Make sure your employer is paying your Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions correctly.
Your employer should be regularly contributing into your super account. You can check this by contacting your superannuation fund. Employers sometimes make their compulsory contributions slowly, or not at all.
If you are not receiving your super contributions reminder your employer to do so, or consider reporting your employer to the ATO.
If you’re planning on making a lump sum contribution before the end of the financial year, make suer your employer contributions are current so you don’t go over the annual limits on contributions (caps).
Check to see how your super is invested
Your super fund invests your money for you. Most funds let you choose from a range of investment options, from conservative to growth. With many years still to retirement it is wise to think as long-term as possible with your super.
You can find out about your fund’s investment options by checking its website or product disclosure statement (PDS).
Most funds allow you to change your super investment options online.
You may wish to consider how your superannuation investments complement any wealth creation you are conducting outside of super.
Use super to reduce your tax bill
Assuming that your employer is making SG contributions to your fund, you may wish to consider increasing these contributions via regular salary sacrifice or lump sum concessional contributions. These types of contributions are likely to be tax deductible to you. Bear in mind that you will be limited to a total of $25,000 per year combined employer and salary sacrifice contributions.
this type of contribution is taxed at 15%, which for many people will be lower than the marginal tax rate on your increasing income.
Evaluate your insurance cover
Super funds typically have three types of insurance for members:
– life (also known as death cover)
– total and permanent disability (TPD)
– income protection
When comparing the default insurance offered by super funds, look for:
– the premium rates
– the amount of cover
– any exclusions or definitions that might affect you
Check your cover to see whether your current cover is right for you. You should think about your personal circumstances eg your mortgage, a growing family, a non-working spouse etc.
Check your beneficiary nomination
You are able to choose who receives your superannuation should/when you pass away. If you don’t choose (nominate) someone, your super fund will decide who is to receive your super money. This will include any insurance you might have.
For a beneficiary nomination to be valid, you need to choose a dependent. This can be your spouse, a child, or your estate. If your personal situation is complex, you may wish to seek legal or financial advice.
Your spouse’s super matters too
Have a think about how much you’ll need in retirement.
There are many online calculators available to help you project your superannuation balance at retirement, and then your likely income in retirement. Have a think about what sort of income and lifestyle you would like to have in the future when you’re no longer working. If your current arrangements are not enough, you can make extra contributions to super. You should also experiment by modelling different investment options and investment returns.
See if you’re eligible for the government co-contribution
If you are a low or middle-income earner and make personal (after-tax) super contributions to your super fund, the government also makes a contribution (called a co-contribution) up to a maximum amount of $500.