How to make your super work harder
Prime Super’s National Manager Member Solutions, Maria Ganakas, says that it is important for RCSA members to remember that your super is part of your savings. She details the five simple tips that will make super work smarter for you.
Know what you have and where you have it
We all seem to know how much we have in our savings account - we check the balance regularly. Yet when it comes to super many of us ignore this part of our savings. Your super will grow to be one of the largest investments you’ll ever have, so it is important to give it some regular attention.
Find out which super fund you are with and how much you currently have in super. Along with contributions, investment returns and fees have a big impact on your savings, so it is important to consider your fund’s performance* and the fees charged.
Continue to keep track of your super online or via a mobile app to see how your balance changes over time.
Consolidate your super
If you have super in more than one account you are likely doubling up on fees, and quite possibly insurance premiums, which can quickly eat into your super savings. Consolidating into one account could save you thousands of dollars over the years your super is invested and makes your super easier to manage.
Consolidation is easily done through your MyGov account, your online super account or by calling your super fund.
If you are unsure about consolidating seek some advice and guidance on what you need to consider such as returns, fees, and any insurance cover you have in place.
Review your investment options
Investment returns have a huge impact on your super balance so it is important for you to understand how your super fund invests your money, and your fund’s performance over the medium to longer term.
You need to consider your risk appetite when deciding the investment mix that is right for you. There are a range of investment options to suit most risk appetites, from low risk, defensive investment options right through to higher risk, growth-orientated investment options.
You can also choose investment options with exposure to sustainable, responsible and ethical investments.
Consider your life expectancy, not your retirement age, as your investment time frame and focus on achieving the right outcomes for that. It is important not to be reactive when investment markets are negative, but to focus on the long term.
Make additional contributions
Adding a little extra to top up your super can have a big impact on your superannuation savings over time and helps to grow your super faster.
Top up your super with an amount that you are not likely to miss and consider making these additional contributions sooner rather than later to take advantage of compounding returns. You can adjust your contributions as your circumstances change. Whether you are a low or high income earner there are tax incentives and rebates available through super to help accelerate how quickly your savings grow. You should investigate how these incentives and rebates can apply and benefit you.
Use the superannuation calculators available on moneysmart.gov.au to see what your retirement savings might look like based on your current balance, investment returns, contributions and fees. These calculators can also tell you which type of contribution will give you greatest benefit, based on your income level and your savings capacity. Take some time to play around with these calculators.
Check your insurance cover
Super usually offers a cost-effective way of providing personal insurance cover that doesn’t impact your current cashflow.
Review your insurance so you have the right level of cover. You only want to pay for cover you need as the cost is paid from your super savings.
Consider cost and benefits of your current insurance, and assess what is available through your super fund. Seek advice about insurance if you need help.
Many funds offer education about super and advice to their members that you might otherwise have to pay for. Contact your fund to find out what services it provides and to help you improve your financial position.
*Past performance is not an indicator of future performance
You can contact Prime Super on 1800 675 839, 8am-8pm (AEST), Monday to Friday or visit our website for more information.
Disclaimer: This article contains general information only and does not take account of your personal circumstances. You should obtain personal advice where appropriate. This article is current as at the date of publication and subject to change. Prime Super (ABN 60 562 335 823) is issued by Prime Super Pty Ltd (ABN 81 067 241 016, AFSL 219723). A Product Disclosure Statement is available from the issuer by calling 1800 675 839.
Maria Ganakas is an industry professional with over 20 years’ experience. She is a money expert with a focus on superannuation and investments.