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6.78%

$68

Legalsuper

$628

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Platinum
More details
6.63%

$92

smartMonday

$622

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

$58

Virgin Money

$358

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
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Variety of options
MyChoice Platinum
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5.95%

$78

MLC

$913

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Platinum
More details
6.97%

$78

MTAA Super

$513

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MySuper Platinum
More details
5.79%

$0

Energy Industries Superannuation Scheme

$475

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MySuper Gold
More details
6.44%

$0

Electricity Industry Superannuation Scheme

$365

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Gold
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New

$117

First Super

$597

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

$575

BT Financial Group

$1.2k

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Gold
More details
6.23%

$180

IOOF

$1.1k

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Gold
More details
7.29%

$0

OnePath

$365

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Gold
More details
-

$0

HUB24 Limited

$452

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Gold
More details
6.47%

$60

ING

$455

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Gold
More details
4.85%

$91

AMP Bank

$701

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Gold
More details
5.54%

$78

Russell Investments

$368

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Gold
More details

Learn more about superannuation

Superannuation is a way to save for your retirement. A superannuation fund uses professional investment managers to invest your money on your behalf, along with the money of other fund members. This money is held in the fund, usually without you being able to access it, until you retire (though you may be able to access some money in an emergency).

What are the different types of superannuation fund?

The main types of super fund in Australia are:

Retail funds

Usually run for profit by large financial institutions like banks. These funds include those operated by retail providers for the employees of a particular company.

Industry fund

Traditionally established for employees of a particular industry. Recently, though, many of these funds have become open to the general public through public offers.

Public sector funds

Government-owned and -operated funds, traditionally set up for public sector employees. Some have now become public-offer funds. They may be supervised by APRA (the regulatory body for most super funds) or by the state or federal government.

Corporate funds

Less common these days, they are created by one or more employers, usually on behalf of employees of a particular company or group. Most are not open to the general public.

Small funds

Includes self-managed super funds (SMSFs) and small APRA-regulated funds (SAFs) and can have a maximum of only four members. SMSFs are managed and operated by the fund members, who are also the trustees of the fund, and are regulated by the ATO instead of APRA. SAFs are similar, but have an external trustee.

What should I look for when choosing a superannuation fund?

There are hundreds of different super funds to choose from, so look for one that suits your needs. Consider factors such as:

  • Fees – look for lower management fees
  • Investment options – super funds offer different levels of investment risk and return. Make sure the fund has options that suit your risk comfort level
  • Performance – you might want to look for a fund that has performed consistently well over a number of years, not just last year
  • Insurance – is cover available and what will it cost?
  • Service – does the fund offer any other useful services?

You can call the fund or check its website to find out information. It should also have a product disclosure statement (PDS) available.

How do I sign up for a superannuation fund?

When you take a job, your employer will automatically assign you to its preferred super fund unless you specify a different choice. If you change employers during your working life, you can stay with that initial fund or choose another. Just contact your fund of choice to sign up.

How does money get paid into my superannuation fund?

The three common ways of contributing to your super are:

  • Contributions from your employer
  • Personal contributions
  • Government contributions

Contributions from your employer

Your employer must pay an amount equal to 9.5 per cent of your salary into your super fund, on top of your salary or wages. This money is invested by your super fund for you.

Personal super contributions

You can make your own contributions in addition your employer contributions by:

  • Salary sacrificing – your employer can direct some of your pre-tax income into your super. This is deducted by your employer and sent to the fund with its contributions.
  • Personal contributions – you can also ask your employer to make personal contributions from money you have paid tax on. Low income earners who do this may be entitled to government contributions.
  • Bank transfer – you can transfer some of your savings into your super account
  • Super transfer – you can transfer all or some of your super from another fund into your main super account

Government contributions

Depending on your income, you may be eligible for a co-contribution from the government when you contribute to your super. If you are a low income earner, you may receive up to $500 extra by making personal contributions after tax.

If you earn less than $37,000, you may be eligible for a 'low income super tax offset' from the government, of up to $500. You don't need to contribute extra money to your super to be eligible for this payment. Both of these payments will be paid into your super automatically after you have lodged your tax return.

How do I keep track of my super?

Many people change employers during their working life, and it becomes easy to lose track of your previous super. One way to keep things in order is by creating a myGov account and linking it to the ATO. By doing this you can:

  • See details of all your super accounts, including any you’ve forgotten about
  • Find ATO-held super – if the government, your super fund or employer can't find an account to transfer your super to, it’s held here for you
  • Combine various super accounts into your preferred fund

Frequently asked questions

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.

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 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 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).

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 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 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 happens to my superannuation when I change jobs?

You can keep your superannuation fund for as long as you like, so nothing happens when you change jobs. Please note that some superannuation funds have special features for people who work with certain employers, so these features may no longer be available if you change jobs.

How do I change my superannuation fund?

Changing superannuation funds is a common and straightforward process. You can do it through your MyGov account or by filling out a rollover form and sending it to your new fund. You’ll also have to provide proof of identity.

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 compliance obligations does an SMSF have?

SMSFs must maintain comprehensive records and submit to annual audits.

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.

What is superannuation?

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

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.

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.

What age can I withdraw my superannuation?

You can withdraw your superannuation (or at least some of it) when you reach ‘preservation age’. The preservation 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

When you reach preservation age, you can withdraw all your superannuation if you’re retired. If you’re still working, you can begin a ‘transition to retirement’, which allows you to withdraw 10 per cent of their superannuation each financial year.

You can also withdraw all your superannuation once you reach 65 years.

Is superannuation paid on overtime?

As the Australian Taxation Office explains, there are times when superannuation is paid on overtime and times when it isn’t.

Here is the ATO’s summary:

Payment type Is superannuation paid?
Overtime hours – award stipulates ordinary hours to be worked and employee works additional hours for which they are paid overtime rates No
Overtime hours – agreement prevails over award No
Agreement supplanting award removes distinction between ordinary hours and other hours Yes – all hours worked
No ordinary hours of work stipulated Yes – all hours worked
Casual employee: shift loadings Yes
Casual employee: overtime payments No
Casual employee whose hours are paid at overtime rates due to a ‘bandwidth’ clause No
Piece-rates – no ordinary hours of work stipulated Yes
Overtime component of earnings based on hourly-driving-rate method stipulated in award No

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.

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.