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Are you checking your super too much? It could be doing more harm than good


It's important to keep an eye on your super, but checking it a few times a year is probably sufficient for most people.

According to a survey by Australian Retirement Trust, 57% of Australians check their super every 2-3 months or less, while 43% check monthly or more frequently.

And due to recent economic events (such as the stock market volatility, rising global inflation and rising interest rates), 55% say they've been checking their super more frequently.

Are you checking your super too often?

Checking your super too often (for example daily or weekly) could be causing more harm than good - especially if you're making investment changes following the checks.

For example, during times of market volatility you might check your super, see a negative return and be tempted to make changes to your investment strategy.

Whereas if you weren't checking so regularly, you're less likely to act on short-term market movements.

"If you are someone who likes to check in on your super regularly - perhaps even daily or weekly - with a strong focus on your investments, it is important to keep in mind that volatility can impact your balance in the short-term," said Australian Retirement Trust's senior manager, strategic education, Joshua Van Gestel.

"It's crucial to remember that superannuation is a long-term investment and decisions made today, such as moving to a more conservative investment option, could have a significant impact on your balance at retirement."

Checking your balance and investment performance so often can also lead to unnecessary stress, particularly in times of market volatility.

It's important to remember that super is a long-term investment - which is difficult to do if you're watching your balance every other day.

So, how often should you be checking your super?

"We would suggest that members check their super balances and contributions at least quarterly and review their investments and performance at least annually," said Gestel.

"These regular check-ins allow you to gain an understanding of how your super investments are impacted by market movements over time, particularly over the longer-term and also assess how this may compare to previous financial years."

He said it's not just your fund's performance that you should be checking.

"As well as keeping an eye on investment performance, checking your super on a regular basis is a great way of ensuring that contributions from your employer are being made on time and correctly, noting that employers are currently required to pay your super at least quarterly – by the 28th of November, February, May and August each year."

"It's also important to consider your insurance – which should be reviewed whenever you have a significant change in circumstances (such as changing jobs, buying a new home, or a new addition to your family for example) or at least once every three years," he said.

You can see you current super balance by logging in to your super account online or using the fund's mobile app. Or, you can also see your current balance in myGov, as your super is linked to the ATO.

If you haven't looked at your super in years, it could be time to switch. Compare super funds to see how your current fund stacks up and, if you decide it's time to switch, you can easily change super funds with our 4-step guide.

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