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What you need to know about super in your teens

What you need to know about super in your teens

Knowing what to do with your superannuation is an important first step in your working life - after all it’s your money.

It might seem strange to be thinking about the end of your career when you’re just starting it, but knowing what to do with your superannuation is an important first step in your working life - after all it’s your money.

What is super?

Super is money that is set aside for your retirement. Contributions are usually made by your employer, known as Super Guarantee (SG), but you can also make contributions and may be eligible for government co-contributions, too.

There are rules around how much you can contribute and also how and when you can access it.

Before putting money into super, remember that once transferred, the funds may only be accessed if you meet a condition of release.

Your employer will make SG contributions on your behalf, usually at least quarterly. By law, employers are generally required to pay at least 9.5% of an employee’s salary into a super fund if the employee earns more than $450 in a calendar month and is:

  • 18 years old or over, or
  • under 18 and works more than 30 hours a week.

You can generally choose which fund your super gets paid into - you don’t need to go with your employer’s recommendation. Super comes from your hard earned money, so it’s important to know where it gets paid.

Where should you start?

If you’re under 18 and working less than 30 hours a week your employer may still be making super contributions on your behalf, even if they’re not legally bound to do so.

Though retiring is a way off, the more money you’re able to put into your super, the more you may be able to do when you retire, so it's worth finding a fund that is right for you.

A simple super account like Essential Super can help you start. You can see and manage your super in the CommBank app and NetBank so you’ll always be on top of things.

Remember that you're not able to access your super until later, so any extra contributions you make may not be available to you for at least several decades.

If you do change jobs, keeping your super all in one account means you avoid paying multiple sets of fees and don't lose track of any of your earnings.

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 intended to provide general information only and does not take into account any person’s individual objectives, financial circumstances or needs. You should read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for Commonwealth Essential Super and consider talking to a financial adviser before deciding whether to acquire or continue to hold this product. Download the PDS (, collect one from any branch of the Commonwealth Bank or call the Essential Super team on 13 4074 and they’ll post one out to you. Colonial First State is a wholly owned subsidiary of '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. 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. 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.