Aware Super

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

Past 5-year return
8.37%
Admin fee

$52

Calc fees on 50k

$497

SuperRatings awards
MySuper Platinum7 Year Platinum PerformanceMomentumSmooth Ride FinalistInfinity Recognised
Past 5-year return
8.37%
Admin fee

$52

Calc fees on 50k

$497

SuperRatings awards
MySuper Platinum7 Year Platinum PerformanceMomentumSmooth Ride FinalistInfinity Recognised

Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons

  • Excellent value for money with outstanding investment performance
  • Age based MySuper investment option
  • Default Death and TPD cover offered, with IP on an opt-in basis

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 the winner of the 2021 Momentum award and was also nominated as a finalist of the 2021 MyChoice Super of the Year and 2021 Smooth Ride awards. 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 assessed time period to 30 June 2020. 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. 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
  • Age based MySuper investment option
  • Default Death and TPD cover offered, with IP on an opt-in basis

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 the winner of the 2021 Momentum award and was also nominated as a finalist of the 2021 MyChoice Super of the Year and 2021 Smooth Ride awards. 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 assessed time period to 30 June 2020. 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. 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
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
Past 5-year return
8.37%
Admin fee

$52

Company
Aware Super
Calc fees on 50k

$497

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
MySuper Platinum7 Year Platinum PerformanceMomentumSmooth Ride FinalistInfinity Recognised
Go to site
More details
Past 5-year return
8.37%
Admin fee

$52

Company
Aware Super
Calc fees on 50k

$497

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
MyChoice Platinum10 Year Platinum PerformanceMomentumSmooth Ride FinalistInfinity RecognisedChoice Super of the Year Finalist
Go to site
More details
Past 5-year return
6.56%
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
8.37%
Admin fee

$52

Company
Aware Super
Calc fees on 50k

$497

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
MyChoice Platinum15 Year Platinum PerformanceMomentumSmooth Ride FinalistInfinity RecognisedChoice Super of the Year Finalist
Go to site
More details
Past 5-year return
6.08%
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

Is superannuation taxed?

Superannuation is taxed. It 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.

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.

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

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 you find lost superannuation funds?

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.

You can use your MyGov account to see details of all your superannuation accounts, including any you might have forgotten. Alternatively, you can fill in a ‘Searching for lost super’ form and send it to the Australian Taxation Office, which will then search on your behalf.

How many superannuation funds are there?

There are more than 200 different superannuation funds.

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

Yes, permanent and temporary residents are entitled to superannuation.

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

 

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.

What are the age pension's age rules?

Australians must be aged at least 65 years and 6 months to access the age pension. This eligibility age is scheduled to increase according to the following schedule:

Date Eligibility age
1 July 2019 66 years
1 July 2021 66 years and 6 months
1 July 2023 67 years

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 much extra superannuation can I add to my fund?

There is an annual limit of $25,000 for concessional contributions – that is, money paid by your employer and extra money you pay into your account through salary sacrificing. There is also a limit on non-concessional contributions. Australians aged between 65 and 74 have a limit of $100,000 per year. Australians aged under 65 have a limit of $300,000 every three years.

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 superannuation do I need?

According to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), here is how much you would be able to spend per week during retirement:

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 calculate superannuation from a total package?

Superannuation is calculated at the rate of 9.5 per cent of your ‘ordinary-time earnings’. (For most people, ordinary-time earnings are their gross annual salary or 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.

As the Australian Taxation Office explains, some items are excluded from ordinary-time earnings. They include:

  • Overtime work paid at overtime rates
  • Expense allowances that are fully expended
  • Expenses that are reimbursed
  • Unfair dismissal payments
  • Workers’ compensation payments
  • Parental leave
  • Jury duty
  • Defence reserve service
  • Unused annual leave when employment is terminated
  • Unused long service leave when employment is terminated
  • Unused sick leave when employment is terminated

Although the superannuation guarantee is currently at 9.5 per cent, 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 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.

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

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

 

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.

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