BT Superannuation: Super for Life review

BT Super for Life is an authorised MySuper fund that you can manage online with your everyday banking account

BT Super for Life is a lifestage super fund designed to reflect your needs as you move through the workforce. The fund will automatically adjust your mix of investments as you get older so you don’t have to worry about switching accounts. Alternatively, you can also take a more active role and make your own investment choices. BT Super for Life allows you to keep track of your super alongside your everyday online banking account. Read on to learn more about the ways you can invest.

Key features

  • Rollover your existing super into the fund via SuperCheck
  • Manage your account online with everyday banking
  • MySuper compliant
  • Account options that vary to reflect your needs
  • Apply online in five minutes

Account options

BT Super for Life reflects your needs when you’re in the workforce, when you’re making the transition to retirement or when you’re in retirement by giving you three different account options:

  • BT Super for Life – Super: This is an everyday super account that you can take from job to job.
  • BT Super for Life – Transition to Retirement: This is for when you are working but nearing retirement and would like to access part of your super while preparing for life after work.
  • BT Super for Life – Retirement: This is a pension product for when you’re ready to retire and want to withdraw money from your account to fund your lifestyle.

Investment options

Once you’ve been placed in an account, BT Super for Life offers two ways to invest your super depending on how hands-on you want to be. These two options are detailed below:

Option 1: MySuper Lifestage Fund

The MySuper Lifestage Fund is the default investment option, under which your investments are allocated for you based on your age. The product will automatically adjust to a more conservative mix of assets by increasing its allocation to conservative assets, such as fixed income and cash, and away from growth assets, such as shares and property, as you get older.

There is a different lifestage investment option for each decade, so you’ll be placed in the investment option for the decade in which you were born. For example, if you were born in 1983, you’ll be invested in the 1980s lifestage investment option.

Each lifestage investment option has an objective to provide you an investment return above inflation (Consumer Price Index).

BirthDecadeDescriptionRisk measureThree year returns*Target asset allocation
1940sClose or very close to retirementLow2.86%11% Equity – Australian listed8% Equity – International listed

3% Property - Australian

3% Property - International

0% Commodities – International

26% Fixed Income – Australian

29% Fixed income – International

0% Other – Growth alternatives

4% Other – Defensive alternatives

16% Cash – Australian

75% Total defensive assets

25% Total growth assets

1950sFast approaching retirement or retired – mainly conservative assets with some growthLow to medium3.64%15% Equity – Australian listed12% Equity – International listed

3% Property - Australian

3% Property - International

0% Commodities – International

24% Fixed Income – Australian

26% Fixed income – International

0% Other – Growth alternatives

4% Other – Defensive alternatives

13% Cash – Australian

67% Total defensive assets

33% Total growth assets

1960sRetirement is getting closer – a mix between growth and conservative assetsMedium to High5.01%26% Equity – Australian listed26% Equity – International listed

2% Property - Australian

6% Property - International

1% Commodities – International

13% Fixed Income – Australian

15% Fixed income – International

0% Other – Growth alternatives

5% Other – Defensive alternatives

6% Cash – Australian

39% Total defensive assets

61% Total growth assets

1970sSavings are continuing with many years to retirement – growth remains main focusHigh6.31%37% Equity – Australian listed39% Equity – International listed

3% Property - Australian

9% Property - International

2% Commodities – International

1% Fixed Income – Australian

1% Fixed income – International

0% Other – Growth alternatives

5% Other – Defensive alternatives

3% Cash – Australian

10% Total defensive assets

90% Total growth assets

1980s, 1990s and 2000sSaving with a focus on maximizing growthHigh6.45 – 7.10%37% Equity – Australian listed39% Equity – International listed

3% Property - Australian

9% Property - International

2% Commodities – International

1% Fixed Income – Australian

1% Fixed income – International

0% Other – Growth alternatives

5% Other – Defensive alternatives

3% Cash – Australian

75% Total defensive assets

25% Total growth assets

Option 2: Choose your own investment mix

If you’re a little more experienced as an investor and would like to take a more “hands-on” approach, you can select a mix of investments by nominating the percentage of your super that is invested in the following funds: Super Cash, Conservative Fund, Moderate Fund or Growth Fund.

Note: You can change your investment option at a later stage via online banking.

FundPast three-year performance*Asset allocation
Super cashn/a100% Cash
Conservative fund3.37%Australian shares: 12%International shares: 8%

Australian property: 4%

International property: 1%

Australian fixed interest: 25%

International fixed interest: 19%

Alternative investments: 14%

Cash: 17%

Total growth: 32%

Total defensive: 68%

Moderate fund6.49%Australian shares: 36%International shares: 25%

Australian property: 4%

International property: 1%

Australian fixed interest: 12%

International fixed interest: 5%

Alternative investments: 13%

Cash: 4%

Total growth: 78%

Total defensive: 28%

Growth fund9.92%Australian shares: 23%International shares: 76%

Cash: 1%

Total growth: 99%

Total defensive: 1%

*The investment performance and asset allocation was correct as at September 2017. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Fees

BT Super for Life has a number of fees and other costs which will be deducted from your superannuation.

Fees relate to the administration of your account and management of your investments. Other costs may be charged for additional services, including personal financial advice and insurance.

BT Super for Life will not charge for commissions, withdrawal, exit fees, investment switching fees or contribution fees.

Type of feeAmount
Investment fee0.50% p.a.
Administration fee$6.50 per month + 0.45% p.a.
Buy-sell spreadEstimated to be between 0-0.36% p.a.
Other fees and costsAdvice fee if you have agreed on a fee with your financial adviser as well as insurance premiumsif you have insurance cover in BT Super for Life. The amount of any advice fee or insurance

premiums may vary.

Indirect cost ratioEstimated to be between 0.20-0.32% p.a.

Example of annual fees and other costs BT Super for Life (based on a balance of $50,000)*

Type of fees/ costsAmount
Investment fees$250 (0.50% p.a.)
Administration fee$225 + $78 (0.45% p.a. plus $6.50 per month)
Indirect costs$130 (0.26% p.a.)
Total cost of product$683

*Fee calculation is based on the 1960s Lifestage Investment Option. For a more detailed breakdown of fees and charges, always read the PDS available on the provider's website.

Insurance

BT Super for Life offers two different insurance options: standard cover or customised cover.

Standard cover

When you open a BT Super for Life account, you will automatically receive standard insurance cover which includes cover for death as well as for total and permanent disability (TPD). There is no need to complete a medical check or submit any forms. The amount of insurance cover you’ll receive and the cost of insurance cover are based upon your age, gender, occupation and lifestyle. Death cover ranges between $15,000 and $300,000. Applicants must be between 15-64 years old for death insurance and 15-59 for TPD insurance.

The premiums for standard death and TPD cover range from $2.21 per month to $47.73 per month (for females) and $4.71 per month to $57.44 per month (for males).

*Note: BT Super for Life standard insurance has a pre-existing exclusion for a specific period. This means if your claim is directly or indirectly related to a pre-existing condition or occurred within two years to the cover commencing, your death or TPD benefit won’t be paid. A pre-existing condition means any injury or sickness that you were aware of or a reasonable person in your position should have been aware of.

Customised cover

You may also apply for up to three insurance options based on a combination of the following:

  • Death only
  • Death and TPD plus salary continuance cover (also known an income protection insurance)

When you apply for this type of cover, you’ll be given flexibility to decide the amount of insurance cover you require; however, approval is not guaranteed and is dependent on the result of a medical assessment.

The cost of insurance will be based on your age, occupation, gender, smoking status, pastimes and pursuits as well as the type and amount of cover requested.

Pros and Cons of BT Super for Life

Pros:

  • Roll over existing super online
  • MySuper compliant
  • No exit fees and free investment switches

Cons:

  • Relatively high fees
  • No ethical investment option

How do I apply?

If you’ve decided to select this super fund, you can apply online in less than five minutes by clicking the green "Go to Site" button at the top of this page.

If you are a Westpac, St.George, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne customer, you’ll be able to see your super next to your everyday bank accounts in your online banking.

If you are not a customer of one of the banks listed above, you can still sign up for a BT Super for Life account but will need to open a bank account first.

When you join, you’ll receive a welcome letter and welcome pack with all your account details and any other information or forms you’ll need.

How do I manage my super?

Consolidating your super

If you’ve changed jobs or moved industries, it’s likely that you’ll have multiple super accounts and be paying fees on all these accounts.

You can find and consolidate all of your super into the BT Super for Life via the SuperCheck function.

Steps:

  1. Log into your online banking (or open an account)*
  2. Find any super you may have lost track of using SuperCheck
  3. Bring all your super together

Managing your account

You can check your super balance, transfer funds from your bank account to your super and change your investment options via your online banking account.

Nominate your beneficiaries

Once you sign up for an account, you’ll be asked to nominate your beneficiaries. Your beneficiary, or beneficiaries, will receive your super and any insured death benefit if something happens to you. You can nominate one or more dependents.

DISCLAIMER: This article may contain general advice. You should consider your own personal circumstances before deciding if a superannuation product is right for you. Superannuation is a long term investment and past performance is not indicative of future performance.
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8 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MargaretJuly 20, 2017

    Hello… My son passed away in November 2016 & left a Will naming me as beneficiary on his life insurance & everything else he had.. I have hired a very expensive solicitor to settle his money’s etc & am still waiting & seem to be getting no where ,, I have been told that the mother of 3 of his children who he had not been with for over 12 years could get all his money’s,, This would be the last thing my son would have wanted & I can’t understand how with me paying for this solicitor as well as I’m paying for the 3 children’s private education since my son died be able to go against what was set out in his WILL be ignored,,

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanAugust 2, 2017

      Hello Margaret,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      A will can be challenged by the estranged family, especially if it resonates “unreasonable” outcome to their family and dependents. The courts would usually weigh several factors and existing provisions (e.g. Family Law, Inheritance Law just to name a few) that protect and ensure that the remaining assets will be distributed in a “fair” manner. They had likely also considered the current and future financial disposition of the estranged family of your son, and whether or not you were financially dependent too.

      It is recommended that you talk this with legal experts who can help you get a clearer understanding on the right path to take. However, answering your question, a will is not always absolute in nature.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  2. Default Gravatar
    WilliamNovember 17, 2016

    I have an existing Super Account and wish to transfer the total amount approx $30000 into my Commonwealth debit card. I’m a pensioner aged 70yrs.

    • Staff
      ClarizzaNovember 18, 2016Staff

      Hi William,

      Thank you for your question.

      Generally, you can access your super once you meet conditions of release. We recommend speaking to your super fund to arrange the transfer however, note that if you choose to transfer a lump sum, there are tax and Centrelink implications.

      Please note, we are a comparison website and provide general advice only. If you intended to speak with your superannuation fund about arranging the release of your funds, please get in touch with BT Super directly. In the meantime, our page on Accessing your super might be of assistance.

      Hope this has helped.

      Regards,
      Clarizza

  3. Default Gravatar
    ShirleySeptember 2, 2015

    Can I withdraw part of my super from bt and leave money in there I am retired

  4. Default Gravatar
    MichaelMarch 27, 2015

    Hello
    What has been your return over the last 10 years with the BT super fund.
    Thanks Michael.

    • Staff
      RichardMarch 30, 2015Staff

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for your question. If you would like to contact BT about the specifics of your policy, you can contact BT by calling (02) 9274 5780.

      I hope this was helpful,
      Richard

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