Aware Super

Aware Super (previously First State Super) - Personal Division

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No. of members: 812328
Fund size: $123b
Public offer:
Product type: Industry-Personal
Target market: NSW Government
Year started: 2006

RateCity Says: Look after your superannuation savings, with options for advisory services, income protection and more.

Past 5-year return
7.08%
Admin fee

$52

Calc fees on 50k

$497

SuperRatings awards
MyChoice Platinum10 Year Platinum PerformanceMomentumSmooth Ride FinalistInfinity RecognisedChoice Super of the Year Finalist
Past 5-year return
7.08%
Admin fee

$52

Calc fees on 50k

$497

SuperRatings awards
MyChoice Platinum10 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

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 the 2021 Smooth Ride awards. 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 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 members able to apply for unlimited Death cover and up to $5 million of TPD cover. Members 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

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 the 2021 Smooth Ride awards. 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 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 members able to apply for unlimited Death cover and up to $5 million of TPD cover. Members 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
4.29%
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
4.87%
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

What is the superannuation rate?

The superannuation rate, or guarantee rate, is the percentage of your salary that your employer must pay into your superannuation fund. The superannuation guarantee has been set 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.

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 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.

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

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

 

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.

How is superannuation regulated?

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) regulates ordinary superannuation accounts. Self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) are regulated by the Australian Taxation Office.

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.

What are the age pension's residence rules?

On the day you claim the age pension, you must be in Australia and you must have been an Australian resident for at least 10 years (with no break in your stay for at least five of those years). The following exceptions apply:

  • You’re exempt from the 10-year rule if you’re a refugee or former refugee
  • You’re exempt from the 10-year rule if you’re getting Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance or Widow B pension
  • You can claim the age pension with only two years of residency if you’re a woman whose partner died while you were both Australian residents
  • You might be able to claim the age pension if you’ve lived or worked in a country that has a social security agreement with Australia

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.

How do I combine several superannuation accounts into one account?

The process used to consolidate several superannuation accounts into one is the same process used to change superannuation funds. This can be done through your MyGov account or by filling out a rollover form and sending it to your chosen fund.

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.

Do I have to pay myself superannuation if I'm self-employed?

No, self-employed workers don’t have to pay themselves superannuation. However, if you do pay yourself superannuation, you will probably be able to claim a tax deduction.

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

Yes, permanent and temporary residents are entitled to superannuation.

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.

How do I choose the right superannuation fund?

Different superannuation funds charge different fees, offer different insurances, offer different investment options and have different performance histories.

So you need to ask yourself these four questions when comparing superannuation funds:

  • How many fees would I have to pay and what would they cost?
  • What insurances are available and how much would they cost?
  • What investment options does it offer? How would they match my risk profile and financial needs?
  • How have these investment options performed historically?

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

How can I withdraw my superannuation?

There are three different ways you can withdraw 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 (also known as an 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.

How many superannuation funds are there?

There are more than 200 different superannuation funds.

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.