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5 steps to staying up to date with your superannuation position
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Latest  /  Retirement / Super / Insurance

5 steps to staying up to date with your superannuation position

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Depending on how close you are to retirement, actually accessing your superannuation might feel like another lifetime away. It's all too common for Australians to treat their superannuation as a set and forget part of their lives, failing to keep up to date with important legislative changes along with rule changes that may have positive or negative effects on your super balance. Financial solutions providers know all too well just how long some people leave their superannuation for, but it's still surprising to see people failing to keep on top of such an important aspect of post retirement financial health.

We know that keeping track of your superannuation can seem an impossible task on top of everything else. So, you'll be happy to know that by following these five easy steps, you will know the up to date status of your super balance and can take solace in the knowledge that it's safe and growing into a valuable nest egg for your golden years, no matter how far away they may be.

Do you know where ALL your Super is?

Have you had more than one job in your career or have you moved house and forgotten to tell your superannuation provider? If you have, you're in the same boat as tens of thousands of Australians. You could also be one of the roughly 6 million Australians with a lost super account. As of 2018, there was over $13 Billion in lost super literally waiting there to be claimed. You've worked hard for every dollar you've earned, can you really afford to have lost super accounts out there?

Fortunately, it is quite an easy process to track down and amalgamate any lost super into a single account. You'll need to create a MyGov account and link it to the ATO function. Just click on the ATO section and go to the "super" tab. Here, you'll see detailed summaries of all your super accounts, even the ones that had been lost or forgotten about!

Do a superannuation stocktake

Your first step when planning for retirement should be to work out what kind of income you want to have and the level of comfort you wish to have. You can then take these numbers and calculate how much money is necessary to finance your preferred retirement income from the age you retire until the age of around about 90. Working out exactly how much super and other savings you have now is going to be critical for working out what type of cash you will have if you continue your current savings strategy. If you find there is a gap between how much you have calculated you will retire with and how much you want to retire with, then you have a great motivating goal to make the most of any tax concessions or beneficial rules relating to your super. Alternatively, you may find that after speaking with a financial advisor that any substantial assets sitting outside the super system might work better if shifted to within the super environment. Check you're being paid the super you are entitled to

Unfortunately, many Australians have asked their financial planners advice on what to do regarding underpaid or not paid employer superannuation requirements. Whether you have had a continuous job for a number of years, or you have changed jobs multiple times, it is important to go through your old payslips and PAYG summaries to ensure you have been paid the correct amount of super. Employers have three months to pay into an employee's super account, so a wage slip may not reflect actual payment. If your super doesn't add up, let your fund or the tax office know as soon as possible.

Choose the right super investment strategy

You should be revisiting your superannuation investment strategy as you pass through different life stages, so you can adjust them along with any insurance cover – your needs in those regards will change over time too. There are literally thousands of superannuation investment options available, so it is important to weigh up all your options carefully and discuss your financial situation and goals with your financial advisor in full detail.

Keep on-top of those policy changes

Policies around superannuation are changing faster than Superman in a phone booth, so it's more important than ever to set some time aside to discuss any these changes and how they may affect you with with your financial planner. The 2018 budget saw a range of changes, in particular tweaks to self-managed super funds, non-concessional contributions for people 65 and over along with tax incentives for first home buyers. Have you investigated how the super changes will affect your superannuation and retirement plans for the year, and for future financial years?

Finding a financial solutions provider capable of providing a holistic view of your financial health including your superannuation position and goals is vital to ensuring a happy and well funded retirement. The last thing you need to be worrying over during retirement is money, taking the steps earlier to have your superannuation working for you, is the first step to financial health in retirement.