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Is this the year you finally get your super in order?

Is this the year you finally get your super in order?

If managing your superannuation has been at the bottom of your to-do list for some time now, making it a priority in 2022 could be more important than you think.

For many, thinking about super can often be a case of out of sight, out of mind. Particularly for those who may still be decades away from retirement age. But like many long-term investments, the sooner you start putting measures in place to work towards your goals, the better the outcome may be.

To get started, you might like to consider spending a few minutes calculating how much super you’re likely to have when you retire if you opt to not make any changes to your existing circumstances. Then, determine whether that may be enough for you to have the retirement you desire, or if implementing some changes now could help you get closer to where you want to be. ASIC’s Moneysmart website has a superannuation calculator that can help with this, and so might your own super fund’s website, too.

Taking steps towards reaching your super goals

According to Industry Super Australia (ISA) many Australians are concerned that they won’t have enough money in their super accounts to fund their retirement.

But the good news is, once you have a better idea of the goals you want to work towards, there are a number of simple actions you can take right away – including the following:

1. Check with your fund to make sure you’re getting paid all your legal super entitlements

Instead of relying on the accuracy of your payslips, be sure to log into your online super account or read through your statements to confirm that your employer is up to date with Superannuation Guarantee payments. Even if you trust your employer, your priority should be protecting your own interests.

ISA research shows that unpaid superannuation impacts 3 million workers a year, costing them a total of $5 billion. 

“With the Super Guarantee set to rise to 12 per cent, it is even more important to make sure you are getting paid your full legal entitlement and that the fund is working for you,” ISA chief executive Bernie Dean said.

2. Consolidate your super funds into one account

If you have multiple super accounts, rolling them into one can save you money in fees and make it much easier to keep track of your nest egg.

There are a few ways you can do this. Your first option is to get in touch with the super fund you’d like to keep and ask them to assist with consolidating your other accounts. They may ask you to fill in a form to get the ball rolling. Your other option is to log into your myGov account, click the Super tab in the ATO section, and follow the steps to consolidate.

If you’re not sure whether you have more than one super fund account, myGov can also help you find any lost super.

3. Compare your existing super fund’s performance with others in the market 

Comparing performance (and other features) across a wide range of super funds can allow you to determine whether your current fund is meeting your needs.

ISA research has revealed that only 7 per cent of people switched funds after being told their fund failed the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s (APRA) inaugural MySuper Product Performance Test in August last year. Being stapled to an underperforming fund can cost a worker $230,000 at retirement, according to ISA.

RateCity’s superannuation comparison tables allow you to compare your existing super fund’s performance against that of others, with helpful filters to narrow down your search.

4. Make sure the type of fund and level of insurance is right for you 

Consider whether your choice of investment strategy matches your needs and appetite for risk. Your career stage and overall goals will typically play a part in determining this.

Also be sure to check the insurance coverage is the right fit for you and your family, including the premiums you’re being charged and the conditions attached. 

5. If you get some type of windfall, consider putting it in your super fund

With the power of compounding interest, a little invested in super now can make a big difference in retirement. Whether you want to make a lump sum contribution or you can spare some of your pre-tax income each week, every bit counts.

According to ISA figures, a 30-year-old on an average wage who salary sacrifices $20 a week into super has $67,000 more at retirement – and gets a tax saving now.

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This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Mark Bristow before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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