Get your super back on track after COVID-19

The impact of COVID-19 has seen many people fall behind in their super savings, but the good news is there’s simple steps you can take today to help get your super back on track.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck Australia, forcing borders to close, and wide-spread lockdowns – business closures and job losses impacted many of us.

In fact, as many as 1 in 5 workers either lost their job or had their hours of work and income reduced1 which meant they didn’t contribute as much, or at all, to their super. And over 3 million Australians took advantage of the COVID-19 early release of super program, with the average withdrawal being almost $8,0002 and 25% of withdrawals resulting in super balances of less than $1,0003.

As Australia starts to reopen, and people return to the workforce, now could be a good time to take stock of the impact COVID-19 has had on your super balance and take some steps to get it back on track. 

How much super should you have at your age?

Research tells us there’s a gap between how much people have in their super now, and how much they need to fund their post-working years.

Whether you’re 24 or 64, knowing how your super balance stacks up against others your age, and what you should have at your age, can help you determine if you’re on track towards being able to fund a comfortable retirement.

Compare your super balance here

Getting your super back on track

To help get your super back on track you could consider these four simple ways you can add to your super.

1. Increase your before-tax super contributions

Adding to your super with before-tax money could be a tax-friendly way to boost your superannuation. As well as boosting your super, you could also end up paying less tax as these contributions are taxed at a maximum rate of 15% rather than your marginal tax rate, as long as you are not a ‘high income earner’^

Read more about before-tax contributions

2. Make super contributions after tax

You can make a contribution to your super with your own ‘after-tax’ money. This method of contribution still enjoys the same concessional tax treatment when invested inside super, which may make it a simple and effective way to help boost your super. 

Read more about after-tax contributions 

3. Get some help from the government 

The government may make a superannuation co-contribution to your superannuation account up to a maximum of $500 if you are a low or middle-income earner and make a personal after-tax contribution to your superannuation.

Or, if you earn $37,000 or less, you may be eligible for a ‘low-income superannuation tax offset’ contribution of up to $500 from the government.

Read more about the government co-contribution 

4. Boost your spouse’s super 

If your spouse or partner is a low-income earner, a stay-at-home parent, or not currently working, they may not be receiving superannuation contributions from an employer. It may be worth looking at ways to grow their super, and by making a contribution yourself to your partner’s super account, you may benefit from a tax rebate.

Read more about spouse contributions 

1 https://www.abs.gov.au/articles/people-who-lost-job-or-were-stood-down-flows-analysis-april-2020
2 https://www.apra.gov.au/covid-19-early-release-scheme-issue-35
3 https://www.apra.gov.au/superannuation-early-release-scheme-insights-from-apra%E2%80%99s-pandemic-data-collection
^ The Government has set caps on the amount of money you can add to superannuation each year on a concessionally taxed basis. In addition, the Government has set a non-concessional contributions cap. For more detail, speak with a financial adviser or visit the ATO website. Before requesting the rollover, you should also check with your other fund(s) to see if there are any exit fees for moving your benefit, or other loss of benefits (e.g. insurance cover). There may be limited circumstances where your employer is not required to accept your Choice of Superannuation fund form eg. if you have already exercised Super Choice in the last 12 months. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

We explain the range of strategies you can use to help grow your super in our boost your super guide. Try just one or embrace them all to boost your super savings over time.

Our Super and Retirement Calculator can provide you with a guide on what income you might have in retirement and how long it might last – based on your super balance today, and what age you might retire at.

You may have learnt some valuable financial lessons during this pandemic to help prepare for future uncertainty and disruption.
Take control of your super today to potentially enjoy a more financially rewarding retirement. By the time you retire, your super could be one of your most valuable assets.
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.

This information is current as at 16 April 2021.

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

BTFM is a member of the Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 (Westpac) group of companies. An investment in a BTFM product 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. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Westpac and its related entities do not stand behind or otherwise guarantee the capital value or investment performance of the product or any related assets of the product.

© Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714.