Five simple super lessons you may wish you’d learnt earlier
When we're starting our first job at the age of 16, we don't really think much about what life could be like at 70. Which in retrospect, is a pity. Picture it now and consider: where are you living? How would you prefer to be spending your time? Are you retired, volunteering, or still working?
Changes you make now can make a difference to how you'll live then.
Here are five simple super things you can do at any age to make retirement more financially comfortable.
1. Knowledge is power
First and foremost, the more you know about your super, the more you can use it to your advantage. And once you start learning, possibly what becomes most evident is that the more you contribute when you're younger, the more easily you can grow your savings over the years.
2. Grow your super through contributions
Any amount that you contribute to your super at any time in your working life will help increase your final benefit. Even small amounts add up over time, and you may even be able to reduce the amount of tax you pay. There are a few different ways to do this depending on the type of super account you have, and caps may apply. We've written a whole article to help you, so read New year, new… super contributions! to learn more.
If you're on a low income, you may be eligible for co-contributions from the Government.
3. Plan for career breaks
Do you plan to take parental leave in the future? If you're part of our ESSS Defined Benefit fund and take unpaid parental leave, you may be able to elect a notional contribution rate in the first 12 months.* That could put you in a better position to have the lifestyle you want when you retire.
4. Prepare for working part-time
For many people, studying or caring for your family means working part-time for an extended period. When you work part-time, even though your contribution rate may remain unchanged, the amount you receive will be in proportion with the time you work. Our website has information about how you can grow your super, which can help you minimise the impact of part-time work on your super balance when you retire.
5. Don't waste your super on unnecessary fees
If you've worked in other jobs, you may have some lost super. Unfortunately, those additional super funds can continue to charge fees and insurance premiums that will erode your savings. A simple solution is to consolidate your super into one account to save on multiple fees and more easily manage your super.** ESSSuper's Accumulation Plan can receive transfers from the ATO and other funds.
The Australian Taxation Office's (ATO) online Manage my super tool can help you quickly find any lost super you may have and consolidate it into one account. Simply log into your myGov account and click on Manage my super – it only takes a few minutes, and there's no paperwork.
It's never too late to learn more
You have access to Member Education Consultants who are the experts in your fund. We also run a series of webinars on a wide range of super topics. With webinars and virtual appointments, our expertise is always close at hand.
Request a virtual appointment with a Member Education Consultant