RateCity Says: This super fund assigns a "path" to your savings based on your birth year, and adjusts your investments based on your life stage to help better manage your retirement assets.
Winner of SuperRatings Platinum 2021 MySuper
Quick superannuation review
For Virgin Money Super - LifeStage Tracker
These are the benefits of this superannuation.
- One of the lowest fees in the market.
- Simple and straightforward investment options including a LifeStage Tracker® option.
- Automatic Insurance cover with a pre-approved level of Death and TPD cover based on your age.
- Access to your super 24/7 with the ability to make changes instantly to your investment mix; plus online consolidation in less than 10 minutes.
Virgin Money Super is a plan within the Mercer Super Trust, designed to provide a default structure for superannuation investments with competitive fees to optimise retirement incomes for members across all industries.Virgin Money Super LifeStage Tracker is the fund's MySuper offering, which is a whole of life investment strategy that adjusts underlying asset allocations according to a member's age, gradually 'gliding' from a growth-oriented investment strategy to a defensive-oriented strategy. The LifeStage Tracker Born 1959-1963 option outperformed the SuperRatings Index over the 1- and 3-year periods to 30 June 2020.Fees are competitive and lower than the industry average across all account balances assessed. Eligible members can apply for a reduced asset-based administration fee via the 'Virgin Money Super Baby Break' program for a maximum of 12 months. Members can switch investment options at no cost.A full suite of insurance cover is offered, with Death and Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD) cover automatically provided to eligible members upon joining the fund. Members can apply to increase their Death and TPD cover following the occurrence of a prescribed Life Event without additional underwriting. Income Protection (IP) with a benefit period of 2 years, covering up to 75% of salary, is available following a 90-day waiting period. Members have access to a free Simple Super Advice service, as well as comprehensive financial planning services provided through Mercer Financial Advice. Online account access allows members to check their account balance and investment performance, as well as make investment changes.
For Virgin Money Super - LifeStage Tracker
- Insurance Cover
Account size discount
Financial planning service
Non-lapsing binding nominations
Employer size discount
Insurance life event increases
Total and permanent disability cover
Long term income protection
Administration fee (%)
Indirect cost ratio (%)
Target Market Determination
Visit Virgin Money to view Target Market Determination.
Fund fees vs. Industry average
Fund past-5-year return vs. Industry average
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Is superannuation payable on termination payments?
If you’re planning to switch jobs or your employment was terminated for any reason, it’s helpful to understand your rights before deciding on next steps. When it comes to whether your employer must pay superannuation on termination payments, the general answer is no.
What will the superannuation fund do with my money?
Your money will be invested in an investment option of your choosing.
What is superannuation?
Superannuation is money set aside for your retirement. This money is automatically paid into your superannuation fund by your employer.
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
Can my employer use money from my superannuation account?
No, your employer can’t touch the money that is paid into your superannuation account.
Can I transfer money from overseas into my superannuation account?
Yes, you can transfer money from overseas into your superannuation account – under certain conditions. First, you must provide your tax file number to your fund. Second, if you are aged between 65 and 74, you must have worked at least 40 hours within 30 consecutive days in a financial year. (Australians under 65 aren’t subject to a work test; Australians aged 75 and over cannot receive contributions to their superannuation account.)
Money transferred from overseas will generally count to both your concessional contributions limit and your non-concessional contributions limit. You will have to pay income tax on the applicable fund earnings component of any money transferred from overseas. You might also be liable for excess contributions tax.
Am I entitled to superannuation if I'm not an Australian citizen?
Yes, permanent and temporary residents are entitled to superannuation.
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.
What happens to my insurance cover if I change superannuation funds?
Some superannuation funds will allow you to transfer your insurance cover, without interruption, if you switch. However, others won’t. So it’s important you check before changing funds.
How much superannuation should I have at age 40?
The amount of superannuation you should have at age 40 is based on how much money you need to have at retirement. That, in turn, is based on how much money you expect to spend each week during your retirement. That, in turn, depends on whether you expect to lead a modest retirement or a comfortable retirement.
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) estimates you would need the following amount per week:
Here is the superannuation balance you would need to fund that level of spending:
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:
|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|
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).
How long after divorce can you claim superannuation?
You or your partner could be forced to surrender part of your superannuation if you divorce, just like with other assets.
You can file a claim for division of property – including superannuation – as soon as you divorce. However, the claim has to be filed within one year of the divorce.
Your superannuation could be affected even if you’re in a de facto relationship – that is, living together as a couple without being officially married.
In that case, the claim has to be filed within two years of the date of separation.
Either way, the first thing to consider is whether you’re a member of a standard, APRA-regulated superannuation fund or if you’re a member of a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF), because different rules apply.
Standard superannuation funds
If your relationship breaks down, your superannuation savings might be divided by court order or by agreement.
The rules of the superannuation fund will dictate whether this transfer happens immediately, or in the future when the person who has to make the transfer is allowed to access the rest of their superannuation (i.e. at or near retirement).
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If your relationship breaks down, you must continue to observe the trust deed of your SMSF.
So if you and your partner are both members of the same SMSF, neither party is allowed to use the fund to inflict ‘punishment’ – such as by excluding the other party from the decision-making process or refusing their request to roll their money into another superannuation fund.
This no-punishment rule applies even if the two parties are involved in legal proceedings.
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Superannuation funds often charge a fee for splitting accounts after a relationship breakdown.
Splitting superannuation can also impact the size of your total super balance and how your super is taxed.
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What are ethical investment superannuation funds?
Ethical investment funds limit themselves to making ‘ethical’ investments (which each fund defines according to its own principles). For example, ethical funds might avoid investing in companies or industries that are linked to human suffering or environmental damage.
What are concessional contributions?
Concessional contributions are pre-tax payments into your superannuation account. The payments made by your employer are concessional payments. You can also make concessional contributions with a salary sacrifice.
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.
What is lost superannuation?
Lost superannuation refers to savings in an account that you’ve forgotten about. This can happen if you’ve opened several different accounts over the years while moving from job to job.
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
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.
Am I entitled to superannuation if I'm a casual employee?
As a casual employee, you’re 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 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:
- Single diversified investment strategy
Your fund assigns you a risk strategy and investment profile, which remain unchanged throughout your working life.
- 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