Getting on top of your super is easier than you think! 

By taking simple action today with your super account, you’ll be able to get on with life knowing your super is in good shape.

  • Tip: Strapped for time? Watch this 2-minute video for a quick overview on what you need to know to set up your super account properly. Otherwise read on below for some helpful strategies.

Get started by logging into your super account online

One of the most important things you can do is log into your super account regularly

Everything you need to know about your super, including your balance, transaction history, fees, and investment performance can be found when you log into your super account. 

Logging into your super account online is a straightforward thing to do, and it’s one of the easiest ways to work out whether you’ve set up your account properly. 

How to log into your super account

How regularly should you log into your super account?

Some people do it monthly, others more regularly.

Whatever frequency suits you, it’s a good idea to have a sense of whether your balance is on track for your age, whether you’re invested according to your appetite for risk, and understand what fees you may be paying.

  • Tip: Try setting a reminder in your calendar each month to log in and check your super account. Maybe it’s a few days after you’ve been paid, or at the same time you’re doing financial admin, e.g. when you’re paying your monthly bills.

1. Update or provide your personal details and tax file number when you set up your account online

From time to time your super fund may need to contact you about your super, which is why it’s important that your personal details are current – not only when you open your super account, but also if your details have changed.

  • Did you know? If your super fund is not able to contact you, and/or your super account isn’t active and your balance is less than $6,000, your super savings may be transferred to the ATO.

Why do my details need to be correct?

When your personal details are correctly recorded in your super profile, you’ll be able to:

  • Keep track of your hard-earned money. You can manage and track your balance over time, and check that the correct contributions are going into your super account. After all, super is your money, and it’s worth keeping sight of it, especially for when you need it in the future.
  • Receive important information. This can include your annual super statement and other important updates like fund performance, education on super, investments, insurance, and changes that might affect your super.
  • Pay the right tax on super. Providing your Tax File Number means you won’t pay incorrect tax on your contributions. It’ll also mean you’ll be better able to find other super accounts and any lost super, make personal after-tax contributions and take part in the government co-contribution scheme if you’re eligible.

What details do I need to update/check? 

Your current name, correct date of birth, current address, home number, mobile number, your email address, and your Tax File Number.

What to do

Log into your super account to update your personal details. If anything is incomplete, missing or incorrect, you can usually update these when you’re logged in. 

For BT Super members: Watch our video on how to set up your account online.

2. Get super from other funds into your account

If you’ve had multiple jobs, or have simply forgotten about super altogether, chances are you have more than one super account.

Finding and combining your super accounts into one single super account could add thousands of dollars to your retirement. 

Here’s why it might be worth checking to see if you have more than one super account.

  • The average Australian is expected to have up to five separate careers and around 17 employers, typically resulting in multiple super accounts.1
  • Over six million Australians currently have more than one super account costing a total of $2.6 billion a year in fees2 (not including the cost of multiple insurance premiums).
  • There’s around $13.9 billion worth of lost and unclaimed super in Australia.3

Is finding lost super on your ‘to do list’?

For many of us, getting on top of our super stays on our ‘to do list’ indefinitely. But this doesn’t have to be you. If you think you may have more than one super account, including lost or unclaimed super. You can search for them easily. You can find instructions for this on the ATO website.

Combining your super funds into one 

Once you’ve found all your super, you could stop paying multiple unnecessary fees by combining all your accounts into one.

If you decide you want to combine your super accounts into one, including any monies held by the ATO, we can help you do this when you log into your account.

  • Tip: If you do choose to consolidate, be sure to check the conditions from your respective funds, including possible fees, as well as the potential loss of any existing insurance arrangements.^

For BT Super members: Watch our video on how to combine super from other funds into your account.

3. Grow your super balance with employer and voluntary contributions

There’s generally two ways to grow your super balance. 

Superannuation Guarantee (SG) – check yours is set up properly

SG is where your employer pays a minimum of 9.5% of your ordinary time earnings – including bonuses, paid leave, allowances, and commissions – as a contribution to your super.4

Which super account these payments get paid into is generally up to you, not your employer, so it makes sense to check that your employer contributions are hitting your super account.

How do you check?

Log into your super account online and have a look at your contribution history. 

If your SG payments aren’t being made (at minimum once a quarter) then you should notify your employer.

What if your SG isn’t set up, or you move jobs?

The good news is that if you change jobs you don’t have to change your super account; BT will accept contributions from any Australian employer. 

If you’d like your employer to pay your SG contributions into your BT super account, simply complete a Choice of Superannuation Fund form found here for BT members and here for Asgard members. You can then give the form to your employer or the payroll manager.

Voluntary contributions – give your super a boost

Having your SG set up properly is one thing. However, it’s worth remembering that while your employer’s compulsory contributions are a good start to growing your super, they may not be enough on their own.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help your super balance over time. You can read more in the Boost your Super Guide (PDF).

For BT Super members: Watch our video on how to contribute money to your super.

4. Nominate or change your beneficiaries, just in case something happens to you

Part of setting up your super account is selecting who you’d like to leave your money to (and any insurance benefits if you have Death Cover as part of your super), in case you die. This is called nominating a beneficiary.

It’s equally important to check and change your beneficiaries if your circumstances change, e.g. divorce, or birth of a child.

Why nominate a beneficiary, and what happens if you don’t?

By nominating a valid beneficiary, you’ll know your death benefit goes to the people you want it to go to. If you don’t nominate anyone, or your nomination isn’t valid under super law, the Trustee of your super fund will use its discretion as to where your money will go.

Who can you nominate?

Under super law, an eligible beneficiary can be your spouse or de facto, your children, someone who’s financially dependent on you, or a person with whom you have an interdependency relationship.

If you want to leave your super to someone else, or to a charity, you’ll need to nominate your Legal Personal Representative (LPR) (the executor of your estate), and they can deal with your super in your Will. 

Nominate, check or update your beneficiaries

You can read more about nominating your beneficiaries here.

For BT Super members: Watch our video on how to nominate your beneficiaries.

  • Did you know? Your super is generally not dealt with as a part of your Will, rather it’s distributed directly from your super fund account by the Trustee.

5. Check your life insurance to help protect your loved ones

Superannuation provides funds for when you retire, but it can also provide funds for you or your dependants if you’re unable to work due to injury or illness, if you become totally and permanently disabled, or if you die. 

Many super funds will offer life insurance as a part of their superannuation offering.

If you haven’t already done so, taking out Income Protection (IP) – also known as Salary Continuance Insurance (SCI), Death Cover, and/or Death and Total & Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance through your super account could make a lot of sense. 

Why life insurance?

It’s easy to get caught up with life, however have you ever stopped to think about what would happen if the unexpected happened to you? It’s perhaps logical to insure cars, houses and other valuables, however research suggests that many people don’t insure their ability to earn an income.5

Without adequate life insurance in place, your home and family finances could suffer significantly in the event of your illness, injury, or death.

Why life insurance through super?

There may be tax advantages for you. Rather than use your after-tax earnings to pay your premiums, if you have insurance through your super fund, your premiums can be deducted from your super balance meaning you won’t notice a difference to your take-home pay.

How to apply for or change life insurance through super

With BT, you can apply for new or additional life insurance cover when you log into your super account.

And, as soon as your circumstances change, consider how this may impact your level of cover as it may need adjusting.

For BT Super members: Watch our video on how to check your insurance.

6. Discover different investment options for your super

There are two main ways to invest your super, and understanding where your money is invested is an important part of setting up your super account properly.

Option one: Lifestage investing

For now, unless you’ve chosen otherwise, your investment strategy will likely be a default investment option, known at BT as Lifestage investing. This is an option where the money is managed on behalf of members, in a diversified portfolio – designed and managed according to age and risk appetite. 

For example, the strategy invests your super into more growth assets when you’re younger and offers protection when you get closer to retirement, by automatically adjusting the mix of assets as you get older. You don’t need to do a thing. 

Option two: Choose your investments

If you want to specify how your money is invested, you can personalise your super investments by choosing from a range of investment options with different risk profiles. You can nominate the percentage of your super that’s invested in each one. It’s easy to change the percentages at any time by logging into your super account online, and you can even change to a Lifestage Fund if you prefer.

What kind of investment is right for you?

Generally, the higher the level of risk, the higher potential return.

However, before you decide on how you want your super to be invested, it might help to understand your attitude towards risk and your confidence as an investor, and then think about how much you have to invest and the length of time until you plan to retire.

If you’re uncertain of the amount of risk you would be comfortable with, the online BT Risk Profile tool can assist you in understanding what your investment risk appetite may be.

For BT Super members: Watch our video on how to change your investment options.

  • Tips:

    • Look at your investment options on a regular basis. 
    • A good rule of thumb is to revisit yours as circumstances change in your life, e.g. a new job, partnership, family member, or it could be when you check your super balance.
    • Ask yourself questions like: Am I willing to risk my hard-earned super savings for the potential of higher returns? Or am I happy with modest returns if I know my super is tucked away? 
    • The answers will be entirely individual to you, as will your investment choices for your super.

You might also be interested in

Watch this video series to help you navigate and manage your BT Super online.

Billions of dollars are sitting in lost and unclaimed super accounts. Some of that money could be yours. We explain how to be reunited with any lost super.

References

^ Before consolidating your super accounts, you should consider where your future employer contributions will be paid (if your employer contributions are currently being paid to another fund) and check with your fund(s) to determine whether there are any fees, including exit or withdrawal fees, for moving your benefit, or other loss of benefits (e.g. insurance cover), noting that you may not receive the same type or level of benefits after the rollover. If you have a pre-existing medical condition you may not receive a benefit for a death or disability claim. Please check to see if you are covered before proceeding.

1 “Job Mobility in Australia.” McCrindle Research. June 2020. Accessed 8 February 2021.
2 "Super data: multiple accounts, lost and unclaimed super." The Australian Government, Australian Taxation Office. October 2019. Accessed 8 February 2021.
3 "Huge $1billion in superannuation sitting with ATO expected to be handed back to Aussie." News.com.au. November 2020. Accessed 8 February 2021.
4 "Super Guarantee Percentage." The Australian Government, Australian Taxation Office. December 2020. Accessed 8 February 2021.
5 "Underinsurance in Australia: how much cover do you need?" CANSTAR. February 2020. Accessed 2021.

The information is prepared by BT Funds Management Limited ABN 63 002 916 458 (BTFM) the trustee of the following products:

(a) BT Super for Life, BT Super for Life Westpac Group Plan and BT Super part of the superannuation fund Retirement Wrap ABN 39 827 542 991; and
(b) Asgard Employee Super Account part of the superannuation fund the Asgard Independence Plan Division Two ABN 90 194 410 365.

This information has been prepared as general advice only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it. Read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to see if these products are right for you by visiting bt.com.au or asgard.com.au. Past performance is not a reliable indication of future performance. All examples are illustrative only. Your portfolio value and performance will depend on the investment options you have selected and the time over which they are invested. 

BTFM is a member of the Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 (Westpac) group of companies. An investment in these products is not an investment in, deposit with or any other liability of Westpac, any division of Westpac or any other company in the Westpac Group. Westpac and its related entities do not stand behind or otherwise guarantee the capital value or investment performance of the products or any related assets of the products.