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Tips for managing your super throughout your life


Published 1 July 2016

Actively managing your super throughout your life is one of the keys to a 'super' retirement.

If you’ve been neglecting your super it probably needs a bit of a makeover. And there are plenty of easy ways to get started.

Here are a few of the most common ones for each age group.

Tips for under 30s

  • Make sure you’re getting paid super. Employers must pay you super if you earn more than $450 per month.

  • Find any lost super from part-time or casual jobs you’ve had.

  • Consider consolidating all of the super accounts you have into one super fund. This may make it easier to manage and will cut out multiple sets of fees. When you’re consolidating, make sure you look through each of your accounts and compare them to ensure you’re choosing the best account for you, considering things such as fees and insurance(s).

  • Set up online access to your account.

  • Consider your super investment option, taking into account the long-term nature of super.

  • Find out if you’re eligible for the government co-contribution for lower-income earners.

Tips for your 30s

  • Consider a salary-sacrifice arrangementdisclaimer to boost your super and lower your taxable income.

  • Consider increasing the life insurance included in your super, especially if you have a mortgage and/or dependants.

  • Check that you’ve nominated a beneficiary for your superannuation/insurance benefits.

  • Consider your super investment option taking into account the long-term nature of super. If you’re not working but your partner is, see if you’re eligible for spouse contributions and consider whether this is appropriate for you.

Tips for your 40s

  • Consider a salary-sacrifice arrangementdisclaimer to boost your super and lower your taxable income.

  • Review your life insurance(s) to ensure you have enough to cover your mortgage and anyone who depends on your income.

  • Check that details for the beneficiary you’ve nominated in your superannuation and insurance are up to date.

  • Consider your super investment option taking into account the long-term nature of super. If you’re not working but your partner is, consider spouse contributions and whether this is appropriate for you.

Tips for your 50s

  • Consider a salary-sacrifice arrangementdisclaimer to boost your super and lower your taxable income.

  • If you’re aged 55 or over, consider a transition-to-retirement strategy that may help maximise the tax effectiveness of your income.

  • Check that details for the beneficiary you’ve nominated on your superannuation and insurance are up to date.

  • Review your life insurance(s) to ensure it reflects your financial responsibilities, which may be decreasing if your children are older or your mortgage is smaller.

  • Review your investment option to ensure it’s appropriate for your retirement time frame.

Tips for your 60s

  • Consider turning your superannuation account into a pension account to take advantage of a more favourable tax structure.

  • Consider reducing your working hours while using income from your super to maintain your lifestyle.

  • If you’re working less, find out if you’re eligible for the government co-contribution for lower-income earners.

  • Review your life insurance(s) to ensure it reflects your financial responsibilities, which may be decreasing if your children are older or your mortgage is smaller.

  • Review your investment option to make sure you’re comfortable with the level of risk you’re taking leading into retirement.

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If you are setting up a salary-sacrifice arrangement it is important to remember there are limits on the amount you can contribute. Most people can contribute up to $25,000 within each tax year (July – June), including their employer's 9.5 per cent super guarantee contribution. This is called the concessional contributions cap.  For those closer to retirement the cap is higher. Check the ATO superannuation rates and thresholds for more information.

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