Superannuation (otherwise known as super) is a way of saving money to provide benefits for:
- when you retire
- if you become an invalid, or
- your beneficiaries upon your death.
Most people begin saving super when they start work and their employer starts paying super for them.
To make the most of your super it helps to understand:
- employer contributions, and
- growing your super.
*Your personal circumstances and super fund returns are unique, so we recommend you seek our professional advice before making decisions about your super.
Your employer must pay super for you if you are eligible. To be eligible you must be:
- aged 18 years or over but under 70 years of age, and
- paid at least $450 (before tax) in a calendar month.
If you are under 18, you are eligible if you meet the additional requirement of working more than 30 hours a week.
If you are eligible for super, your employer must pay a minimum of 9% of your earnings for your ordinary hours of work into your super account each quarter. These payments are also called super guarantee payments.
Super funds and retirement savings accounts
Your employer contributions must be paid into a:
- complying super fund, or
- retirement saving account.
Super funds are managed by trustees. Each fund has its own rules but must also follow government rules, designed to ensure your super is properly managed. Funds that comply with these rules are called complying super funds.
Retirement savings accounts are not super funds but operate under similar rules. Just like complying super funds, they accept super contributions and provide benefits when you retire, become an invalid or paid upon your death. Approved financial institutions offer these.
Choosing your fund
Generally, you can choose the super fund you want your super contributions paid into as long as it is a complying super fund.
A complying super fund is a fund that meets certain government rules. We recommend you confirm with the fund’s trustee that your fund complies.