Five signs that you need to get control of your super

While consolidating super might sound like an easy one to put off, sorting it could mean more money to play with in retirement.

If you’re someone who scratches their head at the thought of lost super or consolidating super, it might be time for you take control. 

You may need to sort your super if:

  • you have a to-do list which includes organising your superannuation, which has been a recurring item for longer than you can remember
  • when someone mentions superannuation, asks you how many accounts you have, or what your balance is, you find yourself lost for words
  • your paperwork includes unopened superannuation statements, or your inbox has unopened emails containing super statements
  • each time you go to log into one of your super providers you have to click 'Forgot password' only to then remember you have forgotten your username
  • when you change jobs and are asked to nominate a superannuation fund, you don't know the name of it and opt to go with your employer’s default account (again).

If any of these sound familiar, it’s time to take control of your superannuation. Here are some simple steps to get you started.

Step 1: Find lost superannuation

It can be a good idea to track down lost superannuation money or accounts you may have forgotten about, as having multiple accounts may result in paying more fees than necessary. You could also miss out on money in retirement, not to mention, keeping track of multiple accounts might be more difficult and create more admin for you.

Step 2: Consolidate your super into a single account

Once you know where all your superannuation is, you may like to consider consolidating (or rolling over) all the different balances into a single account. This potentially doesn’t just save on account keeping fees, it means you could easily keep track of your super throughout your working life.

Before transferring different accounts into a single one, it is a good idea to check with your other funds to see if there are any exit fees for moving your benefit or, other loss of benefits, such as insurance.

Step 3: Start with a superannuation standard choice form

Most super funds have a downloadable form that you can print off to submit to your employer letting them know that you want your super paid into your existing fund rather than your employer's nominated super fund (typically known as a Superannuation standard choice form). This way all of your super is kept in the one place without having to open another account (which could help maximise your benefits).

So what are you waiting for? Consider sorting your super today. Then you can erase one thing from that ever growing to-do list.

Next: Seven super strategies for end of financial year

The end of the financial year is a good time to think about how to grow your super and start saving for retirement.

Ready to find your lost super?

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This article has been prepared by BT. BT is a part of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 233714 and is current as at 2 May 2019. This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. This article provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

Superannuation is a means of saving for retirement, which is, in part, compulsory. The government has placed restrictions on when you can access your investments held in superannuation. The Government has set caps on the amount of money that you can add to your superannuation each year and over your lifetime on both a concessional and non-concessional tax basis.  There will be tax consequences if you breach these caps.  For more detail, speak with a financial adviser or registered tax agent or visit the ATO website.  Before requesting a rollover, 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 other fund(s) to determine whether there are any 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. You may not be covered for injuries or illnesses that have arisen since you took out previous insurance, and you may lose loyalty benefits. There may be limited circumstances where your employer is not required to accept your Choice of Superannuation fund form e.g. if you have already exercised Super Choice in the last 12 months.