7 things you shouldn’t be doing with your super

We all have good intentions, but we know that super can seem confusing! Here’s seven common super mistakes to avoid sabotaging future-you.

Key learnings covered in this topic

  1. Common super mistakes you should avoid
  2. How to make the most of your super 
  3. Financial advice available to you 
1.    ‘Setting and forgetting’ your super

If someone asked you how much super you have saved for your future, would you know? For most of us, super is one of our biggest assets. So make the time to check your annual statement when it lands with you, or better still, register and log in to MemberOnline more regularly to check your account.  

2.    Changing your investment options when the market dips 

So the market has dipped and everyone is in a panic. You might be tempted to follow the herd and move your super to a less-risky investment option. But now might not be the best time to make the switch. Why? You risk locking in your losses and miss benefiting when the market (inevitably) rises again. Instead, it’s probably better to stick to your investment strategy and ride out the wave – especially if you’ve got plenty of time until you retire.

3.    Keeping multiple super accounts 

Sometimes less is more, and this is certainly the case when it comes to the number of super accounts you keep. Multiple accounts means more paperwork and multiple sets of fees eating away at your super balance. Instead, consider consolidating your super to one account.* One set of fees, one account to manage. What’s not to love?

4.    Nominating Mum, Dad, your sibling or a friend to be the beneficiary of your super  

It’s a nice gesture, but unfortunately these loved ones don’t meet the criteria for super beneficiaries. Super law requires us to distribute your super benefit to your dependant/s or your legal personal representative. Read more about who does qualify here.  

5.    Ignoring your insurance needs

How would you and your family meet your debts if you were to become disabled or pass away? Unfortunately money doesn’t grow on trees, so if you haven’t checked your death, TPD and income protection insurance lately (or ever), now might be the time to review it – especially if your life has changed recently. 

6.    Make a super choice based on fees alone 

So you’ve found a super fund offering low fees. That’s great, a low-fee super fund is what you want. But equally important is checking it performs well, and ultimately the net benefit it offers – that’s returns minus fees. 

Also, check their investment philosophy – it’s a good idea to choose one that will Outperform and Outprotect your super over the long-term. 

7.    Missing the opportunity to make the most of compound returns 

Many of us think we’ll get around to making extra super contributions ‘one day’. But ask many who’ve reached their golden years and they’ll say “I wish I paid more attention sooner’. Why? The earlier you start, the longer your super contributions will benefit from the magic of compound interest. 

So, as soon as your situation allows, put a little bit extra into your super – your future self will thank you.

If you’ve been making any of these super mistakes, there’s no time like the present to do something about it. And we’re right here to help you if you need it– simply book a call-back to speak to a financial planner.^ 

Information correct as at 23 October 2023.

*Before consolidating your super you should consider whether this is right for you and check if you will be charged any fees. You should also check the impact on any insurance arrangements (such as loss of insurance) or other benefits.

^Financial advice obtained over the phone, or through MemberOnline, is provided by Mercer Financial Advice (Australia) Pty Ltd (MFAAPL) ABN 76 153 168 293, Australian Financial Services Licence #411766.