Your essential guide to super

Superannuation has been around since the late 1800s, yet it’s probably the financial product that people least understand. Our quick guide will help you to have better knowledge of your super

Find your lost super

You may think you know where all your superannuation is, but it is possible to lose track of where your superannuation guarantee charge (SGC) went, especially if you’ve had a few employers. Finding your missing super via the ATO’s SuperSeeker may give your retirement savings the boost they need.

www.ato.gov.au

Use your super wisely

While it’s never too early to plan for retirement, you shouldn’t be put off if you’re starting a little later than you’d prefer and don’t have much of a super balance with which to work. Independent financial advice can help you make the most of what little retirement funding you have; you just have to find the right planner to suit your needs.

www.fpa.com.au

Income sources in retirement

When it comes time to access your super, there are many ways in which your superannuation balance can be used to fund your retirement. Ensure you know your allocated pensions from your annuities.

www.moneysmart.gov.au

Stronger, simpler super

In December 2010, the Australian Government responded to the Cooper review into superannuation, but what has happened to those recommendations? Update yourself on MySuper, and learn how a simplified superannuation system may benefit you.

www.moneysmart.gov.au

Federal Budget changes

In the Federal Budget over the last few years, there have been changes to the employer superannuation guarantee contribution and concessional tax rate. How do these changes affect your super?

www.ato.gov.au

Get the government co-contribution

The Federal Government is giving away money to help you boost your superannuation balance. If you’re a low-to-middle income earner and make an after-tax contribution to your fund, the government will also make a contribution. How much you receive depends on your income, contribution and year in which you make the contribution, but the maximum the government will pay is $500 (50 per cent of a $1000 contribution). Calculate how much you may receive.

www.ato.gov.au

Leaving Australia

Not everyone chooses to remain in Australia forever. But can leaving the country affect your superannuation? Depending on how long you’ve been here and what your residency status is, you may be able to withdraw your money in a lump sum under the Departing Australia Superannuation Payments scheme.

www.immi.gov.au

How much super is enough?

If you want to find out how much superannuation you’ll need to fund the kind of retirement you’re after – or if you want to see if super is the most tax-effective investment – plenty of calculators exist that can help.

www.moneysmart.gov.au

Accessing your super early

In the majority of cases, the money paid into a superannuation fund can’t be accessed until you are at least 55 – although this depends on your date of birth, and, even then, there are rules around how it can be paid. Under certain financial hardship circumstances, you can get access to your super, but this isn’t always possible. Read about how to access your superannuation on compassionate grounds.

www.HumanServices.gov.au

Written by Debbie McTaggart

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