After a year that saw soaring cost-of-living, you’re not alone if feeling more in control of your money is on your New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe you’re thinking about cutting back on coffee, starting a budget, or making more use of your CPSU Member Advantage benefits and discounts?
But what about Super? Many of us rarely think about it, but there are many ways you can control how your retirement benefits grow and where they go. Here are a few ideas:
1. Find Missing Super or Consolidate Accounts
You don’t know what you don’t know. The fact is, if you’ve ever changed your name, address or job, there’s a chance you may have more than one super account. From 1 July 2019, Super providers are required to report and pay inactive low-balance accounts to the ATO. You can view any unclaimed super matched to your Tax File Number in ATO Online Services via MyGov.
You can also search for any lost super by calling the Lost Super Search Line on 13 28 65, or by making a written application.
Approximately 4 million workers have multiple super accounts. If you have more than one active Super account, you can consolidate them at MyGov > ATO Online Services > YourSuper Comparison > Consolidate.
2. Personal Contributions
Maybe you’re planning to make 2023 the year you start making personal contributions to your super? Early withdrawals can teach us a lot about just how much our Super grows, if we care for it. A 20 year-old who managed to put away $20,000 today could see that contribution grow to more than $120,000 by retirement. Do you need that $4 coffee today, or could you turn that into $25 down the track?
3. Choose Your Investments
Do you know how your Super is being invested? Most super funds will let you pick an investment strategy, such as balanced, growth, high growth or sustainable. This lets you control the risk of your investments. For example, conservative options will lean more heavily on investment in cash and bonds, while a growth option may show a preference for Australian and international shares.
‘Sustainable’ or ‘Socially Aware’ investment options typically allow you to ensure your funds are managed to prioritise investment in companies with good Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) management. This can include limiting or excluding investments in fossil fuels, tobacco, companies with poor labour practices, or weapons manufacturing.
If you’re with an Industry Super Fund, you might also be interested to hear that your contributions are also invested in major public infrastructure projects. As well as helping to create an estimated 200,000 jobs between 2020 and 2023, these investments help you by driving economic growth, generating more tax and helping interest rates stay lower. Learn more from Industry Super Australia.
Always consider independent, professional, expert advice before making major financial decisions.
Learn more here, via Industry SuperFunds: https://www.industrysuper.com/understand-super/investment/
4. Pick your Beneficiaries
2023 might be the year you consider transitioning to retirement! If so, congratulations! (Good news: All CPSU members get the option to stay on as Retired Members for free, so you get to keep enjoying our member rewards program at not cost). Even if that’s a while off, it’s never too early to think about your beneficiaries.
A beneficiary is a person who can receive all or part of your super and any insurance payout if you die. This payment is called your ‘death benefit’. Most funds give you options on how this works. The most secure is to make a formal written notification to the trustee managing your fund.
If you pass away without making a nomination or your nomination isn’t valid, funds will generally pay your benefit to your dependant or dependants and/or legal personal representative.
It’s also advisable to mention your Super arrangements in your Will. All CPSU members are eligible to receive a free standard/basic Will at no charge. Get in touch at email@example.com or call us at (03) 6234 1708 to get started.