With females on average living longer than males, it’s important for women to understand their own finances and the need to fund their retirement.
Of course, accumulating enough superannuation to last through retirement is no easy task. Many women now approaching retirement age will not have had the benefit of superannuation guarantee, will more than likely have been on a lower pay than male counterparts and may have taken time out of the workforce to raise a family. However, these are just hurdles which, with some knowledge, planning and time and effort, can be overcome.
Superannuation is a tax-effective way of saving for your retirement and the money can be withdrawn, tax-free, from age 60. Even a small amount of super can boost your Age Pension and help you enjoy a more comfortable standard of living.
Calculate how the Employee Superannuation Guarantee could boost your retirement savings.
Understand your super fund
If you haven’t advised your employer which super fund you would like contribution paid to, then you will more than likely have your contributions paid into a default fund. This may not be the best option for you. You may have had several jobs and never considered which fund you want to contribute to but by consolidating your super into one fund, you will save on fees and have superannuation which is much easier to manage. This is important when every cent counts.
Find out what are your super investment options.
Make super your friend
If you’re a low income earner then paying extra super contributions may not be an option. However, thanks to generous tax benefits available, this may be more affordable than you think.
1. Ask your employer to pay a small amount of your pre-tax salary each month to your super fund – this is known as salary sacrificing. Basically it reduces the amount of taxable income you receive and, as it is taken before the money reaches your bank account, you are less likely to miss this money. However, you should note there are limits to the amount of concessional contribution which can be made.
2. Consider after-tax contributions, especially if you have a little extra money some months. These are known as non-concessional contribution and, depending on your annual salary, may be eligible for a government co-contribution.
3. Your partner or spouse may be able to make a contribution on your behalf and claim a tax offset on this amount.
Find out more about super contributions and tax.
Find lost super
An employer may have made super contributions on your behalf which you were unaware of or have simply forgotten about. This is your money and you’re entitled to it so take a little time to track it down.
Use the ATO SuperSeeker tool to help find your lost super.