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Keep super simple – here are the basics

Keep super simple – here are the basics

Know your super basics now – it’s simpler than you think.

What is superannuation and why does it matter?

Your superannuation or ‘super’ is a type of long term savings set aside for you to live off when you retire. Super is your money and it is designed to grow throughout your working life.

Super does matter as it’s a way to help make sure you have money to live off when you are no longer working. Having a ‘comfortable retirement’ may mean different things to different people, but The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia estimates that a couple will need $640,000 in super to live comfortably1.

How does super work?

In superannuation, there are three key players:

1)    You: You’re generally eligible for super if you work in Australia and earn more than $450 per month.

2)    Your employer: Your employer is currently obligated to pay a contribution of 9.5% of your ordinary time earnings to your super fund each quarter.

3)    Your super fund: Your super fund is where your super is held to help ensure you have money for retirement.

When can I access my super?

You can generally only access your super when you reach preservation age, which is between 55 and 60 depending on when you were born or, alternatively, when you retire.

You may request to access your super earlier, but this is only under special circumstances, such as a medical illness or financial hardship.

How do I choose a super fund?

There are many super funds out there, all with different benefits and services. You can compare super funds using this government guide.

Choosing a super fund doesn't have to be complex. You should consider fees, insurance and any other services the fund may offer before making a decision. Keeping all your super in one account may save you on unnecessary fees and insurance premiums.

If I start a new job, what happens with my super?

When you set up your salary payment details, your employer may also ask you to choose a super fund. You may select your current super fund or you can use your employer’s ‘default’ fund (i.e. your employer will select a super fund).

If you have an Essential Super account it’s easy to tell your employer where you want your contributions paid. Simply download the choice form from CommBank, fill it out and give it to your employer.

How do I consolidate my other super accounts into Essential Super?

Having multiple super accounts could mean you’re paying multiple sets of fees. If you want to consolidate your other super accounts into your Essential Super account, here are the ways you can bring your super together:

1.    If you provided your TFN when you opened your account, Essential Super will run a complimentary search of the ATO database to find any other super fund accounts you may have and we will notify you in NetBank.

2.    Call the Super Concierge service on 13 4074. You’ll be asked to provide your TFN and they will search the ATO database for your other super accounts and we will let you know the results.

Is it easy to track my super?

Although you generally won’t be able to access your super until you retire, you can keep track of it. Your super fund(s) should send you regular statements showing your current balance, any insurance cover attached to your super account and any fees or costs you have paid.

With an Essential Super account, you can easily check your balance when you log into NetBank.

Don’t have an Essential Super account? Open one in NetBank today.

[1] Things you should know: This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFS Licence 232468 (Colonial First State) is the issuer of interests in Commonwealth Essential Super ABN 56 601 925 435. This information is not financial product advice and does not take into account any person’s individual objectives, financial circumstances or needs. You should read the PDS for Commonwealth Essential Super and consider talking to a financial adviser before deciding whether to acquire or continue to hold this product. Click here to download the PDS, collect one from any branch of the Commonwealth Bank or call us on 13 4074 and we’ll post one out to you. Colonial First State is a wholly owned subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 (‘the Bank’). The Bank and its subsidiaries do not guarantee the performance of Essential Super or the repayment of capital by Essential Super. An investment in Essential Super is via a superannuation trust and is therefore not an investment in, deposit with or other liability of the Bank or its subsidiaries. An investment in Essential Super is subject to risk, loss of income and capital invested. Where we mention 'we', 'us' and 'they', we mean Colonial First State. Important things to consider before consolidating your super: Before consolidating your super, you should compare the costs, fees, risks and benefits of all your super funds and consider whether you can replace any insurance cover you may lose upon rolling over, potential costs for withdrawing from super funds as well as any investment or tax implications. You should decide which super fund you want your employer to pay your future employer contributions to and complete a Super Choice form if necessary.