How does super work - 2022 update
Superannuation | 16/02/2022 |
8 min read
Not sure about super and how it all works? We can help. We've compiled a Q&A featuring some of the most common questions from our members.
Have a look and start building a brighter future.
Why do I need super?
Super is designed to provide you with an income in retirement. In other words, you’re saving for the future. The end goal is to have enough money to support yourself once you’re no longer working.
Super isn’t the only way to support yourself in retirement. The government provides an age pension for people who qualify. This is currently (approximately) $25,100 per annum for a single person, which works out to be about $967 per fortnight. For most people that’s only enough to pay for the basics.
The good news is your super and the age pension can work together. So even a modest super balance can help top up your age pension to provide you with a more comfortable lifestyle.
Where does the money in my super come from?
Good question. In the early '90s the Keating Government made superannuation compulsory. That meant employers had to pay a percentage of your income into a super fund. This money would be invested on your behalf, and you could access it once you retired (or reached your preservation age).
This is known as the Superannuation Guarantee, and it currently requires that 10% of your income is paid towards your super. So, if you earn $1,000, an additional $100 will go towards super, and it’s your employer's responsibility to ensure this happens.
There are all kinds of additional rules around the super guarantee. You can find those details here.
Can I choose where that money is invested?
Yes. If you don’t nominate an investment choice your super will be invested in a default investment option. This is usually a low-cost, balanced portfolio. In Equip’s case we have a MySuper default option.
But there are all kinds of investment options you can choose from. Equip offer six diversified options, from Conservative to Growth Plus. Each of these options has a different mix of investment risk and potential returns. For example, our Balanced Growth option has returned over 9% per annum over the last ten years.
You can also invest in one of our sector-specific options, like Overseas Shares, Australian Shares or Property. Or you can mix and match the above to find a combination that works for you.
Changing your investment options is easy, just login to your account and update your preferences.
Make sure that whatever option you choose is aligned with your long-term strategic goals. If you’re not sure and want to find out more about whether your investment strategy is right for you, you can always speak to one of our financial planners.
How do I check on my super and how it’s doing?
You can check on the progress of your super at any time by logging into your account. You’ll be able to see your balance, check recent contributions, and see how much you’ve earned in investment returns.
Once a year we’ll send you an annual statement that breaks down your super contributions, fees, and returns. These statements are usually distributed in August and September.
Does my super include insurance?
Yes. One of the underrated benefits of superannuation is that it usually includes life insurance and total and permanent disability insurance.
When you join Equip, you may automatically receive a certain level of cover – no health checks required. We also make it easy to increase your cover to suit your needs.
The types of cover available through Equip are:
- Death – Death insurance is the industry term for life insurance. We really should just call it life insurance, but that’s a conversation for another time. It provides a lump sum benefit to help ensure your dependents are looked after if you die.
- Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) – Provides a lump sum benefit to help you cover your financial commitments if you become totally and permanently disabled.
- Salary Continuance – Provides you with an income if you cannot work due to total or partial disability for up to 2 years. This is an optional, additional type of cover.
In other words, insurance is available through your super and the premiums are deducted from your super account. For most people, this is considerably cheaper than life insurance via third party insurance firms.
Not sure if you’re covered? Login to your account and check your insurance details.
What is a good return on my super?
There’s no simple answer to this one. It will vary from person to person. Our efforts have been recognised by the industry, and we’ve been awarded a Platinum Performance rating for the last 15 years.
Over the last ten years our Balanced Growth option averaged over 9% per annum. The Compare Us page is another great source of information on our fees and returns.
Returns are important, because even a small difference in investment returns can make a big impact over the long term. So, it really does pay to choose a super fund that delivers solid investment results over the long term.
Why am I charged fees on my super?
All super funds charge fees. These fees pay for the administration and investment of your super. Currently, Equip charges $482 in fees annually on a balance of $50,000.
Our fees compare favourably to most other super funds. Below you’ll find average fees for both retail funds and the broader sector vs Equip. The results speak for themselves
Equip annual fees:
Source: Chant West Super Fund (MySuper) fee survey June 2021.
* Actively-invested MySuper product
How much will I have when I retire?
We can’t provide you with an exact number, but we can certainly help with some projections.
If you log into your Equip account, you’ll be provided with a projection based on your current age and balance. This projection is based on very general numbers around income and investment strategy, so we’d recommend you adjust the sliders for a more accurate projection. At the very least you should make sure your income, investment strategy, and desired retirement income are accurate.
You can also try our retirement calculator. You’ll need to manually enter your details, but it’s a quick and easy way to get a rough estimate, and look at ways to boost that number.
Is there anything I can do to boost my super balance?
Definitely. Here are a few quick options.
You can learn more about those options and how to boost your super here. We recommend you talk to a financial planner before making any decision to boost your super balance.
What if I’m a freelancer or self-employed?
We appreciate that super can be the last thing on most people’s mind. Especially if you’re freelance, working for yourself, and/or dealing with all the other paperwork that entails. But it’s important to have a super strategy in place.
Not contributing to your super when you’re younger can seriously impact your long-term balance, and your retirement options.
If you’re self-employed it’s worth talking to your accountant or a financial planner to better understand your options.
What is an industry fund? And is Equip one?
Originally, an industry fund meant a super fund set up to provide a retirement income for people within a specific industry, e.g., manufacturing. These days the term refers to a profit to member fund - like Equip.
The alternative is a retail fund, which is generally owned by a bank, and has external shareholders.
So yes, we’re an industry fund.
Does Equip have a sustainability policy?
Yes, we do. At Equip we believe in Responsible Investment. While our objective is to maximise the retirement income of our members, we recognise that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues are factors which may influence whether this objective is met.
You can read more about the specifics here.
How does early access work?
We have a whole section of the website dedicated to our COVID-19 response plan and what we’re doing to help members, including early release of super. You can find it here.
What are the changes to super taking effect 1 July 2022?
There are four changes to be aware of.
- The $450-a-month threshold will be removed for super contributions. This will expand the coverage of the Superannuation Guarantee to eligible employees earning less than $450 in a calendar month from a single employer.
- The maximum super contributions you can make towards the Home Super Saver Scheme will be expanded from $30,000 to $50,000. This amount can be used to help fund a first home purchase.
- Thinking about downsizing the family home? The Downsizer Contribution age will be reduced from 65 years to 60 years.
- Retirees aged 67 to 75 years will have increased scope to make super contributions under changes to the Work Test. These individuals will be able to top up their super without having to satisfy any test, provided their super is less than $1.7 million.
Speak with a financial planner
Find out more about our financial planning services and how to book an obligation free appointment at no additional cost.
Issued by Togethr Trustees Pty Ltd ABN 64 006 964 049, AFSL 246383 ("Togethr"), the trustee of the Equipsuper Superannuation Fund ABN 33 813 823 017 ("the Fund").
The information contained herein is general information only and does not take into account your personal financial situation or needs. You should consider whether this information is appropriate to your personal circumstances before acting on it and, if necessary, you should also seek professional financial advice tailored to your personal circumstances. Where tax information is included, you should consider obtaining personal taxation advice.
Before making a decision to invest in the Equipsuper Superannuation Fund, you should read the appropriate Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination for the product which are available at equipsuper.com.au
Past performance is not an indication of future performance.
Financial advice services may be provided to members by the trustee’s related entity Togethr Financial Planning Pty Ltd (ABN 84 124 491 078; AFSL 455010).