DO YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR SUPER STATEMENTS?
Just about all Australians have a Super Fund, but not many of us pay it too much attention. It’s fair to say that when the Super statement arrives in the mail, far too many of us don’t bother reading it and if we do, we really don’t understand what it’s telling us. It’s just a jumble of numbers, which is hard to interpret.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, everyone needs to understand their Super statements, because if you don’t, you might be paying more in fees than in money earned. Your fund might also not be the best for your situation, but you won’t know unless you can understand your statements.
So if you have problems understanding your Super statement, here is a short overview of what you need to pay attention to when it arrives in the mail.
Make sure your personal details are correct
To avoid unclaimed super, always check that your name and address are correct on every statement. With more than $17.5 billion in lost super across Australia, making sure that your contact details and your tax file number are all correct is the best way to ensure that you don’t loose track of your super when you change jobs or move to a new house.
Did you make any personal contributions?
These are the contributions you can make to your super above those paid by your employer. If you do make these contributions, make sure that they are all tallied and if any are missing, contact your super fund to find out why. The wrong tax file number is one reason why your voluntary contributions may become lost, but there are other reasons, so it’s always best to check that they are all correct.
Check your employer’s contributions
You might be surprised to learn that not all employers pay the correct amount of super into their employees funds, some don’t actually pay any contributions at all. Trying to make your employer pay your super, if they have been remiss, involves contacting the ATO and can be an uphill battle if you have already left their employment. So always check that your employer has made the correct contributions and if not, follow it up immediately.
Check your super fees
If your super fund charges high fees for administering and investing your contributions, and depending on how well the fund invests your money, you may see very little in the way of positive returns. This is why you need to keep an eye on the fees that your fund charges to your account and whether or not your returns are worth these fees. As a general rule, you want their fees to be the lowest possible, whilst still providing a good return on your investment.
Check your final balance
You want your money in a super fund that actually increases your balance at a decent rate, but that can depend on many factors. Your first step is to make sure that your balance is increasing over time and not being eaten away by high fees and poor management. Also check that you are not being charged premiums for life insurance that you don’t need.
If you are concerned that your superfund is underperforming, it might be time to look at other options for your super. If you want help managing your superannuation, call me (Amanda McCall) on 07 3356 6929 or book your appointment online.