Aware Super (previously First State Super) - MySuper Life Cycle

No. of members: 812328
Fund size: $98.2b
Public offer:
Product type: Industry-MySuper
Target market: NSW Government
Year started: 2013

RateCity Says: A simple, low-cost super option for anyone who doesn't want to choose a specific investment option.

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Past 5-year return
7.36%
Admin fee

$52

Calc fees on 50k

$527

SuperRatings awards
MySuper Platinum7 Year Platinum PerformanceBest New Innovation FinalistMySuper of the Year Finalist
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Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons

  • Sound long term historical investment performance
  • Age based MySuper investment option
  • Default Death and TPD cover offered, with IP on an opt-in basis
  • Fee for service financial planning available specifically tailored to Aware Super members

Summary

Previously known as First state Super, 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 nominated as a finalist for the 2020 MySuper of the Year award, as well as the 2020 Best New Innovation award for Explorer.The fund's MySuper Life Cycle Strategy has a different mix of assets depending on a member's age, with members aged under 60 invested in the Growth option and then automatically switched to the Balanced Growth option upon reaching age 60. The Growth option outperformed the relevant SuperRatings Index over each time period assessed to 30 June 2019. Choice members have access to an investment menu comprising 5 Diversified and 7 Single sector options, including 2 Socially Responsible options.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, 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

  • Sound long term historical investment performance
  • Age based MySuper investment option
  • Default Death and TPD cover offered, with IP on an opt-in basis
  • Fee for service financial planning available specifically tailored to Aware Super members

Previously known as First state Super, 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 nominated as a finalist for the 2020 MySuper of the Year award, as well as the 2020 Best New Innovation award for Explorer.The fund's MySuper Life Cycle Strategy has a different mix of assets depending on a member's age, with members aged under 60 invested in the Growth option and then automatically switched to the Balanced Growth option upon reaching age 60. The Growth option outperformed the relevant SuperRatings Index over each time period assessed to 30 June 2019. Choice members have access to an investment menu comprising 5 Diversified and 7 Single sector options, including 2 Socially Responsible options.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, 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

0.8%

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
CONSERVATIVE BALANCE
+ View additional option performance information
Product
Past 5-year return
Admin fee
Company
Calc fees on 50k
Features
SuperRatings awards
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4.79%

$52

Aware Super

$452

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice SilverBest New Innovation Finalist
More details
5.39%

$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

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.

How do you calculate superannuation?

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 can I increase my superannuation?

You can increase your superannuation through a ‘salary sacrifice’. This is where your employer takes part of your pre-tax salary and pays it directly into your superannuation account. Like regular superannuation contributions, salary sacrifices are taxed at 15 per cent when they are paid into the fund.

How much money do you get on the age pension?

Pension payments can be reduced due to the income test and asset test (see ‘What is the age pension’s income test?’ and ‘What is the age pension’s assets test?’).

Here are the maximum fortnightly payments:

Category

Single

Couple each

Couple combined

Couple apart due to ill health

Maximum basic rate

$808.30

$609.30

$1,218.60

$808.30

Maximum pension supplement

$65.90

$49.70

$99.40

$65.90

Energy supplement

$14.10

$10.60

$21.20

$14.10

TOTAL

$888.30

$669.60

$1,339.20

$888.30

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 happens if my employer goes out of business while still owing me superannuation?

If your employer collapses, a trustee or administrator or liquidator will be appointed to manage the company. That trustee/administrator/liquidator will be required to pay your superannuation out of company funds.

If the company doesn’t have enough funds, in some cases company directors will be required to pay your superannuation. If the directors still don’t pay, the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) might take legal action on your behalf. However, ASIC might decline to take legal action or might be unsuccessful.

So there might be some circumstances when you don’t receive all the superannuation you’re owed.

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.

Can my employer use money from my superannuation account?

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

How do you claim superannuation?

There are three different ways you can claim your superannuation:

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

Two rules apply if you choose to receive an account-based pension, or income stream:

  • You must receive payments at least once per year
  • You must withdraw a minimum amount per year
    • Age 55-64 = 4%
    • Age 65-74 = 5%
    • Age 75-79 = 6%
    • Age 80-84 = 7%
    • Age 85-89 = 9%
    • Age 90-94 = 11%
    • Age 95+ = 14%

If you want to work out how long your account-based pension might last, click here to access ASIC’s account-based pension calculator.

When is superannuation payable?

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

Is superannuation compulsory?

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

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

Is superannuation paid on unused annual leave?

If your employment is terminated, superannuation will not be paid on unused annual leave.

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 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.

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

Yes, permanent and temporary residents are entitled to superannuation.

Can I take money out of my superannuation fund?

Superannuation is designed to provide Australians with money in their retirement. The government has strict rules around when people can take that money out of their fund because it wants to prevent people eroding their savings before they reach retirement.

As a general rule, you can only take money out of your superannuation fund when you reach:

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

That said, you can take money out of your superannuation fund early based on one of these seven special conditions:

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

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.

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).

How many superannuation funds are there?

There are more than 200 different superannuation funds.