What is superannuation?
It's your money and for most people, super is one of the central pieces in preparing for their retirement. Getting to grips with it early will give you greater control and the confidence to make the best financial choices for you.
Your money goes in
Your employer pays 9.5% of your salary into your superannuation as a Super Guarantee (concessional) contribution.
The general tax rate on concessional contributions into your Super account
Your general concessional contributions cap each year. A temporary higher concessional contribution cap of $35k is available those aged 49 years or over on 30 June 2014 and 30 June 2015.
Your money is invested.
Know your choices.
You can choose how your money is invested.
Most funds have a range of investment options to choose from.
If you don't make a choice, your money is likely to be invested in a â€˜default investment option' which may not suit your needs.
Your money comes out.
Know when you can access your super.
Generally you can access your super at age 65, but in some cases you can access it earlier once you're no longer working and have reached your preservation age.
Super can be accessed before these ages but only in certain circumstances.
Questions to ask yourself: The five things you should know about your super
1.What is your super balance?
2.How many super accounts do you have?
3.How is your super invested?
4.How much are you paying in fees?
5.How much insurance do you have in super?
Check your Superannuation
If you have changed jobs, your address or your name - you may have lost some super. Don't worry. We can help you track it down and combine it all into one account so you'll never lose track of it again. Easy!
Gives you a clear summary of your super and helps you find ways to make it work harder for you. Calculate now
This calculator, provided by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, helps you work out:
- How much super you'll have when you retire
- How fees affect your final payout
An increasing Superannuation Guarantee rate
The Superannuation Guarantee (SG) increased from 9.25% to 9.5% on 1 July 2014. The government has confirmed that SG will remain 9.5% for the next seven years. This means that the next SG increase will be in 2021/2022 to 10% and it will continue to increase by 0.5% from the following financial year until it reaches 12% in 2025/2026.
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What are the main asset classes?
The majority of Australians have a large percentage of their super invested in shares, either knowingly or not. Generally, your super fund will allocate a percentage of your money to be invested across the four main asset classes. It's important to look closely at exactly how the fund allocates your investments.
Cash investments can help to manage risk in times of volatile markets through a range of cash strategies, including various types of money market and shorter dated fixed interest investments.
Fixed interest investments can include a range of Australian or international fixed income securities, such as government and corporate bonds. Generally less volatile than shares, fixed interest may suit more conservative investors or those with shorter investment timeframes.
Listed property securities involve buying interests in listed property trusts that are bought and sold on the stock exchange. It can allow you to invest in the property market without tying up a large proportion of your money directly in real estate. Returns from property may include income from rent and may include a capital growth component through an increase in the value of the property. Like shares, property securities can rise and/or fall in value.
Shares represent part ownership of a company. Listed shares can be bought and sold on a stock exchange. Investing in shares can provide an opportunity to benefit from the performance of businesses across a wide range of industries such as banking, health care and information technology.