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About Essential Super

What is Essential Super?

Essential Super is an easy to understand superannuation account you can see and manage anywhere, anytime, in NetBank. Offering a choice of investment options and insurance, it’s a flexible superannuation account you can easily take from job-to-job.

Why Essential Super?

  • See and manage your superannuation in NetBank alongside your other accounts.
  • Competitive and easy to understand fees.
  • Access to our online Super Sorter tool to help you bring all your superannuation together.
  • A choice of four easy to understand investment options.
  • Pre-approved life insurance cover for most members under 60 years of age (provided you fund your account within 120 days of opening it).

Read the video transcript: What is Essential Super

Apply for an Essential Super account in NetBank. It only takes a few minutes.

Not registered for NetBank? Register online and then apply.

For more information on Essential Super refer to the Essential Super Product Disclosure Statement and Reference Guide.

Essential Super is also a convenient solution for managing your business’ super obligations in NetBank. Learn more

Bring together your super

Most Australians have more than one super account and many have lost track of super along the way. 

Our online tool makes it easy to find your lost super and consolidate your other super funds into your Essential Super account. Maintaining just one account saves time, paperwork and potentially fees and with your super balance visible in NetBank, you’ll never lose track again. 

If you’re already an Essential Super member, simply log on to NetBank and select ‘Consolidate my super’ from the Essential Super quick links in My Portfolio. Our Super Sorter tool will do all the hard work for you.

See how easy it is. 

Not registered for NetBank? Register online and then apply.

Important things to consider
Remember before you make a decision, you should compare the costs, fees, risks and benefits of your other super funds against Essential Super. It makes sense to consider whether you can replace any insurance cover you may lose upon rolling over, potential costs for withdrawing from other super funds as well as any investment or tax implications. You should also decide which super fund you want your employer to pay your future employer contributions to and complete a Super Choice form if necessary.

Choose where your super gets paid

Although 9.5% of most people’s earnings must get paid into super, many of us don’t know where it goes.

Get closer to your super with Essential Super, the super account that allows you to easily check your employer contributions in NetBank.

Follow these simple steps to get employer contributions paid into your Essential Super account.

1. Log on to NetBank

2. Select your Essential Super account

3. Click the ‘Notify your employer’ link on the home page under the heading ‘How to build my super’

4. Email a completed Super Choice form directly to your employer

Or, if you prefer, use our online tool to create a Super Choice form you can easily email to your employer.

If you start a new job, simply repeat these steps for your new employer.

Not registered for NetBank? Register online and then apply.

Investment options

Essential Super provides you with two simple investment approaches - leave the investment decisions to us or choose your own mix of investment options.

Leave it to us

As you move through life your investment needs change. When you open an Essential Super account we’ll place your money into our Lifestage investment option. 

  • Your super is invested in the Lifestage option based on the decade in which you were born.
  • As you move from one life stage to the next, we adjust the investment mix accordingly.
  • You don’t have to do anything or make any decisions – we do the hard work for you.

Find out more about each of our Lifestage options through our investment fact sheets by selecting the decade you were born: 

1990s Lifestage option

1980s Lifestage option

1970s Lifestage option

1960s Lifestage option

1950s Lifestage option

1940s Lifestage option

Choose your own

If you’d like to be more involved, you can switch to one of three other investment options once you open an account.

You can change options at any time in NetBank or by calling our Contact Centre on 13 40 74.

Unit prices and performance

View the latest unit prices and performance for all Essential Super investment options.

Remember, the value of investment options will go up and down and returns are not guaranteed.

If you’re already an Essential Super member and you want to change your investment options, log on to NetBank or call us on 13 2221.

* This interest rate is subject to change and does not include a deduction for the tax payable by your super fund on earnings, currently up to 15% and subject to change.  For example, if the interest rate quoted above is 3% p.a. your investment should earn at least 2.55% p.a.

Insurance to suit your needs

Insurance to suit your needs

When you open an Essential Super account, you’ll automatically receive Death and Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance if:

  • you’re an Australian resident living in Australia and aged under 60
  • you add money into your account within 120 days of opening it.   

Premiums will be deducted straight from your super account - so they won’t affect your take-home pay. You can easily change or cancel your cover in NetBank at any time.

Why have insurance inside super?

There may be a number of benefits to having insurance inside your super account. 

  • Tax effective – premiums are paid from your super account and not your after-tax income.
  • Cost effective – the fund negotiates a wholesale rate with the insurer on your behalf.
  • No forms or health questionnaires to fill out – cover is automatically provided when you open your account, providing you fund it within 120 days of opening it.

Protection when you need it most

Most Australians will insure their home and car but don’t always insure their most valuable asset - themselves. Even when you’re young and healthy, illness and injury can happen.

Having insurance in place means you have some financial protection if you’re no longer able to work or you pass away.

How insurance in Essential Super works




Pays a lump sum benefit upon your death or diagnosis of a terminal illness. It could be used to:

  • reduce debts
  • pay final expenses
  • provide an income for your dependents.

Total and Permanent Disability (TPD)

Pays a lump sum benefit if, as a result of illness or injury, you’re unable to work again. It could be used for many purposes including:

  • living expenses
  • medical or rehabilitation expenses
  • ongoing additional income
  • keeping investment plans on track.

How much cover will you get?

The amount of cover you’ll receive depends on your age. We’ll automatically adjust this amount throughout your life. When you’re younger, your cover will be lower, as you’re less likely to have high financial commitments or debt.

In the years you’re more likely to be raising a family and paying a mortgage, your cover will increase. Then as you get older and move out of this stage, your cover will reduce.

Things that might not be covered

The insurance in Essential Super has certain exclusions and conditions you need to be aware of, including pre-existing health conditions, suicide and self-inflicted injury.

A pre-existing health condition is an illness, injury or condition that existed in the three years prior to or at the time of cover commencing, recommencing or increasing. Benefits are not payable on these health conditions.

Choose the cover that’s right for you

If insurance isn’t right for you, you don’t have to have it. With Essential Super you can change or cancel your cover in NetBank at any time.

If you reduce or cancel your cover and decide you’d like insurance cover down the track or if you decide to increase your cover, you’ll need to re-apply and be approved by the insurer. You’ll need to answer health and lifestyle questionnaires.

How to make a claim

If you need to make a claim, it’s important you let us know in writing as soon as you can.
Please call us on 13 4074 for further details.

Where to go for more information

For more detailed information about the insurance available in Essential Super, including the default cover for your age group, premium rates and exclusions, please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and the Essential Super Reference Guide.

Fees & rates

Your super is your future, don’t let it get eaten away by unnecessary fees. Essential Super has competitive, easy to understand fees with no withdrawal or exit fees.

Fees and rates at a glance. 


Monthly fee

$5 (net)

Combined Investment & Administration Fee – Cash Deposit option

0% Per annum

Combined Investment & Administration Fee – All options excluding Cash Deposit option

0.80% Per annum

Transactions costs (buy/sell spreads) may apply which are incorporated into each investment options unit price.

Interest Rate

Cash Deposit option


* This interest rate is subject to change and does not include a deduction for the tax payable by your super fund on earnings, currently up to 15% and subject to change.  For example, if the interest rate quoted above is 2% p.a. your investment should earn at least 1.7% p.a.

Refer to the Product Disclosure Statement and Reference Guide for more information.

Essential Reading from the Blog

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If you want to whip your finances into shape devoting just a small amount of attention to one long-term investment can reap big benefits.

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Technological and social changes are having a huge influence on the workplace, which means exciting opportunities as well as extra responsibilities at work.

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Things to know before you Can

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 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. 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.