Welcome to our Four Part Super Series covering starting, building, planning and receiving your superannuation retirement savings.

Part 1 – Commencing your Super Savings

In Part One we are looking at getting started with your super savings. Usually this happens when you commence working but for some it can be later in life. Let’s look at what should be considered

before and when you start saving for retirement.

So you got that job! Well done. Now you have to fill out all these forms and make decisions about where your super is going to go and find yourself asking – Does it really matter? Aren’t they all the same? And why should I worry when I can’t touch it for so long?

These are all very common questions and concerns. Let’s go through them one by one.

Why should I care about my super?

super

Your super is for you! It is specifically designed to fund your retirement. You will be working for a large portion of your life and when it is time to hang up the boots don’t you want to have the finances to enjoy it? Of course you do. That is why the decisions you make now are so important for your retirement savings. Check out our blog here about young people and super.

What is the best super fund for me?

We can’t answer this as everyone is different. However Canstar allows you to compare funds with regard to expected returns, rating and fees. You can also select super funds now that invest in ways you agree with such as sustainable resources, ethical companies and equality and human rights.

Tip: Remember to scroll past the ads and you can sort by investment returns and annual fees.

Can my employer force me to go with their fund?

No! Well….usually no. Those working in some government agencies may have to make their employer contributions to a specific fund but this is rare. Even those employees can still choose to have another fund and make additional contributions elsewhere.

Will my super move with me when I change jobs?

Yes! New systems and laws mean that no matter where you go, your super will be stapled to you. Your next employer will pay your contributions into your existing fund.

I had a job a while ago and I don’t know where my super was going. How can I find it?

Log into your MyGov account and click “Manage My Super”. Your current superannuation accounts will display here.

Should I “opt in” for life insurance?

Again, this is a personal choice. In the past insurance was provided automatically to all new super fund members but now young people must “opt in” to have it. Perhaps now is the time to book an appointment with an insurance specialist if you think it may be something you need.

What investment option should I have my super in?

When you join a super fund you will be asked to select an investment option. For example:

  • Conservative/Cash
  • Balanced/Mixed
  • High Growth

There are many others depending on the fund and you can also often choose a DIY mix meaning you select the specific assets yourself. The questions you need to ask yourself before selecting your options are:

1.   How long will I be invested for?

2.   How much do I want to be involved in the investment selections?

3.   And how much risk am I comfortable with?

Check out the ASIC’s Moneysmart website to find out more about how each investment option is structured.

I want to control my own super. Can I do this straight away?

This can be done with a Self Managed Super Fund or SMSF for short. As a rough guide, usually you should have at least $200,000 in super to start looking after it yourself. But there can be multiple members of an SMSF that can pool their funds together. Check out our blogs regarding setting up an SMSF:

Set up an SMSF and take control of YOUR Super

The Why, What and How to Guide for Setting up an SMSF

So while getting started on your super savings can sound daunting it is really important as it ultimately is for your future. Get in touch with us here if you need help with your super savings.

This information has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation or needs.