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Product

QSuper - Accumulation

Past 5-year return
6.98

% p.a

FYTD return

2.01

% p.a

Company
Calc fees on 50k

$350

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
SuperRatings Platinum 2022 MyChoice Super15 Yr Platinum Performance 2007-2022Smooth Ride 2022MyChoice Super of the Year Finalist 2022
Go to site

Balanced

RateCity says...

QSuper is part of Australian Retirement Trust. Eligibility and conditions apply. Refer to qsuper.qld.gov.au/our-products/can-i-join-qsuper

Product

Virgin Money Super

Past 5-year return
7.26

% p.a

FYTD return

0.29

% p.a

Company
Calc fees on 50k

$348

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
SuperRatings Platinum 2022 MyChoice Super
Go to site
Product

Spirit Super (Default B)

Past 5-year return
7.55

% p.a

FYTD return

0.84

% p.a

Company
Calc fees on 50k

$463

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
SuperRatings Platinum 2022 MyChoice Super
Go to site

Balanced (MySuper)

Product

AMP SignatureSuper - MySuper

Past 5-year return
5.70

% p.a

FYTD return

-0.52

% p.a

Company
Calc fees on 50k

$603

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
SuperRatings Platinum 2022 MySuper
Go to site

MySuper 1960s

Product

Russell iQ Super - Employer

Past 5-year return
6.98

% p.a

FYTD return

0.94

% p.a

Company
Calc fees on 50k

$666

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
SuperRatings Gold 2022 MyChoice Super
Go to site

Balanced Growth

Product

Suncorp - Suncorp Lifestage Funds

Past 5-year return
7.00

% p.a

FYTD return

0.34

% p.a

Company
Calc fees on 50k

$460

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
SuperRatings Gold 2022 MySuper
Go to site

Suncorp Lifestage Fund 1965 to 1969

Product

HUB24 Super Fund - Personal Super (Core Menu)

Past 5-year return
-

% p.a

FYTD return

-

% p.a

Company
Calc fees on 50k

$452

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
SuperRatings Gold 2022 MyChoice Super
Go to site

InvestSense Diversified Portfolio 4

Embed

Superannuation funds we compare at RateCity

Learn more about superannuation

When investing your super money, there are benefits and drawbacks to each type of investment. However, choosing a suitable investment option for your circumstances can have a significant impact on your financial standing during retirement.

What is cash superannuation investment?

Some people choose to put their money in an investment cash account, which can be a good option if you want to protect the value of your investment over the short term. This is because a cash investment aims to guarantee your capital and accumulated earnings are not reduced by losses on investments.

However, the flipside of investing super in cash is that growth is typically minimal, especially in the short term. As with most investments, lower risk usually means lower reward.

With a cash investment, 100 per cent of your super money is deposited in deposit-taking institutions (such as banks) or in a 'capital-guaranteed' life insurance policy. Typically, a cash investment option is investment in a mix of term deposits, bank bills, and/or cash.

A typical cash investment profile looks like:

  • 100 per cent in cash deposits
  • Very low volatility
  • No losses over a 20-year span
  • Low growth

Other types of superannuation investments

Along with cash investment, there are three other main types of investment options:

Growth

A growth investment option generally invests a majority of your money into higher-risk assets such as property and shares.

Typical profile:

  • 80-100 per cent in shares and property
  • The remainder in cash or fixed interest
  • High volatility
  • High growth
  • 4-5 years of losses over a 20-year span

Balanced

A balanced investment option usually has more than half of a fund’s assets in shares and the rest in property, fixed interest and cash.

Typical profile:

  • 70 per cent in shares and property
  • The remainder in cash or fixed interest
  • Medium volatility
  • Mid-high growth
  • 4 years of losses over a 20-year span

Conservative

A conservative investment option is a low-risk investment option with a significant percentage of your money put into cash and fixed interest investments.

Typical profile:

  • 30 per cent in shares and property
  • The remainder in cash or fixed interest
  • Low volatility
  • Low-mid growth
  • 0 years of losses over a 20-year span

How to decide where to invest your super

Factors such as your age, the amount of super you have and your level of financial knowledge should be factored in when deciding where to invest your super.

For example, if you’re younger you might be willing to invest in high-growth options while you can wait out the highs and lows of the market. If you’re moving closer to retirement age and looking for a low-volatility superannuation investment, cash may be the right choice for you.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to super investment, so it’s worth considering your financial profile and comparing super funds to find an investment mix that works for you.

Frequently asked questions

What will the superannuation fund do with my money?

Your money will be invested in an investment option of your choosing.

What is MySuper?

MySuper accounts are basic, low-fee accounts. If you don’t nominate a superannuation fund, your employer must choose one for you that offers a MySuper account.

MySuper accounts offer two investment options:

  1. Single diversified investment strategy

Your fund assigns you a risk strategy and investment profile, which remain unchanged throughout your working life.

  1. Lifecycle investment strategy

Your fund assigns you an investment strategy based on your age, and then changes it as you get older. Younger workers are given strategies that emphasise growth assets

What is an SMSF investment strategy?

All SMSFs are required to have an investment strategy, which should explain what assets the fund will buy and what objectives it will pursue. This strategy must be reviewed regularly.

Issues to consider include how much risk the SMSF will take, how easily its assets can be converted into cash and how it will pay out benefits.

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?

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 is the age pension's assets test?

The value of your assets affects whether you can qualify for the age pension – and, if so, how much.

The following assets are exempt from the assets test:

  • your principal home and up to two hectares of used land on the same title
  • all Australian superannuation investments from which a pension is not being paid – this exemption is valid until you reach age pension age
  • any property or money left to you in an estate, which you can’t get for up to 12 months
  • a cemetery plot and a prepaid funeral, or up to two funeral bonds, that cost no more than the allowable limit
  • aids for people with disability
  • money from the National Disability Insurance Scheme for people with disability
  • principal home sale proceeds you’ll use to buy another home within 12 months
  • accommodation bonds paid on entry to residential aged care
  • any interest not created by you or your partner
  • a Special Disability Trust if it meets certain requirements
  • your principal home, if you vacate it for up to 12 months
  • granny flat rights where you pay more than the extra allowable amount

For full pensions, reductions apply when your assessable assets exceed these thresholds:

Category

Home owners

Non-home owners

Singles

$253,750

$456,750

Couples living together

$380,500

$583,500

Couples living apart due to ill health

$380,500

$583,500

Couples with only one partner eligible

$380,500

$583,500

For part pensions, reductions apply when your assessable assets exceed these thresholds:

Category

Home owners

Non-home owners

Singles

$550,000

$753,000

Couples living together

$827,000

$1,030,000

Couples living apart due to ill health

$973,000

$1,176,000

Couples with only one partner eligible

$827,000

$1,030,000

For transitional rate pensions, reductions apply when your assessable assets exceed these thresholds:

Category

Home owners

Non-home owners

Singles

$503,250

$706,250

Couples living together

$783,000

$986,000

Couples living apart due to ill health

$879,500

$1,082,500

Couples with only one partner eligible

$783,000

$986,000

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 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.

How does superannuation affect the age pension?

Most Australians who are of retirement age can qualify for the age pension. However, depending on the size of your assets and post-retirement income, you might be entitled to only a reduced pension. In some instances, you might not be entitled to any pension payments.

Am I entitled to superannuation if I'm a contractor?

As a contractor, you’re entitled to superannuation if:

  • The contract is mainly for your labour
  • 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

Please note that you’re entitled to superannuation even if you have an Australian business number (ABN).

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 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 much is superannuation in Australia?

Superannuation in Australia 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 ‘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 is superannuation?

Superannuation 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 ‘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 does the age pension work?

Most Australians who are of retirement age can qualify for the age pension. However, depending on the size of your assets and post-retirement income, you might be entitled to only a reduced pension. In some instances, you might not be entitled to any pension payments.

What happens if my employer falls behind on my superannuation payments?

The Australian Taxation Office will investigate if your employer falls behind on your superannuation payments or doesn’t pay at all. You can report your employer with this online tool.

How do you access superannuation?

Accessing your superannuation is a simple administrative procedure – you just ask your fund to pay it. You can access your superannuation in three different ways:

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

However, please note that your superannuation fund will only be able to make a payout if 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 has 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

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

How many superannuation funds are there?

There are more than 200 different superannuation funds.

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 you pay superannuation?

Superannuation is paid by employers to employees. Employers are required to pay superannuation to all their staff if the staff are:

  • Over 18 and earn more than $450 before tax in a calendar month
  • Under 18, work more than 30 hours per week and earn more than $450 before tax in a calendar month

This applies even if the staff are casual employees, part-time employees, contractors (provided the contract is mainly for their labour) or temporary residents.

Currently, the superannuation rate is currently 9.5 per cent of an employee’s ordinary time earnings. This 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.

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