If you have had a few jobs over the years, you may have got a few different super funds with small balances in each. Survey says Australians do not consolidate their superannuation accounts for a number of reasons. Lack of information about the process to consolidate super is among one of them?
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission reports that there are billions of dollars sitting in unclaimed or “lost” superannuation accounts as at 1 January 2017, with thousands of more accounts added to the list each month. Inactive accounts with balances of less than $6,000 are transferred to the ATO.
Super is one of the most valuable investments you’ll ever make for your retirement savings. So if you think you might have some old superannuation accounts, don’t hand it over the government, claim it! The best way to handle multiple super accounts is to consolidate into one.
Consolidating your super can help:
- Reduce costs by paying only one set of fees and only one set of default life insurance premiums. A portion of your super is used to pay the insurance premium which means you have less money working for you;
- Reduce paperwork and time spent keeping track of multiple accounts;
- Make it easier to manage your investments and develop a coherent investment strategy. This is especially the case if all your money is ‘default’ investment options, which may not be appropriate for you.
If you have put super into the too hard basket, here are a few steps to guide through the process of consolidation:
Rollover your all accounts to your chosen fund- You can do this online through the myGov website. Or by transferring your super by using a form and sending it to your chosen fund. Some funds have an online process for combining super too. So it’s a good idea to check what’s going to be easiest.
Advise your employer – Make sure your employer knows where to pay your super guarantee contributions – speak to your payroll or HR about any paperwork they may need from you or your fund. You can visit the SuperSeeker service at www.ato.gov.au or via your MyGov account at www.my.gov.au for more info.
After consolidating your super, you will get a quick glance of your total super balance. Run a quick analysis of how much it grew over the years. It is also important to identify in which mode your super is. Mostly super remains in the “balanced” option by default. Balanced options typically invest about 70 per cent of your money in shares or property and the remainder in ‘safe’ but low return cash and bonds. ii
Get help or seek professional advice to understand basic investment principles such as the relationship between risk and return, diversification and the time horizon you are in to secure the retirement you are dreaming. A full proof super investment strategy is the prerequisite to take control of your retirement savings to build a brighter, more secure future.
Note: *The above information provided is general in nature. It is not to be relied upon as personal financial advice. As it has not considered your personal circumstances, needs or objectives.