According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), more than 6.3 million people, or 45% of the workforce, were unaware that they hold multiple super accounts in 2016 – and are therefore very probably incurring more than one set of fees. In fact the ATO’s database shows that 1.2 million people are members of three or more super funds.
New research from the Association of Superannuation Funds Australia (ASFA) in November 2016 has found that more people than ever before are consolidating their super, showing that industry campaigns are working. In fact, the number of people with more than one super fund has halved since October 2013.
In October 2013, approximately 33% of the survey respondents had more than one superannuation fund because they hadn’t got around to consolidating them yet.
ASFA points out that the younger you are, the more you will benefit from making small changes to the way you manage your super.
Former CEO of ASFA Ms Pauline Vamos said, “Every dollar you save on unnecessary fees, or every dollar of lost super you find, is worth seven times more to your retirement savings. Every day your super stays lost, or every day you pay fees on an unnecessary account, is a day you are losing valuable retirement money.”
Step 1: Choose a super fund
Choosing a super fund that suits your needs is really important. And within that choose an investment that suits your needs and risk profile. CANSTAR is a great place to start comparing, showing you which super funds offer outstanding value.
Step 2: Track down your other super funds
If you’ve had multiple jobs, there’s a strong chance that you have multiple super funds as you may have not consolidated your super funds previously. No need to worry! In some cases you will know where all your superannuation funds are but if you think you might have some lost superannuation out there, you’ll need to find it. Fore more info, read our article on the topic or check out the ATO website .
Step 3: Enquire about any insurance
Do you have any insurance attached to the super funds that you are intending to close? Insurance offered by superannuation funds includes life insurance, total and permanent disability insurance and income protection insurance. Before you close a superannuation fund ask if you have any of those insurances attached. If you do, you might need to replace this cover elsewhere before closing your account. Find out more information about buying life insurance here.
Step 4: Ask your chosen super fund to arrange the transfer
Most superannuation funds will have a simple transfer form (or superannuation rollover form) that you can complete – and they will be happy to do the subsequent legwork for you!
Step 5: Register online with your fund
The ASFA research found that while just over 46% of respondents currently monitor their superannuation balance via a hardcopy statement from the super fund, an overwhelming 64% of respondents would prefer to monitor their fund via either an online account portal (44.4%) or e-statement (20.1%). Many superannuation funds have fantastic online capabilities and keeping an electronic eye of the balance and performance of your fund is great way to keep your nest egg savings on track!
If you are currently in the market for a super fund, or are considering switching, check out our comparison table below which offers a snapshot of the current market. Please note that this table has been sorted by our star rating (highest to lowest, A-Z) and is based on the policy holder being aged between 30 and 39, with a super balance of $55,000 to $100,000. You can try this tool for yourself here.
Learn more about Super
- How do I find out if I have any super funds that I’m not aware of?
- Are there any super funds that focus on ethical investments?
- Can I make extra payments?