How to take control of your super

The majority of Australians take (some) comfort in having their investments managed for them by the experts in their superannuation fund. However, some people prefer to be a little more hands on with their own money and while a self-managed super fund (SMSF) may give you the control that you want, it’s not the only option. 

SMSFs typically suit people who have enough money to invest and make it worthwhile. The Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) has made it clear that SMSFs with a starting balance of $200,000 or less are unlikely to be in a person’s best interest. There is also the need to be committed to putting in the necessary time to manage investments, and meet legal and administrative obligations. These functions are often outsourced, which attracts fees and requires significant trust in the person tasked with complying.

The barriers to setting up an SMSF has led to a new wave of products that allow investors to be more active in their superannuation, while still having the support and protection enjoyed by APRA-regulated funds, such as industry and retail funds.

Direct investment options, such as AustralianSuper’s Member Direct, give engaged investors the opportunity to choose their own investments, while still accessing the low fees, insurance cover and professional investment expertise offered by an industry fund. Unlike an SMSF, where the members are often also trustees and therefore shoulder all the responsibility, AustralianSuper is the trustee and takes care of all the legal and administrative requirements for the member.

Investors in AustralianSuper’s Member Direct option can access real-time share trading on the S&P/ASX 300 Index and some exchange traded funds (ETFs), as well as a selection of term deposits and a competitive cash account via an online platform.

By accessing direct investment options within an industry super fund, members can control how much of their retirement savings they want to invest themselves, within limits, while benefiting from the scale and investment expertise of a large super fund.

As with all financial products, you need to choose the one that suits your individual needs and circumstances. This is where seeking the advice of a professional financial adviser can be very helpful.

This article has been sponsored by AustralianSuper Pty Ltd ABN 94 006 457 987, AFSL 233788, the Trustee of AustralianSuper ABN 65 714 394 898. The views expressed are those of YourLifeChoices and not necessarily the views of AustralianSuper. The article contains general information and you should consider your personal financial situation before making a decision.

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