Superannuation will become your salary when you retire, so it’s important to understand how it works, where your money is, and what options you have. There are plenty of super funds out there with many different types of accounts. Find out what questions to ask to make sure your super is working for you.
- Where is it?
If you have ever changed jobs, addresses or your name, then chances are your super could be spread across multiple accounts or super funds. If you have lost track of your super then there is no way of telling how your money is invested or whether it is reaching its potential. Even small amounts of super in forgotten accounts could grow to a substantial amount by the time you retire.
- How is it invested?
Most funds give you options around how your money is invested through different portfolios. You need to know how much investment risk you are comfortable with. A higher growth option will have higher risk and experience more volatile returns over the short term. But it will usually achieve higher returns over the long term. A conservative option will offer lower risk but lower returns over the long term. You should regularly review the investment mix in your super fund and its performance.
- What investment options do you have?
It’s worth taking the time to check your super investment options and decide what’s right for you. The options you choose can make a big difference to how your super grows over time. It is important to realise that the most suitable investment option differs for every individual.
- What are the insurance options?
If you have family members that depend on your ability to earn an income, insurance inside super may provide funds to assist with bills and debts if you can no longer work due to injury or disability, or if you pass away. Most super funds offer Life, TPD and Income Protection insurance for their members. If you change super funds, your contributions stop or your super account becomes inactive, you may no longer be covered inside your super. You could end up with no insurance. It is essential to know what events you are covered for, and to decide if this cover is enough to protect you and your family if the unfortunate happens.
- How much does it cost?
All super funds charge fees at either a fixed dollar amount or a percentage, or both. Fees can make a huge impact over the course of your working life, especially if you are not aware of what you are paying. If you have multiple super accounts it is essential to know what insurances you are paying for and whether these cancel each other out. You may also be paying fixed fees on multiple accounts.
Superannuation can be complex if you don’t know what questions to ask or what you are looking at. For assistance give FAA a call on 1300 49 11 41.