meet immediate living expenses, after receiving commonwealth benefits.
  • Compassionate grounds – For medical treatments and serious illnesses.
  • Incapacity – In cases when superannuation account owners are suffering permanent or temporary incapacity and are still required to meet treatment obligations.

What are the risks of accessing your super early?

As with any big financial decision, there are big risks associated with accessing your super early to solve fiscal issues like addressing the debt accumulated by your credit cards:

  • You will have less super available for retirement – Drawing from your super balance to address issues like credit card debt is a short-term solution that could cause long-term problems. Not only will you have less super available for your retirement, but you will also have a smaller balance to address any future financial issues you might have to face.
  • Funds released prior to retirement are taxed higher – Part of the incentive of having your retirement funds in a super account is to take advantage of the generous tax incentives. If you release your funds prior to retirement to address a financial hardship like credit card debt, then these funds will potentially be taxed at a significantly higher rate.
  • Additional fees and charges – Dipping into your funds early isn’t free. Superannuation funds often slug customers with additional service fees and other costs when they’re requested to make funds available early.
  • It might not cover your debt – If the early release of your super doesn’t cover your debt, you could be in serious trouble. You should always consider all of your options before drawing on your super balance early to meet financial concerns like credit card debt.

Frequently asked questions

What is a superannuation fund?

A superannuation fund is an institution that is legally allowed to hold and invest your superannuation. There are more than 200 different superannuation funds in Australia. They come in five different types:

  • Retail funds
  • Industry funds
  • Public sector funds
  • Corporate funds
  • Self-managed super funds

Retail funds are usually run by banks or investment companies.

Industry funds were originally designed for workers from a particular industry, but are now open to anyone.

Public sector funds were originally designed for people working for federal or state government departments. Most are still reserved for government employees.

Corporate funds are arranged by employers for their employees.

Self-managed super funds are private superannuation funds that allow people to directly invest their money.

How many superannuation funds are there?

There are more than 200 different superannuation funds.

When can I access my superannuation?

You can withdraw your superannuation when you meet the ‘conditions of release’. The conditions of release say you can claim your super when you reach:

  • Age 65
  • Your ‘preservation age’ and retire
  • Your preservation age and begin a ‘transition to retirement’ while still working

The preservation age – which is different to the pension age – is based on date of birth. Here are the six different categories:

Date of birth Preservation age
Before 1 July 1960 55
1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963 58
1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964 59
From 1 July 1964 60

A transition to retirement allows you to continue working while accessing up to 10 per cent of the money in your superannuation account at the start of each financial year.

There are also seven special circumstances under which you can claim your superannuation:

  • Compassionate grounds
  • Severe financial hardship
  • Temporary incapacity
  • Permanent incapacity
  • Superannuation inheritance
  • Superannuation balance under $200
  • Temporary resident departing Australia

 

How do you access superannuation?

Accessing your superannuation is a simple administrative procedure – you just ask your fund to pay it. You can access your superannuation in three different ways:

  • Lump sum
  • Account-based pension
  • Part lump sum and part account-based pension

However, please note that your superannuation fund will only be able to make a payout if you meet the ‘conditions of release’. The conditions of release say you can claim your super when you reach:

  • Age 65
  • Your ‘preservation age’ and retire
  • Your preservation age and begin a ‘transition to retirement’ while still working

The preservation age has six different categories:

Date of birth Preservation age
Before 1 July 1960 55
1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963 58
1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964 59
From 1 July 1964 60

There are also seven special circumstances under which you can claim your superannuation:

  • Compassionate grounds
  • Severe financial hardship
  • Temporary incapacity
  • Permanent incapacity
  • Superannuation inheritance
  • Superannuation balance under $200
  • Temporary resident departing Australia

How long after divorce can you claim superannuation?

You or your partner could be forced to surrender part of your superannuation if you divorce, just like with other assets.

You can file a claim for division of property – including superannuation – as soon as you divorce. However, the claim has to be filed within one year of the divorce.

Your superannuation could be affected even if you’re in a de facto relationship – that is, living together as a couple without being officially married.

In that case, the claim has to be filed within two years of the date of separation.

Either way, the first thing to consider is whether you’re a member of a standard, APRA-regulated superannuation fund or if you’re a member of a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF), because different rules apply.

Standard superannuation funds

If your relationship breaks down, your superannuation savings might be divided by court order or by agreement.

The rules of the superannuation fund will dictate whether this transfer happens immediately, or in the future when the person who has to make the transfer is allowed to access the rest of their superannuation (i.e. at or near retirement).

Click here for more information.

SMSFs

If your relationship breaks down, you must continue to observe the trust deed of your SMSF.

So if you and your partner are both members of the same SMSF, neither party is allowed to use the fund to inflict ‘punishment’ – such as by excluding the other party from the decision-making process or refusing their request to roll their money into another superannuation fund.

This no-punishment rule applies even if the two parties are involved in legal proceedings.

Click here for more information.

Financial consequences

Superannuation funds often charge a fee for splitting accounts after a relationship breakdown.

Splitting superannuation can also impact the size of your total super balance and how your super is taxed.

Click here for more information.

What happens to my insurance cover if I change superannuation funds?

Some superannuation funds will allow you to transfer your insurance cover, without interruption, if you switch. However, others won’t. So it’s important you check before changing funds.

How can I keep track of my superannuation?

Most funds will allow you to access your superannuation account online. Another option is to manage your superannuation through myGov, which is a government portal through which you can access a range of services, including Medicare, Centrelink, aged care and child support.

Am I entitled to superannuation if I'm not an Australian citizen?

Yes, permanent and temporary residents are entitled to superannuation.

What happens to my superannuation when I change jobs?

You can keep your superannuation fund for as long as you like, so nothing happens when you change jobs. Please note that some superannuation funds have special features for people who work with certain employers, so these features may no longer be available if you change jobs.

How much superannuation should I have at age 40?

The amount of superannuation you should have at age 40 is based on how much money you need to have at retirement. That, in turn, is based on how much money you expect to spend each week during your retirement. That, in turn, depends on whether you expect to lead a modest retirement or a comfortable retirement.

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) estimates you would need the following amount per week:

Lifestyle Singles Couples
Modest $465 $668
Comfortable $837 $1,150

Here is the superannuation balance you would need to fund that level of spending:

Lifestyle Singles Couples
Modest $50,000 $35,000
Comfortable $545,000 $640,000

These figures come from the March 2017 edition of the ASFA Retirement Standard.

The reason people on modest lifestyles need so much less money is because they qualify for a far bigger age pension.

Here is how ASFA defines retirement lifestyles:

Category Comfortable Modest Age pension
Holidays One annual holiday in Australia One or two short breaks in Australia near where you live Shorter breaks or day trips in your own city
Eating out Regularly eat out at restaurants. Good range and quality of food Infrequently eat out at restaurants. Cheaper and less food Only club special meals or inexpensive takeaway
Car Owning a reasonable car Owning an older, less reliable car No car – or, if you do, a struggle to afford the upkeep
Alcohol Bottled wine Casked wine Homebrew beer or no alcohol
Clothing Good clothes Reasonable clothes Basic clothes
Hair Regular haircuts at a good hairdresser Regular haircuts at a basic salon Less frequent haircuts or getting a friend to do it
Leisure A range of regular leisure activities One paid leisure activity, infrequently Free or low-cost leisure activities
Electronics A range of electronic equipment Not much scope to run an air conditioner Less heating in winter
Maintenance Replace kitchen and bathroom over 20 years No budget for home improvements. Can do repairs, but can’t replace kitchen or bathroom No budget to fix home problems like a leaky roof
Insurance Private health insurance Private health insurance No private health insurance

 

 

How do you set up superannuation?

Before you set up a superannuation account, you’ll need to check if you’re allowed to choose your own fund. Most Australians can, but this option doesn’t apply to some workers who are covered by industrial agreements or who are members of defined benefits funds.

Assuming you are able to choose your own fund, the next step should be research, because there are more than 200 different superannuation funds in Australia.

Once you’ve decided on your preferred superannuation fund, head to that provider’s website, where you should be able to fill in an online application or download the appropriate forms. You’ll need your tax file number (assuming you don’t want to be charged a higher tax rate), your contact details and your employer’s details (if you’re employed).

What are ethical investment superannuation funds?

Ethical investment funds limit themselves to making ‘ethical’ investments (which each fund defines according to its own principles). For example, ethical funds might avoid investing in companies or industries that are linked to human suffering or environmental damage.

What are concessional contributions?

Concessional contributions are pre-tax payments into your superannuation account. The payments made by your employer are concessional payments. You can also make concessional contributions with a salary sacrifice.

What are government co-contributions?

A government co-contribution is a bonus payment from the federal government into your superannuation account – but it comes with conditions. First, the government will only make a co-contribution if you make a personal contribution. Second, the government will only contribute a maximum of $500. Third, the government will only make co-contributions for people on low and medium incomes. The Australian Taxation Office will calculation whether you’re entitled to a government co-contribution when you lodge your tax return. The size of any co-contribution depends on the size of your personal contribution and income.

What is lost superannuation?

Lost superannuation refers to savings in an account that you’ve forgotten about. This can happen if you’ve opened several different accounts over the years while moving from job to job.

What are reportable superannuation contributions?

For employees, there are two types of reportable superannuation contributions:

  • Reportable employer super contributions your employer makes for you
  • Personal deductible contributions you make for yourself

How is superannuation calculated?

Superannuation is calculated at the rate of 9.5 per cent of your gross salary and wages. So if you had a salary of $50,000, your superannuation would be 9.5 per cent of that, or $4,750. This would be paid on top of your salary.

The ‘superannuation guarantee’, as it is known, has been at 9.5 per cent since the 2014-15 financial year. It is scheduled to rise to 10.0 per cent in 2021-22, 10.5 per cent in 2022-23, 11.0 per cent in 2023-24, 11.5 per cent in 2024-25 and 12.0 per cent in 2025-26.

How do I change my superannuation fund?

Changing superannuation funds is a common and straightforward process. You can do it through your MyGov account or by filling out a rollover form and sending it to your new fund. You’ll also have to provide proof of identity.

Am I entitled to superannuation if I'm a casual employee?

As a casual employee, you’re entitled to superannuation if:

  • You’re over 18 and earn more than $450 before tax in a calendar month
  • You’re under 18, you work more than 30 hours per week and you earn more than $450 before tax in a calendar month

What is MySuper?

MySuper accounts are basic, low-fee accounts. If you don’t nominate a superannuation fund, your employer must choose one for you that offers a MySuper account.

MySuper accounts offer two investment options:

  1. Single diversified investment strategy

Your fund assigns you a risk strategy and investment profile, which remain unchanged throughout your working life.

  1. Lifecycle investment strategy

Your fund assigns you an investment strategy based on your age, and then changes it as you get older. Younger workers are given strategies that emphasise growth assets