Superannuation

What is superannuation?

Superannuation is a long term savings plan for Australian workers between 18-65 years of age, which provides us an income when we retire. For many of us, super will be our main form of retirement income.

Currently, for the 2013-2014 financial year, employers must pay contributions of 9.25% of salary into their employees super funds who earn at least $450 per month. Most of us have at least one (some of us more than one) superannuation and associated insurance policies, whether it is disability insurance such as total and permanent disability (TPD), death benefits (or life insurance) or income protection. Superannuation contributions must be paid by the employer at least every three months.

Most super funds also include disability and death benefits. These are usually insurance benefits which ‘top up’ your superannuation to support you or your dependants.

For some specific occupations including Commonwealth or State public servants as well as members of the military there is also a range of additional benefits available including disability pension and lump sum death benefits.

Every 6 months your super fund should send you a Benefit Statement which includes your account balance and if details of any disability and death benefits. It is vital that you check if your employer is paying your super contributions regularly. These super contributions are recorded on your pay slips and you can also contact your super fund to check your balance.

When you start a new job you have the option to choose what super fund you want your employer to pay the contributions to. Before choosing or changing funds, make sure you check the disability and death benefits that the fund offers and whether you can also keep any insurance cover you have with existing funds. You are also able to roll your super funds into one account. You can read the benefits of doing this in our Media Centre including recovering any lost super you may have.

To learn more about your rights, call 1800 088 677 for a free, confidential discussion.