EOFY superannuation housekeeping tips: Is my super fund working for me?
Every year we get ready to fill out our tax return and wonder the same thing: are we really getting the most out of our super?
This hot button issue has been front and centre this financial year, with changes to the First Home Super Saver Scheme being a major talking point of the most recent election.
Whether or not you’re planning on buying a home, it’s always worth taking a look at your super to make sure you’re maximising on that untapped resource.
Lost and found: consolidating your super and claiming lost funds
Since 1992, employer contribution to super funds has been mandatory. If you’ve been at more than one job in that time, you might remember filling in forms to nominate your own super fund or your employer’s default superannuation fund. Picking the default has left a lot of people with multiple accounts they might not even be aware of.
Combine that with changed names and addresses and you have a recipe for a whole lot of unclaimed and unconsolidated super, floating around unutilised. The ATO can help you access unclaimed and lost super brought about by changes in name and address.
While multiple superannuation accounts can be an option to diversify your options, it will also result in multiple sets of account fees. Small, neglected accounts can also miss out on proper growth and attention. Many of our top-ranked super funds offer a range of investment opportunities as well, allowing you to diversify your options within one fund.
Values vs. value - what matters to you in a super fund
Your super is your money and you get to choose what matters to you, whether it’s gender balanced board rooms or passing on investments in fossil fuels!
Responsible super funds - offering a high degree of transparency and integrated environmental, social and governance considerations in their investments - have dramatically increased their market share in the past two years. Annual studies by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) have shown that their return more than competes with other funds in the market.
Other funds also offer options to invest your super in more niche ways - are you passionate about crypto or do you want to invest according to your religion? Niche fund options make this a possibility. Many also offer the option to be riskier with investments, or allow for greater personal control over your portfolio.
Don’t just go with the default - bring your funds into a place where you get the best value that aligns with your values.
Steps you can take to boost your superannuation
- Make an additional contribution to your super. If you have the resources to, this is a great way to invest with long term benefits - contributions made before tax and up to the concessional cap are also tax deductible, for an extra bonus.
- Check if you are eligible for government co-contributions. The past few years have changed many people’s financial circumstances, and you might find yourself eligible to receive an additional government contribution to your super.
- Ensure you aren’t over-contributing. Through combinations of additional contributions and salary sacrificing, it is entirely possible to contribute too much money in one financial year to your super. Stay aware of the concessional (before tax) and non-concessional (after tax) caps, both of which will be attract higher taxes when exceeded
Thinking about switching up your super this EOFY? Our yearly roundup of the people's choice best super funds help to navigate the field.