What IS superannuation?
To put it simply, your superannuation fund is your retirement savings fund.
Every pay period, your employer sets aside a percentage of your pay into the fund (you can top it up with voluntary contributions too!) and over time with some handy investment and compound interest your super will grow. Then when you reach the “age of preservation” - also known as “the age at which you can access all those sweet savings” – you can start taking money out of the fund and living your retirement dreams.
For young workers, superannuation is often ignored or seen as a hassle when starting in the workforce - but it’s actually really important, and getting your super right now can make a massive difference when you’re finally starting to think about retirement!
Who gets paid superannuation?
All workers aged 18 and over and earning more than $450 in a month from one employer must be paid super equivalent to 9.5% of their income into their nominated superannuation account by their employer. In some cases, workers aged under 18 should be paid superannuation as well – if you’re not sure if your employer is paying you correctly, contact the Young Workers Centre!
How can I make the most of my super now?
When you’re in your 20s, retirement is certainly not a word on your radar. It’s tempting to stick your head in the sand and hope the future works out for the best – but we know that’s not always the best plan.
The best thing you can do is get your super fund in order right now. Pick a fund with solid returns and stick with it. Make sure you take it with you every time you change jobs, wherever you work. If you don’t know where to start when choosing a fund you can check out an Industry SuperFund, which deliver all profits to members. Let all your employers know that you want your superannuation paid into that one fund so you don’t accumulate multiple super accounts and pay extra fees unnecessarily. If you do have multiple accounts it’s easy to consolidate them into the fund of your choice and make sure you maximise your savings potential. – You can easily do this through the ATO!
How do I know if I have superannuation?
Your employer’s superannuation contributions should be listed on your payslip and your payment summary. You can also check your Award or Agreement to find out what your workplace’s nominated super fund is. And remember, if in doubt, give the Young Workers Centre a shout on 1800 714 754!