Even when retirement is a long way off, thinking about your super now may help save you time and earn you money over the next few decades.

Tip 1: Consolidate your accounts

In your teen years it’s likely you worked a couple of different jobs and didn’t pay too much attention to your super. If you have multiple super accounts now, consider bringing them all together into one.

Tip 2: Make sure your super fund is right for you

Your super isn’t something you should set and forget. Look into how your current super fund is performing. Are you satisfied with it? When comparing with other super funds look at:

  • Fees – Is what you’re paying in line with other super funds?
  • Investment options – You can choose from a range of investment types such as shares (higher risk) and cash (lower risk). Is your current fund providing the options you want?
  • Performance – How has your fund performed over the past five years compared with others?
  • Service – Are you able to get the answers you want when you need them?

Moving forward things might change, so it makes sense to re-assess every 12 months to ensure you’re on the right track.

Tip 3: Take advantage of government initiatives

Depending on your income, you may be eligible for up to $500 a year in government co-contributions when you make personal (after-tax) contributions to your super fund. See more about government co-contributions.

By law your employer is generally required to put 9.5% of your gross salary into your super account. If you choose to make extra pre-tax super contributions (for example salary sacrifice contributions) you may save tax.1

Pre-tax contributions into your super are, for most people, taxed at a rate of 15%, which may be less than your marginal tax rate.

See more information from the Australian Government on contribution caps and thresholds.

Tip 4: Look at insurance options

Most super funds offer death cover, total and permanent disability cover and income protection for their members, paid out of the money in their super account.

Getting insurance through your super can be a cost effective way to get coverage if you think this is something you need.

It’s important to read through the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) closely so you know exactly what you’re getting.

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Things you should know

Contribution caps apply. If you exceed the cap you may have to pay higher tax.

Remember, before you make a decision about your super, you should compare the costs, fees, risks and benefits of super funds. It makes sense to consider whether you can replace any insurance cover you may lose when you bring your accounts together, as well as any costs for withdrawing from other super funds and any investment or tax implications.

This article is intended to provide general information only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Taxation considerations are general and based on present taxation laws and may be subject to change. You should seek independent, professional tax advice before making any decision based on this information. The Commonwealth Bank is also not a registered tax (financial) adviser under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 and you should seek tax advice from a registered tax agent or a registered tax (financial) adviser if you intend to rely on this information to satisfy the liabilities or obligations or claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under a taxation law. Information in this article is up to date as at the date of publication.