Aware Super (previously First State Super) - Employer Sponsored Division

No. of members: 733579
Fund size: $95.7b
Public offer:
Product type: Industry-Public Offer
Target market: NSW Government
Year started: 1992

RateCity Says: Learn more about how First State Super could help look after your compulsory retirement savings.

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Past 5-year return
6.29%
Admin fee

$52

Calc fees on 50k

$527

SuperRatings awards
MyChoice Platinum15 Year Platinum PerformanceBest New Innovation Finalist
Go to site
Past 5-year return
6.29%
Admin fee

$52

Calc fees on 50k

$527

SuperRatings awards
MyChoice Platinum15 Year Platinum PerformanceBest New Innovation Finalist

Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons

  • Excellent value for money; Sound long term historical investment performance
  • Benefits associated with a large scale super fund
  • iPhone application
  • Fee for service financial planning available specifically tailored to First State Super members
  • Regular, targeted communication from fund via newsletters, seminars and online learning

Summary

First State Super is an industry fund that has been providing superannuation services to NSW public sector employees since 1992, with membership also open to the general public. The fund was nominated as a finalist for the 2020 MySuper of the Year award, as well as the 2020 Best New Innovation award for Explorer. Members have access to an investment menu comprising 5 Diversified and 7 Single sector options, including 2 Socially Responsible options. The Growth option outperformed the relevant SuperRatings Index over each time period assessed to 30 June 2019.Fees are lower than the industry average across all assessed account balances. Members are able to switch investment options at no cost. A full suite of insurance cover is offered, with Death and Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD) insurance cover automatically provided to eligible members upon joining the fund. Members can apply for unlimited Death cover and up to $5 million of TPD cover and can also apply to increase cover following the occurrence of a prescribed Life Event without additional underwriting. Income Protection (IP) is available up to 85% of salary and with a choice of 14, 30, 60 or 90 day waiting periods and benefit payment periods of 2 years, 5 years or to age 65. Additional benefits available include access to free simple advice, comprehensive advice services, high quality educational programs, interactive tools and calculators, including Explorer, as well as the ability to view account details and perform transactions online.

Features and Fees

Aware Super Fees and Features

Features

Variety of options

Binding nominations

Account size discount

Online Access

Home loans

Financial planning service

Non-lapsing binding nominations

Employer size discount

Anti-detriment payments

Credit cards

Insurance Cover

Health insurance

Insurance life event increases

Total and permanent disability cover

Long term income protection

Fees

Admin fee

$52

Administration fee (%)

0.15%

Switching fee

$0

Investment fee

0.8%

Indirect cost ratio (%)

Exit fee

$0

Pros and Cons

  • Excellent value for money; Sound long term historical investment performance
  • Benefits associated with a large scale super fund
  • iPhone application
  • Fee for service financial planning available specifically tailored to First State Super members
  • Regular, targeted communication from fund via newsletters, seminars and online learning

First State Super is an industry fund that has been providing superannuation services to NSW public sector employees since 1992, with membership also open to the general public. The fund was nominated as a finalist for the 2020 MySuper of the Year award, as well as the 2020 Best New Innovation award for Explorer. Members have access to an investment menu comprising 5 Diversified and 7 Single sector options, including 2 Socially Responsible options. The Growth option outperformed the relevant SuperRatings Index over each time period assessed to 30 June 2019.Fees are lower than the industry average across all assessed account balances. Members are able to switch investment options at no cost. A full suite of insurance cover is offered, with Death and Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD) insurance cover automatically provided to eligible members upon joining the fund. Members can apply for unlimited Death cover and up to $5 million of TPD cover and can also apply to increase cover following the occurrence of a prescribed Life Event without additional underwriting. Income Protection (IP) is available up to 85% of salary and with a choice of 14, 30, 60 or 90 day waiting periods and benefit payment periods of 2 years, 5 years or to age 65. Additional benefits available include access to free simple advice, comprehensive advice services, high quality educational programs, interactive tools and calculators, including Explorer, as well as the ability to view account details and perform transactions online.

Read More

Aware Super Fees and Features

Features

Variety of options

Binding nominations

Account size discount

Online Access

Home loans

Financial planning service

Non-lapsing binding nominations

Employer size discount

Anti-detriment payments

Credit cards

Insurance Cover

Health insurance

Insurance life event increases

Total and permanent disability cover

Long term income protection

Fees

Admin fee

$52

Administration fee (%)

0.15%

Switching fee

$0

Investment fee

0.8%

Indirect cost ratio (%)

Exit fee

$0
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Fund fees vs. Industry average
THIS FUND
INDUSTRY AVERAGE
Fund past-5-year return vs. Industry average
THIS FUND
INDUSTRY AVERAGE
Investment allocation
INTERNATIONAL SHARES
AUSTRALIAN SHARES
PROPERTY
ALTERNATIVES
FIXED INTEREST
CASH
OTHER
Investment option performance
BALANCED
HIGH GROWTH
CONSERVATIVE BALANCE
DIVERSIFIED FIXED INTEREST
AUSTRALIAN SHARES
INTERNATIONAL SHARES
CAPITAL STABLE
PROPERTY
CASH
+ View additional option performance information
Product
Past 5-year return
Admin fee
Company
Calc fees on 50k
Features
SuperRatings awards
Go to site
3.91%

$52

Aware Super

$452

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice SilverBest New Innovation Finalist
More details
4.51%

$52

Aware Super

$442

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice GoldBest New Innovation Finalist
More details

FAQs

What are my superannuation obligations if I'm an employer?

Employers are required to pay superannuation to all their staff if the staff are:

  • Over 18 and earn more than $450 before tax in a calendar month
  • Under 18, work more than 30 hours per week and earn more than $450 before tax in a calendar month

This applies even if the staff are casual employees, part-time employees, contractors (provided the contract is mainly for their labour) or temporary residents.

What is superannuation?

Superannuation is money set aside for your retirement. This money is automatically paid into your superannuation fund by your employer.

What superannuation details do I give to my employer?

When you start a job, your employer will give you what’s called a ‘superannuation standard choice form’. Here’s what you need to complete the form:

  • The name of your preferred superannuation fund
  • The fund’s address
  • The fund’s Australian business number (ABN)
  • The fund’s superannuation product identification number (SPIN)
  • The fund’s phone number
  • A letter from the fund trustee confirming that the fund is a complying fund; or written evidence from the fund stating it will accept contributions from your new employer; or details about how your employer can make contributions to the fund

You should also provide your tax file number – while it’s not a legal obligation, it will ensure your contributions will be taxed at the (lower) superannuation rate.

What are reportable employer superannuation contributions?

Reportable employer superannuation contributions are special contributions that an employer makes on top of the regular compulsory contributions. One example would be contributions made as part of a salary sacrifice arrangement.

Can my employer use money from my superannuation account?

No, your employer can’t touch the money that is paid into your superannuation account.

What compliance obligations does an SMSF have?

SMSFs must maintain comprehensive records and submit to annual audits.

How do I wind up an SMSF?

There are five things you must do if you want to close your SMSF:

  1. Fulfil any obligations listed in the trust deed
  2. Pay out or roll over all the superannuation
  3. Conduct a final audit
  4. Lodge a final annual return
  5. Close the fund’s bank account

What is an SMSF?

An SMSF is a self-managed superannuation fund. SMSFs have to follow the same rules and restrictions as ordinary superannuation funds.

SMSFs allow Australians to directly invest their superannuation, rather than let ordinary funds manage their money for them.

SMSFs are regulated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). They can have up to four members. All members must be trustees (or directors if there is a corporate trustee).

Unlike with ordinary funds, SMSF members are responsible for meeting compliance obligations.

What are the risks and challenges of an SMSF?

  • SMSFs have high set-up and running costs
  • They come with complicated compliance obligations
  • It takes a lot of time to research investment options
  • It can be difficult to make such big financial decisions

What should I know before getting an SMSF?

Four questions to ask yourself before taking out an SMSF include:

  1. Do I have enough superannuation to justify the higher set-up and running costs?
  2. Am I able to handle complicated compliance obligations?
  3. Am I willing to spend lots of time researching investment options?
  4. Do I have the skill to make big financial decisions?

It’s also worth remembering that ordinary superannuation funds usually offer discounted life insurance and disability insurance. These discounts would no longer be available if you decided to manage your own super.

How do I set up an SMSF?

Setting up an SMSF takes more work than registering with an ordinary superannuation fund. 

An SMSF is a type of trust, so if you want to create an SMSF, you first have to create a trust.

To create a trust, you will need trustees, who must sign a trustee declaration. You will also need identifiable beneficiaries and assets for the fund – although these can be as little as a few dollars.

You will also need to create a trust deed, which is a document that lays out the rules of your SMSF. The trust deed must be prepared by a qualified professional and signed by all trustees.

To qualify as an Australian superannuation fund, the SMSF must meet these three criteria:

  • The fund must be established in Australia – or at least one of its assets must be located in Australia
  • The central management and control of the fund must ordinarily be in Australia
  • The fund must have active members who are Australian residents and who hold at least 50 per cent of the fund’s assets – or it must have no active members

Once your SMSF is established and all trustees have signed a trustee declaration, you have 60 days to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN).

When completing the ABN application, you should ask for a tax file number for your fund. You should also ask for the fund to be regulated by the Australian Taxation Office – otherwise it won’t receive tax concessions.

Your next step is to open a bank account in your fund’s name. This account must be kept separated from the accounts held by the trustees and any related employers.

Your SMSF will also need an electronic service address, so it can receive contributions.

Finally, you will need to create an investment strategy, which explains how your fund will invest its money, and an exit strategy, which explains how and why it would ever close.

Please note that you can pay an adviser to set up your SMSF. You might also want to take the Self-Managed Superannuation Fund Trustee Education Program, which is a free program that has been created by CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand.

What is an SMSF investment strategy?

All SMSFs are required to have an investment strategy, which should explain what assets the fund will buy and what objectives it will pursue. This strategy must be reviewed regularly.

Issues to consider include how much risk the SMSF will take, how easily its assets can be converted into cash and how it will pay out benefits.

What contributions can SMSFs accept?

SMSFs can accept mandated employer contributions from an employer at any time (Funds need an electronic service address to receive the contributions).

However, SMSFs can’t accept contributions from members who don’t have tax file numbers.

Also, they generally can’t accept assets as contributions from members and they generally can’t accept non-mandated contributions for members who are 75 or older.

How are SMSFs allowed to invest their funds?

SMSFs can invest in conventional assets such as shares, term deposits, managed funds and property.

SMSFs can also buy ‘collectibles’ such as artwork, jewellery, antiques, coins, stamps, vintage cars and wine – although there are special rules that apply to collectibles.

Investments must be made on an arm’s length basis, which means that assets must be bought and sold at market prices, while income must reflect the market rate of return.

As a general rule, SMSFs can’t buy assets from members or related parties.

How are SMSFs taxed?

Funds that follow the rules are taxed at the concessional rate of 15 per cent. Funds that don’t follow the rules are taxed at the highest marginal tax rate.

Can I carry on a business in an SMSF?

SMSFs are allowed to carry on a business under two conditions.

First, this must be permitted under the trust deed.

Second, the sole purpose of the business must be to earn retirement benefits.

How does superannuation affect the age pension?

Most Australians who are of retirement age can qualify for the age pension. However, depending on the size of your assets and post-retirement income, you might be entitled to only a reduced pension. In some instances, you might not be entitled to any pension payments.

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.

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