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Supercharge your super

An individual’s superannuation is typically one of their biggest assets along with their home. So while it is natural to start thinking about how you can boost your superannuation balance leading up to retirement, putting in the effort well before then can make a big difference to your retirement lifestyle. Below are four simple ideas to supercharge your super:

Make additional contributions: Although employers are legally required to contribute to your chosen superannuation fund, relying on these contributions alone means it can take quite a while for an individual’s super balance to grow. Making additional, voluntary contributions, also known as salary sacrificing, is a popular way to boost an individual’s superfunds. With salary sacrificing, individuals can contribute a maximum of $30,000 if they are under 50, or $35,000 if they are over 50 years old.

Pool resources with your partner: Combining your super with a partner in a joint SMSF can provide an individual with an even larger amount of money to invest. Combining super also means you may pay less in fees, as one set of fees typically covers all the members of an SMSF.

SMSF tax benefits: There are quite a number of tax advantages for some asset classes or investments held within an SMSF. SMSF trustees also have the ability to manage the taxation implications of investment transactions on member accounts.

Shop around: Because an SMSF usually offers more investment options than a managed superannuation fund, individuals can often boost their super by shopping around for better returns. Although cash, property and shares are the most popular asset classes for SMSFs, there are other options such as investing in other listed securities or managed funds, bonds or warrants.

Posted on 17 August '15 by , under Super.

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What to consider when consolidating your super

The ATO reported that 45% of working Australians were not aware that they had multiple super accounts in 2016. Having multiple super accounts is particularly common for individuals who have had more than one job. If this is you, it is important to identify and manage your super accounts because having more than one can be costly as a result of account fees from multiple funds.To combat this, you may want to consolidate your super, which moves all your super into one account. Not only does this save on fees, but it also makes your super easier to manage and keep track of.

Before consolidating your super, it is important to do the following:

Research your funds' policy
Compare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. Things to assess include:

  • Exit fees
  • Insurance policies
  • Investment options
  • Ongoing service fees
  • Performance of the funds

Check employer contributions
Changing funds may affect how much your employer contributes, as some employers contribute more to certain funds. Check your current accounts to see if changing funds will affect this. Once you have selected a super fund, regardless of whether you choose a new super fund or one of your existing ones, provide your employer with the details they need to pay super into your selected account.

Gather the relevant information
When consolidating your super, you will need to have the following details ready:

  • Your tax file number.
  • Proof of identity. This could include your driver's license, birth certificate or passport.
  • Your fund's superannuation product identification number (SPIN).
  • Your fund's unique superannuation identifier (USI).
  • Details of your previous fund.

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