Setting yourself up comfortably for retirement relies heavily on having a superannuation fund, and you can beef up this nest egg by making extra contributions on top of those made by your employer.
However, super is not all about gaining access to your funds when you retire. There is more to it than that.
In this post we’ll look at how to choose the best super fund for you and some key things to consider when it comes to superannuation.
Choose a Fund With a Good Reputation
If a super fund has been in existence for a number of years, then digging up some independent information and opinions on that fund shouldn’t be too difficult a task.
Don’t go with a brand new superannuation fund that hasn’t yet developed a track record for looking after its members. Super is a big deal in Australia, so you seriously don’t want to find yourself tied up with the wrong fund. Yes, you can change super providers, but it’s easier just to make the best choice in the first place.
Ask friends and family members who they are with, or talk to some people you know who have recently retired and discover what their experience was with their super fund, and whether receiving the money due to them was a seamless process.
Know What Your Super Fund Covers You For
Super is not all about building up a nest egg to cash in when you reach retirement age. Super funds serve other purposes and contain insurances against certain life events. You need to know exactly what your super fund offers when it comes to these insurances, just in case you ever need to make a claim before you retire.
Some types of insurances that should be included within you fund include:
- Income protection
- Death cover
- Permanent disability cover
These are the most common ones.
If you need to make a claim against any of these insurances and you have a valid reason to do so, your super fund should be there, ready and willing to fulfil their obligations. If they don’t, and you need to dispute their lack of assistance, then you’ll want to enlist the aid of superannuation lawyers to resolve the matter fairly.
Know what your rights are under superannuation law, and the best way to learn your rights is by seeking counsel with your qualified and experienced legal team.
Should You Contribute More To Your Super Fund?
When you work for an employer it’s not compulsory to contribute additional funds to your super, but it will ensure you receive a much larger payout upon retirement.
The choice is really up to you, and you can vary the amounts you contribute each pay day with most super funds. You can also cease contributing at any time. It’s really only your employer who is obligated by law to continually contribute the appropriate amount each time you get paid your wage.
It can certainly be a wise choice to beef up your fund though, or alternatively you could save money in an investment account at the banks, or invest funds in the share market or even gold.
Do You Have a Number of Super Funds?
If you’ve worked a variety of jobs over the years and each time you’ve simply had your super paid to the company that your employer has opted to deal with, unless you’ve been regularly rolling that super over into the new fund with the new employer, you’ll have super funds all over the place.
First you’ll want to do a search for lost super. Once you’ve discovered which super funds you have money invested with, then you’ll want to consolidate all of those into your current super fund.
There’s no real point having half a dozen different superannuation funds on the go. All that does is complicate things and make receiving the payout you’re entitled to when you retire more complex. Each fund will also have admin and account keeping fees, which will be eating away at your super when you have a series of inactive accounts.
Consolidate, have one fund to deal with and only one fund charging you fees.