For most of us, it is our super that will make a big difference to the quality of our retirement, so we need as much money as possible in our super funds! This means that you can’t be complacent when it comes to your super and you should at the very least, take a good hard look at your statements.

What to check first on your super statements

First of all, you need to make sure that your contact details are always up to date, particularly if you have moved recently. Then you need to  take a look at the balance and make sure that it is what you expected, confirm that your employer is making your super contributions and if you have been making additional contributions yourself, that these are all correct as well.

Are your fund’s fees too high and your returns too low?

Always check to see how much has been taken out of your account to pay for the fund’s fees. It will pay you to compare your fund’s fees with other funds, but always keep in mind that there’s no point in changing to a fund with low fees if they underperform every year. You can find a list of comparison sites on the ASIC website, so please take the time to confirm that your fund is right for your needs and if not, make a change!

A good rule of thumb is to expect to pay 0.8% each year on admin and investment fees for your fund, so if you are paying anything substantially higher than this rate, it might be time to look around for a fund with lower fees.

Also, give due consideration to the type of investment options you have selected for your money, because some of these options outperform others. Always remember however, that options that provide higher rates of return also pose greater risk, so either split your contributions between different options or speak to a professional who can help you decide what investment options are best for your situation.

It’s fair to say that our needs change over time, so when we are young we might be happier with higher returns and higher risks, whereas for those of us near to our retirement age, we might prefer a more conservative approach with lower risk.

Do you need life insurance with your super?

Most super funds offer life insurance which can take a big chunk out of your investment funds. If you already have an insurance policy with another provider, then consider whether you really need this additional insurance. After all, you don’t want to pay for something you don’t want, but if it suits your circumstances, then make sure that it provides the cover you need.

Don’t forget your beneficiaries

If you haven’t filled out this section on your fund’s website yet, it’s best to do so now. This is because your super can’t be included in your will, instead it must be given to someone you nominate, otherwise the trustees will decide who receives your super if something happens to you.

For help understanding your super statements and for advice managing your super, call me (Amanda McCall) on 07 3356 6929 or book your appointment online.

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