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Frequently Asked Questions

How much super should my employer be contributing for me?
For most people, your employer should be paying an amount equal to 9% of your pre-tax earnings into your super fund each quarter (known as super guarantee contributions). When your pay increases, the contribution your employer makes should increase too. See the ATO website for more details.

How much super will I need in retirement?
This will vary depending on when you plan to retire, your life expectancy and the kind of retirement lifestyle you’d like to achieve. More information.

Can I access my super before I retire?
Yes, if you meet certain specific conditions. More information.

Why can’t I withdraw my super when I like?
Super has been specially designed as a tool to help people save for their retirement. To encourage you to use super for this purpose, the government provides special tax advantages. In return, the government restricts when and how you can access your super. Other than in special circumstances, you usually need to wait until you have reached your preservation age, reached age 65 or declared retirement to withdraw it.

How do I access the government co-contribution?
Depending on your salary, you may be eligible to access the government co-contribution. More information.

What is salary sacrifice?
Salary sacrifice involves adding to your super from your pre-tax salary (over and above the super guarantee contributions your employer already makes). This can be a smart and tax-effective way to boost your super savings. More information.

I’m retiring soon, how do I find a good financial planner?
Whether you’re an expert or novice investor, good advice is important. A Commonwealth Financial Planner can help you make the right investment decisions and identify the most suitable strategies for maximising your retirement savings.

Find out more about how a Commonwealth Financial Planner can help you or make an obligation-free appointment with a Commonwealth Financial Planner by calling 1800 241 996 or emailing us.

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has a checklist for finding a good planner and a list of questions you can ask a prospective financial planner.

How do I know if a self managed super fund (SMSF) is right for me?
Whether or not an SMSF is right for you will depend on several factors. Generally, you will need a significant level of assets in super to make establishing an SMSF worthwhile. You also need to be aware of the extensive administration and responsibility involved. More information.

What is a transition to retirement strategy?
A transition to retirement strategy is a way of cutting back how much you work while supplementing your income with a pre-retirement pension drawn from your super. Transition to retirement strategies offer a variety of tax advantages. More information.

How do I find out if I qualify for the Age Pension?
A range of factors, such as your age and the amount of income and assets you have, will affect whether or not you qualify for a full or part Age Pension. More information.

How will the income and assets tests affect my eligibility for the Age Pension?
See the Centrelink website for details of current pension rates and the income and assets test criteria.