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Schoolies may have finished with the 3Rs at graduation, but the Super 6Rs could be just as helpful from the first day at work.
An increasing number of young Australians are already working and earning super before they leave the schoolyard, new QSuper figures show.1
This means that, while many school leavers have only just returned home from Schoolies celebrations and are thinking about further study or entering the workforce, retirement savings should already be part of their plan.
An analysis of this member data shows the number of QSuper 18-year-old members has increased by 24% over the past four years. The average balance of those members is around $1,200.
QSuper’s Head of Customer and Marketing, Tim Cochrane said this data showed young Australians were accumulating super earlier.2
He said, as a result, super was more relevant for younger people and they could benefit from a better understanding of it – and parents could assist by providing information on those growing savings.
“For an 18-year-old, $1,200 is a significant-sized balance so it’s important for them to make sure they understand what super is, how it works and how they can easily grow their balance over the long term with not a lot of effort on their part,2 ” Mr Cochrane said.
He said parents were perhaps more important than they realised in providing guidance on superannuation.
“A recent survey of QSuper members3 showed that when it came to information about their finances, 86% of respondents in the 18 to 24 age bracket had sought the opinion of family and friends within the past year. This was their number one source for information.
“Given that finding, we encourage parents to chat with their kids who are starting work about the Super 6Rs to help them understand what they are entitled to, what they should look for in a fund and simple strategies they can follow to ensure they get the most from their fund and their retirement.”
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Ashley Daykin4 is studying law full-time and earns superannuation from her employer by working 10 hours a week at a law firm.
By the time she graduated high school two years ago, Ashley already had three superannuation accounts as she had worked part time from the age of 15.
She said aside from signing the forms to open an account whenever she started a new job she did not pay any attention to how much money, if any, was being paid into them.
It was only after rolling all her accounts into QSuper earlier this year, that she realised she had $400 in one of the accounts.
“In one of my jobs, I was working in the family business. Although I wasn’t earning enough for the super guarantee, my aunt still paid me super on top of my salary. I didn’t really understand what that meant at the time but I really appreciate it now,” Ashley said.
Ashley’s mum also deposits $10 a fortnight into her daughter’s QSuper account so she is eligible for the Government’s co-contribution scheme for low income earners.
Ashley said if it had not been for her family, she would probably have ignored her super until she was out of University and working full-time.
“We did not learn anything about superannuation at my high school and I really wonder why we didn’t. For so many of us, by the time we left school we had been working for a few years and had multiple accounts.
“If I had be taught more about superannuation before I was 15 I would have paid more attention to what was going in there.”
It’s easy to take us with you when you change jobs.
1 Based on an analysis of QSuper member data as at 1 November 2017.
2 The views of the commentator are not necessarily the views of the QSuper Board. This presentation is for general purposes only. You should consider the product disclosure statement (PDS) to see if it is right for you. A copy of the PDS is available at qsuper.qld.gov.au or call us on 1300 360 750. This information is provided on behalf of QSuper Board (ABN 32 125 059 006) as trustee for the QSuper Fund (ABN 60 905 115 063). The QSuper Board is the issuer of QSuper products.
3 Survey of 4,565 QSuper members carried out in June 2017 by Colmar Brunton on behalf of QSuper.
4 This case study is provided for illustrative purposes only and shouldn’t be relied on as personal advice.
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