Hostplus was established by the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) and United Voice in 1988, and since then has grown to be one of the largest superannuation funds in Australia.
As an industry super fund, it is classified as a not-for-profit organisation, meaning profits are passed on to members. Although Hostplus is typically for those in the hospitality, tourism, recreation and sport industries, membership is open to anyone living in Australia or employed by an eligible Australian employer.
How does Hostplus invest my super?
As with all super funds, Hostplus has a nominated trustee that is responsible for investing funds for its members. Depending on the investment option you choose, your money could be invested in assets such as shares, property or cash. Most investment approaches involve a combination of assets.
The investment option you choose determines how much volatility your super money is exposed to and what your returns will be. Typically, higher-risk options yield higher returns over a long-term period, but also fluctuate more markedly. This means you could see negative returns in some years over the lifespan of your investment.
On the other hand, low-risk investment options such as fixed-interest deposits usually offer a low return on investment but aren’t as risky, so you can have peace of mind that your balance is stable.
How to join or switch to Hostplus super
You can join Hostplus by completing a membership application form on their website or by downloading and filling out an application form. Membership is activated once your employer makes a super contribution on your behalf. If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to make a contribution yourself to activate your account.
Before opening a Hostplus account or switching accounts, compare super funds to make sure Hostplus is the best option for your requirements.
Switching or consolidating your super into a Hostplus account
To transfer your super balance into an existing Hostplus account, you’ll need to provide the following details during the sign-up process:
- Your tax file number (TFN)
- Your Hostplus member number
- The details of the fund you’re rolling into Hostplus
You may also need to fill out a rollover initiation request form from the ATO website.
You can also rollover super balances from more than one account into a single Hostplus account. Consolidating your super can make it easier to manage your investments, and reduce the number of fees you’re paying out of your super balance. The consolidation process is similar to signing up for a new account – you’ll just need to provide details of your other funds. You can also use the ATO website to help track down lost super.
Before closing any super accounts, check to see if you have insurance as you’ll probably lose coverage from that fund once your account is closed. Also make sure to let your employer know you’ve changed funds so your contributions go to the right place.
How to manage your Hostplus super
Many people have a ‘set it and forget it’ attitude about superannuation because it’s a long-term investment and doesn’t usually require a lot of hands-on involvement. However, it’s important to keep track of your super to make sure your details are up to date and you’re happy with your investment approach.
When you receive a statement from Hostplus or any super fund, be sure to check the following:
- Essential details – This includes your name, address, and date of birth. Remember to update your details if you move or change your name.
- Tax file number – Make sure your fund has your TFN recorded or you’ll pay a higher tax rate on your returns, and you won’t be able to make after-tax contributions to your super.
- Fees – Super fund fees can add up quickly, so make sure you know what you’re paying for and that you’re comfortable with the cost.
- Contributions – Verify that the amount of super recorded on your payslips is correctly deposited into your super fund.
- Investment options – Most investment strategies include a mix of asset classes. However, you can usually choose your own investment mix if you prefer a more high-risk or low-risk strategy.
- Beneficiaries – Ensure you’ve listed beneficiaries who can claim benefits and any insurance if you die.
- Total balance – If you’ve recently consolidated or transferred your super, make sure the total balance accounts for all your super money.
When can I withdraw money from my Hostplus super account?
Generally, you won’t be able to access your Hostplus super money until you reach your ‘preservation age’, which depends on when you were born and is usually around the time of retirement.
In special circumstances, you may also be able to access your super money before you reach your preservation age. This is in cases such as when:
- You are experiencing serious financial hardship
- Your home is being repossessed
- You or a dependent is seriously ill
In most cases, though, your super will become available to you when you hit your preservation age – at which time you can withdraw it as a lump sum, ongoing income stream, or a combination of the two.