Tip 1: Keep your super all in one place

You may still have multiple super accounts from different jobs. It’s a good idea to consider bringing them all together to keep track of your super easier and avoid paying multiple account fees which erodes your balance.

To search and consolidate your super visit MyGov.

Remember to take your super account with you from job to job. Simply share your super account details with your new employer.

Simply log onto the CommBank app or NetBank > select Essential Super > Share your details

Tip 2: Check in with your super balance and start planning your retirement goal

Check out your Essential Super balance in the CommBank app or NetBank. See how it compares to the average super balance for your age group. Using this as a starting point, you can plan your super trajectory and boost your super if needed. It’s a good idea to consider how much super you may need when you retire. 

You can use our Retirement calculator to estimate how much money you may have when you retire and see how you can add to your super to reach your goal.

Average Australian super balance for each age group2:

40 - 44
45 - 49

Tip 3: Boost your super 

By law, your employer is generally required to pay 9.5% of your salary into your super account. However, you can choose to make voluntary contributions to help grow your super.3

  • Salary sacrifice: You can set up an arrangement with your employer to have part of your before-tax income paid straight into your super account. As of 1 January 2020, your employer is required to pay your 9.5% super guarantee on your earnings regardless of how much you salary sacrifice.3 Putting in a little extra each week can make a big difference over the long term.  For example, by salary sacrificing an extra $10 per week of before-tax income, a 40 year old on a salary of $50,000 could have an extra $11,369 by retirement at age 65.4

    The extra amounts contributed to your super are taxed at 15%, as opposed to your take home salary which may be taxed at up to 47% if you are a mid to high income earner. Salary sacrifice may reduce your taxable income, which may mean less tax withheld from your take home pay. For details, refer to the ATO website.
  • Personal contributions: Personal contributions can also boost your super – and if you’re eligible, you might be able to claim a tax deduction. When you claim a tax deduction on personal contributions, they’re before-tax (concessional) contributions. If you don't claim a tax deduction, they’re after-tax (non-concessional) contributions. You will need to supply a notice of intent to your super fund in order to claim concessional contribution and tax benefits.

    If you are a low income earner, the Government may also make a co-contribution for contributions where you haven’t claimed a tax deduction. For those eligible, the government may contribute 50 cents for every dollar of your personal superannuation contribution, up to $500 a year. For eligibility check out the ATO website.

    Low income earners who are earning $37,000 or less may also receive the ‘low income superannuation tax offset’ – which effectively means the Government refunds your 15% contributions tax by making a government contribution to your fund, up to $500 a year.
  • Spousal contributions: If your partner would like to help rebuild your super, they can put money into your super for you. They may be eligible for a tax offset of up to $540 if they make contributions for you and you are a low income earner or not working.

Keep in mind that there are limits on how much you can contribute each year, these are available at the ATO website.

For more information and to check your eligibility, visit the ATO website.

Find out how you can make a contribution into your Essential Super account.

Tip 4: Review insurance options

It’s a good idea to review your insurance regularly throughout your working life. If your family situation changes you may find you want to increase your level of insurance cover or consider other insurance options outside super.

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

With Essential Super, we offer Death and Total Permanent Disablement (TPD) cover for members. Premiums are paid out of the money in your super account.  

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

ASIC’s MoneySmart website, also explains what type of life insurance cover members can get through their super, as well as things to consider with each type of insurance cover.

To review your insurance options, log on to NetBank > Essential Super > Insurance.

Tip 5: Consider a binding/non-lapsing nomination

A binding non-lapsing death benefit nomination instructs your super fund which of your eligible beneficiaries to pay your death benefit to if you die. This instruction is separate to your will, so make sure it is up to date.

Consider setting one up and also make sure you keep it up to date if your circumstances change.

You can find the Non-lapsing death benefit nomination form for Essential Super here.

Tip 6: Review your Investment Options

How your super is invested may make a difference to its performance and balance by the time you retire. Typically, growth assets like property and shares have higher returns than defensive assets like cash and fixed interest, but carry more risk. With Essential Super, your money is automatically invested in our Lifestage option, which is based on your age. Your investment mix is adjusted to more defensive assets as you grow older. Think about your current investment strategy and review whether it will help you reach your retirement goal and that you’re comfortable with the risk profile especially as you get closer to retirement.5

To see how your super is invested log into NetBank > select Essential Super > Investments

Our Investment Fund Fact sheets will show you a short summary of the Investment options, the strategy and its performance over time.

Things you should know

1Before you make a decision on consolidating your super, 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.

2 Source: Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, Superannuation account balances by age and gender 2015-16, October 2017, pg. 9.

3 Contribution caps apply

4 Assumptions:  Projection starts at 1 July 2020; annual salary has a marginal tax rate of 32.5% + 2% Medicare levy (low income / low and middle income tax offsets apply); salary sacrifice is $10 per week; 15% contributions tax applies to pre-tax contributions; salary and salary sacrifice contributions increase each year by salary growth of 3.2% pa; employer super guarantee contributions of 9.5% pa (increasing gradually to 12% in line with legislation); the investment rate of return based on a balanced earning rate of 3.46% pa compound weekly net of tax and fees; results in today's dollars discounted by CPI inflation of 3.2% pa.  Take home pay figures do not include the net salary sacrifice amount. Rates are current as at October, 2020. Source: Colonial First State

5Before making any major decisions around your investment options, it’s a good idea to understand the risks associated with your current investment strategy and any changes you may like to make.  

Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFSL 232468 (CFS) is the issuer of interests in Commonwealth Essential Super ABN 56 601 925 435 (Essential Super) and is a wholly owned but non-guaranteed subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 (Bank). This document may include general financial product advice but does not consider your individual objectives, financial circumstances or needs. You should read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and the Reference Guide for Essential Super carefully and consider whether the information is appropriate for you before making any decision regarding this product. Download the PDS and Reference Guide from this page, or call us on 13 4074 for a copy. The Bank and its subsidiaries do not guarantee the performance of Essential Super and an investment in this product is subject to risk, loss of income and capital invested. 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. Where we mention ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’, we mean CFS.