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How to top-up your super after early access

Superannuation  |  29/09/2020  |   5 min read

Most people see superannuation as tomorrow’s problem. As long as your employer is making the mandatory 9.5% contribution into your account there’s nothing more to it. You can worry about the rest in 30 or 40 years.

But as the coronavirus pandemic, and the associated early access measures have shown, things aren’t always that simple. The reality is the decisions you make today can have lasting, long-term impacts.

According to Greg Combet, Industry Super Australia Chairman, withdrawing $20,000 from your super today under the early access rule could cost you $180,000 in the long run

While our calculations suggest that the difference is probably closer to $40,000 less in super, the point stands. Withdrawing money now may cost you in the long-term

So, how do we strike a balance between immediate needs and long-term benefits? And what can you do if you’ve had to access part of your super early?

4 ways to boost your balance

An estimated 2.9 million Australians have accessed part of their super under early access rules. By the time the scheme ends at the end of the year it’s predicted that $42 billion will have been withdrawn.

That’s a significant amount of money that’s no longer benefiting from superannuation’s compounding interest and low tax rate. If you’re in a position to do so, it’s important to replenish those funds when you’re able to do so.

So how do go about topping up your account? There are a number of immediate actions you can take:

1. Start salary sacrificing

Salary sacrifice means you pay some of your pre-tax salary into your super account. As well as boosting your super balance, salary sacrificing can potentially reduce your tax rate. Which means:

  • Your super balance grows faster, and benefits from compound interest.
  • You pay less tax on your additional contributions (15% rather than the marginal income tax rate).

Learn more.

2. Find and consolidate super

We can help you track down any lost super you may have and consolidate it all into your Equip account. Having all your super in one account means you save money, since you're only paying one set of annual fees.

You can log in to your Equip account to search for lost super. Alternatively, you can visit the Government's MoneySmart website where you’ll be able to search for unclaimed money, including lost bank accounts, shares, super and life insurance policies in your name.

Learn more.

3. Make an after-tax contribution

You can top-up your super account at any time. It’s as easy as making a BPay payment and has potential tax advantages. If your income is below the threshold you may also be eligible for a co-contribution payment from the Federal Government. This matches every dollar you contribute with an additional 50 cents from the Government, up to $500 annually.

Learn more.

4. Consider your investment options

Personalising your investment options and choosing a more growth driven strategy can make a big difference to your future balance. Equip’s Growth Plus option was recently named a Top 10 performer in the Stockpot 2020 rankings. Our Balanced Growth option was named a Top 10 performer over 10 years by SuperRatings, delivering members 8.3% p.a.

Learn more.


Buy now pay later

When it comes to super, there’s always been tension between today's needs and what’s down the road.

But the reality is that super is one of the most effective ways to build long-term wealth. That 9.5% of your salary that’s put aside for the future benefits from compounding interest in a low tax environment. Over the course of your working life it grows into one of the most significant assets you own.

If you’ve accessed part of your super for immediate needs, it’s worth topping up that amount when you’re able to do so. Future you will be grateful.


Check our retirement calculator to see how early access may impact your future balance.


This information is provided for general information only. It does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and should therefore not be taken as personal advice. You should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it and, if necessary, you should seek professional financial advice. Togethr Trustees Pty Ltd ABN 64 006 964 049, AFSL 246383 ("Togethr") is the trustee of the Equipsuper Superannuation Fund ABN 33 813 823 017 ("Equip" or "The Fund"). Past performance is not an indication of future performance.

Togethr Financial Planning Pty Ltd (“TFP”) (ABN 84 124 491 078, AFSL 455010), trading as Equip Financial Planning, is licensed to provide financial planning services to retail and wholesale clients. TFP is owned by Togethr Holdings Pty Ltd (ABN 11 604 515 791). You can obtain the TFP Financial Services Guide and/or Privacy Statement by contacting our Helpline on 1800 682 626. This is general information only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and therefore should not be taken as personal advice.

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