1 February 2024
How healthy is your super? Is it growing enough to give you a comfortable retirement in the future?
Saving up for your life after work is a long-term commitment, so it is important to make sure that you are on the right track.
Here are six things that you can do right now to improve the health of your super.
The amount you will need to save for your retirement depends on the type of lifestyle you want.
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) Retirement Standard publishes estimated budgets needed to fund either a comfortable or modest standard of living1.
For example, a couple aged 65-84 years could need an annual income of $71,723 for a comfortable retirement (September quarter 2023). This could enable a broad range of leisure and recreational activities and a good standard of living.
Find out more: ASFA Retirement Standard
There are various ways you can put money into your super, on top of contributions made by your employer (if you’re working).
Here are two of the ways you can give your super a boost:
Salary sacrifice is when you and your employer agree to make an additional contribution to your super from your before-tax pay.
You may benefit from salary sacrificing if your marginal tax rate is higher than 15%, which typically applies to annual salaries over $45,000.
If you are salary sacrificing, watch out for your concessional (before tax) contributions cap, which is $27,500 for the financial year (2023/24).
You can grow your super by making personal contributions with money from your after-tax income –also referred to as non-concessional contributions.
You may be eligible for a tax deduction for your personal contributions. If your annual income is between $43,445 and $58,445 (2023/24), you may be eligible for a co-contribution from the Government.
For further information, including other types of contributions, you can refer to the Member Guide for your account, at brightersuper.com.au/pds-and-guides.
Make sure you can keep an eye on your contributions caps. There are annual limits on how much you can contribute to your super (for concessional and non-concessional contributions), and you may have to pay extra tax if you exceed them. Any contributions made into super will generally be preserved until retirement
To find out more, read our recent article on contribution caps.
During the year, you can check that you are staying under your contribution caps by logging in to Member Online. If you are getting close to your contribution caps, talking to a financial adviser could help you. Find out more about our financial advice.
Deciding how your superannuation should be invested can make a difference to your future lifestyle in retirement. As we all get older, our decisions around investments tend to change.
An investment option in superannuation is a way of choosing how your super is invested. Different investment options have different levels of risk and return, and may invest in different types of assets, such as shares, property, fixed interest or cash.
Brighter Super has a range of investment options to choose from, catering for different financial situations and goals. You can choose from one of our ready-made options or build your own investment strategy using our single asset class options.
Full details about all our investment options are provided in the Investment Choice Guide for your account, at brightersuper.com.au/pds-guides.
Find out more: Understanding investment risk.
If you have money in a super account that you no longer contribute into, you could be paying more fees than you need to.
Luckily, there is a way to potentially reduce these ongoing fees and let your savings grow. You may be able to consolidate your super into one account.
According to moneysmart.gov.au, the benefits of consolidating your accounts include saving on fees, reducing paperwork and making it easier to keep track of your balance.
Before consolidating, consider what is best for your situation. Compare your super funds, choose the one you think will give you the best long-term outcome. You should check with your other super fund(s) to see if this could result in changes to your employer contributions, any fee or tax implications, or loss of insurance cover.
Find out more: Consolidate your super
The premium you pay for your Income Protection insurance is directly related to your personal details, including the risk of your occupation.
If you work in a White Collar or Professional occupation, you could receive a discount on your premium. It’s worth checking that the correct occupation risk rating is listed on your insurance cover.
Depending on your account type, here’s how you can change the occupational risk rating on your insurance:
Find out more: Refer to the Insurance Guide for your account at brightersuper.com/guides
In the event of your death, your beneficiaries will receive the amount of money in your super account plus any insurance benefit that is payable. This is called a superannuation death benefit.
You can arrange who will receive your superannuation death benefit by nominating your beneficiaries for your Brighter Super account. There are three ways to do this:
We also recommend you seek professional advice before making a nomination There may also be social security or tax implications for your potential beneficiaries.
Staying on top of your super can be hard on your own, sometimes you need a helping hand. Brighter Super's team of super specialists and financial advisers are here to help.
We offer our members Super Health Check appointments over the phone or video call, at no additional cost. We can discuss different ways to grow your super, and check that you are on track for a comfortable life after work.
Talking to a financial adviser can help you to create a plan for achieving your financial goals.
If you already have a financial adviser, they can help you make informed decisions about your super.
If you do not have a financial adviser, Brighter Super’s in-house team of financial advisers is here to help you2. Find out more about financial advice or call us on 1800 444 396 to discuss which type of advice would suit you best.
LGIAsuper Trustee (ABN 94 085 088 484) (AFSL 230511) (the Trustee) as trustee for LGIAsuper (ABN 23 053 121 564) (RSE R1000160) (the Fund) trading as Brighter Super. Brighter Super products are issued by the Trustee on behalf of the Fund. Brighter Super may refer to the Trustee or LGIAsuper as the context may be. This article may contain general advice which does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. As such, you should consider whether it is appropriate in light of your own objectives, financial situation and needs prior to making any decision. You should consult a licensed financial advisor if you require advice which does take into account your personal financial circumstances. You should also obtain and consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before making any decision to acquire any products. A Target Market Determination (TMD) is a document that outlines the target market a product has been designed for. Find the PDSs and TMDs at brightersuper.com.au/governance/pds-and-guides.
This article contains information that is up to date at the time of publishing. Some of the information may change following its release. Any questions can be referred to Brighter Super by calling us on 1800 444 396 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.