The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia is urging all Australians to spend just one hour this month sorting out their super. Pass these tips on to your clients:
ASFA's top five tips for sorting out super
1. Consolidate your accounts
If you've had more than one job, chances are you also have more than one super account. Moving your entire super into one account can help you avoid paying duplicate administration fees and will also make managing your super easier. It could also save you money on investment fees or insurance costs.
2. Find lost super
Tracking down lost super is another way to boost your retirement nest egg. Currently, there are billions of dollars in lost and unclaimed super, and some of it may belong to you. Use the ATO SuperSeeker tool to search for lost and unclaimed super, and then contact the fund to arrange to move it into your active super account.
3. Access the free help that is available
Many people do not know where to start when it comes to finding out about their super, but a good place to start is to get in touch with your fund. Most super funds have call centres and websites that can provide you with information, general advice and tools to help you plan for your retirement.
4. Plan to save more
Making small changes can add thousands of dollars to your balance in retirement. For example, having one less $3.80 cup of coffee per day and putting the extra money into your super could add over $120,000 to your final balance in retirement. (Calculation based on a 30-year-old person putting an additional $3.80 per week into their super account that has a 'moderate' investment option.)
The earlier you start saving, the more you will benefit, so think about making small changes today.
If you are on a low income and make personal, after-tax contributions to your super, then you may also be eligible for the government's co-contribution, which will pay up to $500 directly into your super account. For further information visit the ATO's website.
5. Visit Super Guru
The better you get to know your super, the more confident you will feel when it comes to dealing with it. Visit the independent ASFA Super Guru website, www.superguru.com.au, for a wealth of information, tools and tips to help you better understand how your superannuation works.