Aware Super

Aware Super

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No. of members: 1028656
Fund size: $125b
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.

Past 5-year return
8.99% p.a
Admin fee

$52

Calc fees on 50k

$497

SuperRatings awards
MyChoice Platinum15 Year Platinum PerformanceMomentumSmooth Ride FinalistInfinity RecognisedChoice Super of the Year Finalist
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Past 5-year return
8.99% p.a
Admin fee

$52

Calc fees on 50k

$497

SuperRatings awards
MyChoice Platinum15 Year Platinum PerformanceMomentumSmooth Ride FinalistInfinity RecognisedChoice Super of the Year Finalist
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Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons

  • Excellent value for money with outstanding investment performance
  • The largest member-owned financial planning network in Australia
  • Innovative and affordable insurance designs tailored to member needs
  • Regular, targeted communication from fund via newsletters, seminars and online learning

Summary

Aware Super is an industry fund that has been the fund for people who value community as well as personal gain since 1992. In July 2020, Aware Super merged with VicSuper and together they are one of Australia’s largest super funds, managing more than $120 billion in savings for more than 1 million members. The fund was the winner of the 2021 Momentum award and was also nominated as a finalist of the 2021 MyChoice Super of the Year and the 2021 Smooth Ride awards. Members have access to an investment menu of 5 Diversified and 7 Single sector options, including 2 Socially Responsible options. The Growth option outperformed the relevant SuperRatings Index over each assessed time period to 30 June 2020.Fees are lower than the industry average across all assessed account balances. The fund does not charge an investment switching fee or a buy-sell spread. 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 expert financial 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

0.74%

Indirect cost ratio (%)

Exit fee

$0

Pros and Cons

  • Excellent value for money with outstanding investment performance
  • The largest member-owned financial planning network in Australia
  • Innovative and affordable insurance designs tailored to member needs
  • Regular, targeted communication from fund via newsletters, seminars and online learning

Aware Super is an industry fund that has been the fund for people who value community as well as personal gain since 1992. In July 2020, Aware Super merged with VicSuper and together they are one of Australia’s largest super funds, managing more than $120 billion in savings for more than 1 million members. The fund was the winner of the 2021 Momentum award and was also nominated as a finalist of the 2021 MyChoice Super of the Year and the 2021 Smooth Ride awards. Members have access to an investment menu of 5 Diversified and 7 Single sector options, including 2 Socially Responsible options. The Growth option outperformed the relevant SuperRatings Index over each assessed time period to 30 June 2020.Fees are lower than the industry average across all assessed account balances. The fund does not charge an investment switching fee or a buy-sell spread. 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 expert financial 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.

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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

0.74%

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
Past 5-year return
6.57% p.a
Admin fee

$52

Company
Aware Super
Calc fees on 50k

$512

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
MyChoice GoldMomentumSmooth Ride FinalistInfinity Recognised
Go to site
More details
Past 5-year return
7.30% p.a
Admin fee

$52

Company
Aware Super
Calc fees on 50k

$512

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
MyChoice GoldMomentumSmooth Ride FinalistInfinity Recognised
Go to site
More details

FAQs

Can I buy a house with my superannuation?

First home buyers are the only people who can use their superannuation to buy a property. The federal government has created the First Home Super Saver Scheme to help first home buyers save for a deposit. First home buyers can make voluntary contributions of up to $15,000 per year, and $30,000 in total, to their superannuation account. These contributions are taxed at 15 per cent, along with deemed earnings. Withdrawals are taxed at marginal tax rates minus a tax offset of 30 percentage points.

Voluntary contributions to the First Home Super Saver Scheme are not exempt from the $25,000 annual limit on concessional contributions. So if you pay $15,000 per year into the First Home Super Saver Scheme, you have to make sure that you don’t receive more than $10,000 in superannuation payments from your employer and any salary sacrificing.

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 does superannuation work?

Superannuation is paid by employers to employees, at least once every three months. The ‘superannuation guarantee’ is currently 9.5 per cent – which means that your employer must pay you superannuation equivalent to 9.5 per cent of your salary. The guarantee 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.

Superannuation is generally taxed at 15 per cent. However, if you earn less than $37,000, you will be automatically reimbursed up to $500 of the tax you paid. Also, if your income plus concessional superannuation contributions exceed $250,000, you will also be charged Division 293 tax. This is an extra 15 per cent tax on your concessional contributions or the amount above $250,000 – whichever is lesser.

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

 

When did superannuation start in Australia?

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.

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.

Who can open a superannuation account?

Superannuation accounts can be opened by Australians, permanent residents and temporary residents. You’re automatically 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 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 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

How do you get superannuation?

You’re automatically 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 salary sacrificing?

A salary sacrifice is where your employer takes part of your pre-tax salary and pays it directly into your superannuation account. Salary sacrifices come out of your pre-tax income, whereas personal contributions come out of your after-tax income.

How do you open a superannuation account?

Opening a superannuation account is simple. 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 might want to provide your tax file number as well – while it’s not a legal obligation, it will ensure your contributions will be taxed at the (lower) superannuation rate.

How much superannuation should I have?

The amount of superannuation you need to have at retirement is based on how much money you would 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

When did superannuation start?

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.

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

Can I choose a superannuation fund or does my employer choose one for me?

Most people can choose their own superannuation fund. However, you might not have this option if you are a member of certain defined benefit funds or covered by certain industrial agreements. If you don’t choose a superannuation fund, your employer will choose one for you.

How do you create a superannuation account?

Before you create 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 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.

Is superannuation compulsory?

Superannuation is compulsory. Generally speaking, it can’t be touched until you’re at least 55 years old.

How do you pay superannuation?

Superannuation is paid by employers to employees. 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.

Currently, the superannuation rate is currently 9.5 per cent of an employee’s ordinary time earnings. This 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.

Employers must pay superannuation at least four times per year. The due dates are 28 January, 28 April, 28 July and 28 October.

What fees do superannuation funds charge?

Superannuation funds can charge a range of fees, including:

  • Activity-based fees – for specific, irregular services, such as splitting an account after a divorce
  • Administration fees – to cover the cost of managing your account
  • Advice fees – for personal investment advice
  • Buy/sell spread fees – when you make contributions, switches and withdrawals
  • Exit fees – when you close your account
  • Investment fees – to cover the cost of managing your investments
  • Switching fees – when you choose a new investment option within the same fund