Trying to understand super can feel overwhelming at first. But the right guide can help you get on top of the basics. Here’s our take on how it works.
Super is an automatic savings plan
Investing in super is one of the biggest favours you can do for your future self.
It’s a savings system introduced by the Government to make sure you’ve enough money set aside for the life you want after finishing paid work.
The best part about super? It’s an automatic savings plan with benefits. The money in your account is invested during your working years to give it the best opportunity to grow. Plus, the government has made it tax-effective as an incentive to help you save.
Your super guarantee contributions
Your employer is legally required to make superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions of 9.5% of your before-tax pay if you’re:
- 18 or older and earning at least $450 a month before tax
- Under 18 and working over 30 hours a week.
Employers usually have a default super fund into which they pay your SG payments, unless you tell them otherwise. Not sure where your super is going? Ask your employer or check online at MyGov.
Strategies to help grow your super
Life’s hectic and priorities change. It’s easy to set and forget when super seems such a long-term strategy. But when you’re older you’ll thank your younger self if you get a few basics set up early.
Think about making the most of it now with these simple steps:
- Grow your super through extra contributions
- Take your super with you if you change jobs
- Find and consolidate your super
- Know your investment strategy
- Get some expert help
Gaining access to your super
You can gain access to your super once you reach what’s called your ‘preservation age’, which ranges from 55 to 60 depending on the year in which you were born.
Once you’ve reached this age, when and how you access your money is up to you.
- Retire and set up an income stream (or take out some of or the full amount as a lump sum)
- Continue to work and set up a transition to retirement strategy, allowing you to start drawing on some of your super while you keep working.
Once you turn 65 you have unlimited access to your super even if you’re not retired.
Early access to your super
You’ll only be allowed early access to your super in extreme cases such as specific medical conditions or severe financial hardship.
View Accessing your super to find out more.