With so much of your money being put into superannuation, making sure that all the details on your statement are correct is very important. Some of you might just file the statement away without giving it any thought, but since it’s your own pot of gold for your retirement, keeping on top of your super is a very wise move. So here are the basics you need to check when your next statement hits your inbox.
Are your personal details correct?
Make sure that your name, address, DOB and tax file number are all correct. If your details are incorrect you may lose track of your super with it ending up in the ATO’s pile of lost super accounts. So always check these details on each statement and if they are incorrect, contact your super provider ASAP.
Read the summary
This shows your starting and ending balances for the term of the statement. It also shows any fees or benefits that have been paid, as well as insurance premiums (if you have insurance via your super) and earnings. It will also show your employer’s contributions (9.5% of your gross earnings) and any voluntary payments you have made yourself (both from your pre-tax salary and deposits from post-tax earnings).
Something else to check is the preserved, restricted non-preserved and unrestricted non-preserved balances. There’s a difference between these three types of balances, as follows.
- Preserved money: You can’t access the preserved money until you reach retirement age or some other condition for its release.
- Restricted non-preserved: Not everyone has restricted non-preserved money, because it was money that was paid into your super before July 1st, 1999.
- Unrestricted non-preserved: This money you can take out at any time, but it’s likely you will pay a hefty amount of this money to the ATO!
Review your investment options
Many people don’t make any changes to their investment options, because they are happy with the default settings which is the most conservative of the investment options. However, if you like to keep your finger on the pulse of your super or you want to earn more money at a faster pace, then you can select another investment strategy. These options will be listed on your statement, but it might be best to check with your financial planner before making any big changes. That’s because the most conservative option is popular for a very good reason – it ensures that your super is pretty much safely invested for your retirement. Higher gains require greater risks, so be sure that you really want to change these setting before clicking the button!
Have you named any beneficiaries for your super?
If you haven’t already named a beneficiary for your super, it’s definitely worth considering. That’s because if you don’t provide a named beneficiary to your super provider, your super doesn’t automatically go to your next of kin. It also can’t be included in your Will, as your super isn’t considered to be an asset. If you have a named beneficiary, however, check whether it’s binding or non-binding, because if it’s binding your super must be paid to your beneficiary, otherwise it’s up to the providers discretion.
If you need help sorting out your super, call me (Amanda McCall) on 07 3356 6929 or book an appointment online.