Superannuation is a tax effective way to save for your retirement. It is an investment in your future. Contributions can be made in two ways: from your employer and from you if you choose to top it up. The sooner you start to contribute - the more time your money will have to grow.
Your money is pooled with other members' money and invested on your behalf by your super fund’s professional investment managers to build your retirement nest egg.
Most super funds offer a variety of investment options including low risk and high risk with a mix of cash, property or share options. It is important to choose an option that is appropriate for your retirement time frame and goals.
If you retire and have reached your preservation age, you can withdraw your super.
Born Before 1 July 1960 - Preservation age is 55
July 1960 to 30 June 1961 - Preservation age is 56
July 1961 to 30 June 1962 - Preservation age is 57
July 1962 to 30 June 1963 - Preservation age is 58
July 1963 to 30 June 1964 - Preservation age is 59
From 1 July 1964 - Preservation age is 60
When you retire your super can be taken as a lump sum, a regular income stream (also referred to as a pension), or a combination of both. Which is best for you can be a difficult decision to make alone.
What Contributions go into my Super Fund?
Most of us have little knowledge about the money or contributions that goes into our Superannuation. There are three types of super contributions: employer contributions, personal contributions and government contributions.
Employer super contributions
For most people, your employer must pay an amount equal to 9.5% of your salary into your super fund account. Your super money is invested by your super fund so you will earn investment returns on the money.
If you are self-employed you are responsible for making your own super contributions, however they can be tax deductable.
Personal super contributions
You can make extra contributions by:
Personal contributions from your pay
Bonus contributions from the government
If you put your own after-tax money into super, you could receive a government co-contribution, depending on how much money you earn. Low income earners can receive an extra contribution by making personal after-tax contributions.All of these contributions work to help you grow your retirement fund.
It’s easy to see your super fund as just a compulsory payment made by your employer – but it actually plays a crucial role in your future wellbeing. Don’t make the mistake of being too complacent; take control and make your super fund work for you!