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Use major life milestones in your life as opportunities to support your super. The actions you take may make a big difference to how much money you have to retire with.
Major events in your life may be a time to take stock about your direction and priorities. You can also use these milestones as opportunities to make a significant impact on your future.
This milestone action list contains simple steps you can take at major moments in your life to help ensure your super is working as hard as you do.
A trend for greater job mobility suggests a ‘job for life’ is becoming less of a reality in Australia. The average job tenure in Australia is now down to just three years and four months.1 This suggests that there may be times in your working life that you find yourself starting a new job.
If you are starting a new job, support your super with these key actions:
There is $17.5 billion in lost and unclaimed super across Australia, according to the Australian Tax Office2 More than $3 billion of that is in Queensland alone. It is easy to check whether some of that belongs to you.
Moving all your super into one account may make it easier to manage your retirement savings and help you pay fewer fees. Research shows that the top reason Australians haven’t consolidated their accounts is simply that they haven’t got around to it.3 Before you consolidate your super, you should check with your other super funds about any exit fees or loss of insurance or other benefits.
How you choose to invest your money will probably change over time, especially as you get closer to retirement when you may want a more stable option for greater certainty over your future finances. Take this opportunity to consider the mix of each asset class that best suits your circumstances.
Salary sacrificing means that some of your salary that would usually go to your regular pay packet is diverted to your super instead. If your marginal tax rate is greater than 15%, there are also some smart tax reasons for sacrificing some of your salary to super. Use our salary sacrifice calculator to see what this may mean for you.
Getting married is an exciting time. It also means that whatever happens to you financially may directly affect your partner. So talking about money, such as how you can grow your super together, may be important at this time.
If you are getting married, step into this new phase with these key actions:
If you are changing your name due to marriage, don’t forget to update your contact details. It’s as simple as going through Member Online or calling our Contact Centre on 1300 360 750.
Does your super beneficiary reflect your updated relationship status? Your super doesn’t automatically form part of your estate, and it can’t be included in your Will. So, it’s important to decide who will receive your super.
Make sure your insurance policies reflect your new status and needs as a couple. Do you know how much insurance cover you and your partner have? Try our Insurance Needs Calculator to help work out how much insurance you may need.
You may wish to even out how much super each of you have and possibly take advantage of some tax benefits while you’re doing it. One option is contribution splitting, which lets you split any eligible contributions you made in the previous financial year and transfer some of them to your spouse’s super.
What a milestone becoming a parent is. Suddenly, a new human takes priority and there’s a whole new world of changes and new responsibilities.
If you are having a baby, consider these simple steps for your super:
Secure peace of mind that if anything happens to you, your new expanded household will be looked after. Try our Insurance Needs calculator to help you estimate the level of cover you might need.
If you are taking leave from work or cutting back on work hours to take care of a baby, it may be worth discussing spouse contributions with your partner. This may be a way to help minimise the impact on a stay-at-home parent’s long-term retirement savings. If you are the one making the contributions, investigate the potential tax benefits of adding money to your spouse’s super.
If you earn less than a certain amount, you may be able to take advantage of the government super co-contribution. By making personal (after-tax) contributions to your super fund, you may be eligible for the government to chip in a contribution of up to $500 paid into your super fund, which is effectively money for nothing.
Because super doesn’t automatically form part of your estate and it can’t be included in your Will, you may want to consider who you have nominated as beneficiary on your super.
It’s not a pleasant milestone, but Census data4 shows 11.7% of Australians aged over 15 years are either divorced or separated, with 49,032 divorces granted in 2017 alone. Getting your super sorted soon after your relationship ends is an important step in planning for your future.
If you are separating or getting divorced, here’s four key steps to take:
Once you separate or get divorced, super is treated as a type of property and can be divided by agreement or by court order. You may wish to access legal advice on how super is treated in a financial settlement.
If you change your address, you can update your superannuation account contact details simply through Member Online or by calling our Contact Centre on 1300 360 750.
If your divorce or separation requires a name change, you can provide us with certified identification in your current name and a certified copy of a document that supports your name change, such as:
Check your Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) that gives someone else the power to make personal or financial decisions on your behalf while you are still alive.
You may also want to withdraw any Authority to Release Information that may allow your super information to be released to your former partner.
Whether you prefer to slow down gradually before you stop work altogether, or are looking forward to a clean break, consider these key steps before you retire:
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia5 has crunched the numbers to help show you what retirement may cost. You can also use our Retirement Income Calculator to see what super balance you’re tracking towards, and what income that balance will likely give you.
Around 34% of full-time workers intend to move into part-time work before retiring from the work force.6 In superannuation terms, considering transition to retirement means accessing your super while you are still working and drawing an income stream to supplement a salary.
Brush up on new rules that may apply to your super and retirement. These may include work test exemptions for new retirees and contributions to super from downsizing your home.
Have a plan to help you achieve the lifestyle you are hoping for when you finish working. Financial advice may help you save money right now, build a better retirement and make the most of your life after work. Have the confidence of working with a financial adviser7 to put your retirement plan in place.
Take control of your finances with the support of financial advice. Have the confidence that comes from working with a financial adviser to help you reach your financial goals.
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1. Wilkins, R and Lass, I, 2018, The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey: Selected Findings from Waves 1 to 16. Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research, University of Melbourne.
2. ATO, Lost and Unclaimed Super, accessed 14 April 2019 at https://www.ato.gov.au/About-ATO/Research-and-statistics/In-detail/Super-statistics/Super-accounts-data/Lost-and-unclaimed-super-by-postcode/
3. ASFA, Consolidating your super, accessed 14 April 2019 at http://www.superguru.com.au/grow-your-super/consolidating-your-super
4. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census 2016, Quick Stats, Updated 13 December 2018, accessed 16 April 2019 at quickstats.censusdata.abs.gov.au
5. ASFA, Retirement Standard 2018, accessed 16 April 2019 at https://www.superannuation.asn.au/resources/retirement-standard
6. ABS, 20 December 2017, Retirement and Retirement intentions, Australia, July 2016 to June 2017, accessed 16 April 2019 at abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6238.0
7. Advice fees may apply. Refer to the Financial Services Guide for more information.
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