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Settlement Guide: 10 facts on superannuation

Businessman standing in hoops in desert back view full length Source: AAP

Superannuation is a long-term savings plan designed to provide an income after retirement. So, how does it work?

1. Who is entitled to superannuation?

Employees over 18 years of age earning more than $450 per month. Currently 9.5% per cent of your salary is contributed into your super fund by your employer.

 

Employees

 

2. Some employees miss out on superannuation due to different types of work

Employees, who work multiple part-time jobs and earn less than $450 per month in each job, might not get superannuation contributions.

 Part-time worker

3. Most apprentices and trainees earning over the $450 threshold are entitled to superannuation payments 

 

 

4. Who manages your money?

Banks, insurance companies and industry funds typically manage a range of investment options, including government bonds, high and low risk securities.

 

 

5. Employees can nominate where their super goes

If employees don’t select a fund, the employer will make a choice. Being in an under-performing fund could see you lose a substantial amount of your retirement savings.

 

 

6. Making personal contributions can boost your fund

Diligent savers can get a bonus from the government.

 

 

7. The Super Co-contribution applies for low and middle income workers

Employees who earn less than $51-thousand dollars per year, and make extra super contributions, are eligible for a government co-contribution of $500 per year tax-free.

 

 

8. Consolidating super accounts is another way to increase savings

Not having multiple funds saves on fees, reduces paperwork and makes it easier to track your super.

 

 

9. The age at which you can access your super can change

Currently it’s 57, but the mandatory retirement age is moving towards 70.

  

 

10. Australians born overseas can access their retirement savings in their original homelands

Applications can be made to access accumulated retirement savings if you decide to move back to your homeland.

 

 

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) should be your first step when it comes to learning about superannuation and is also the best place to check to see what information is correct.

Keep track of your super by using the ATO’s free online tool. Use this tool to locate lost super and consolidate your accounts.

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia Ltd is the peak body for superannuation issues in Australia and includes useful things for consumers, including a dictionary for all that super jargon.

MoneySmart is full of financial tips and information for investors and consumers of financial products, including superannuation.

The Superannuation Complaint Tribunal is an independent tribunal set up by the federal government to investigate complaints about superannuation funds and savings accounts from consumers.