Finance News

Get your super sorted

                Stats from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority show there are 325 registered super funds in Australia and over 500,000 self-managed super funds, which manage $1.6 trillion in assets. The complexity and sheer scale of the industry makes super notoriously difficult to understand, which means many people simply ignore it. The trouble is, not paying attention now can have far reaching consequences on the value of your super down the track, which could see you forced to stay at work or with less money in retirement. Get your super on the right path with these tips. CONSOLIDATE YOUR ACCOUNTS There are almost 31 million super accounts in Australia today, an average of 1.4 accounts per person. On top of that, Westpac estimates there is $18.1 billion sitting in ‘lost’ super. Multiple accounts means multiple sets of fees eating away at your savings, so it’s crazy not to pool them together. Jump on the ATO’s Super Seeker website to see a list of accounts in your name and get the consolidation process started. UNDERSTAND THE FEES YOU PAY Once your super’s all in one place, it’s important to understand exactly what the fund is charging to manage it so dust off that latest statement and read it through. New legislation has forced super funds to be clearer about the fees they charge, which makes it easier to compare the market and work out if you’re getting a good deal. At the end of the day, being informed will help you make better decisions about who manages your money. CHOOSE YOUR INVESTMENT OPTION One of the most important decisions to make about super is where to invest the money. Most super funds offer a choice of investment options ranging in complexity from balanced funds to highly leveraged growth funds and even direct shares. Each option comes with a varying degree of risk compared to the expected reward, and where you decide to invest will have a lot to do with how comfortable you are with risk and your stage of life. Ultimately, it’s a personal decision, but as an example people close to retirement often take on less risky investments to protect their nest egg against a drop in the market. Young guns in their 20s can afford to take a few more chances because they have time on their side to ride out a downturn. REVIEW YOUR INSURANCE Super funds often automatically provide new members with some combination of death, permanent disablement and income protection insurance. This cover’s usually fairly basic in nature though and often isn’t enough to cover people’s actual needs. It’s important to account for your personal situation when taking out insurance, so review cover carefully and if necessary enlist the help of a financial adviser. NOMINATE A BENEFICIARY If you pass away unexpectedly, and haven’t nominated a beneficiary, the distribution of the money in your super account (as well as any insurance payout you’re entitled to) will be handled by the fund’s trustee. They’ll go through a formal process and make a judgement about who has claim to your super estate, but their decision may not correspond with your wishes. So take the time to lodge a beneficiary nomination form with your fund to get some peace of mind.

ASCK Pty Ltd (ACN 105 450 566), trading as AMEGA Financial Solutions is an Authorised Representative and Credit Representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited Australian Financial Services Licensee and Australian Credit Licensee 232 706. General advice warning: This website contains general information only. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Please consider the appropriateness of the information in light of your personal circumstances.

Financial Services and Credit Guide