retirement-saving-account

Compare retirement savings accounts

Information verified correct on December 5th, 2016

It’s never too early to start saving for retirement, but do you have enough information about your options?

A retirement savings account (RSA) is an account that you can transfer your super fund into once you've met a condition of release.

It is similar to a savings account, but these accounts are in line with superannuation regulations and it's tax advantages. Even your tax-free portion can earn interest, helping you through retirement.

Your retirement savings accounts options below

Rates last updated December 5th, 2016
$
$
months
Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned
Customs Bank Online Supersaver
Ongoing, variable 1.75% p.a.. Available on balance $5,001 or more.
1.75% 1.75% 0.00% $0 $5,001 / $0 More
BankVic Superfuture RSA
A Retirement Savings Account designed to provide income in retirement.
2.00% 2.00% 0.00% $0 $0 / $50,000 More
BCU Retirement Savings Account
Ongoing, variable 2.11% p.a.. Available on balance $100,000 plus.
2.11% 2.11% 0.00% $0 $0 / $0 More

More finder.com.au retirement savings accounts

Compare the maximum interest rate against it's conditions in the table below.

Product nameMaximum interest rateConditions
Defence Bank RSA1.75%Balance > $10,000
AMP Retirement Savings AccountN/ANo longer available for new applications
Heritage Bank Secure Super Account2.00%Whole balance
bcu Retirement Saving Account2.11%Balance > $10,000

How does a retirement savings account work?

Typically a retirement savings account awards a higher rate of interest in comparison to a regular savings account. Once you've met a condition of release, you can organise for your super fund balance to be transferred to a retirement savings account, where you can start drawing down on your fund.

A good RSA should ease your transition into retirement and it should provide you with a regular income when you retire.

How do I compare retirement savings accounts?

Comparing retirement savings accounts requires that you pay attention to the following:

Long-term investment performance

Start by comparing the long-term performance of similar superannuation investments. Know that no assets class can consistently outperform the market over time, so it’s best that you look at diversifying your investments. If you’re not sure about picking the right options, you can leave this aspect to your service provider.

Little to no fees

Many Australians switch their superannuation accounts because they can save in the form of fees. Typically, not-for-profit funds such a public sector, corporate and industry funds tend to charge lower fees when compared to retail funds. While many retail funds have started charging lower fees than before, you may still have to pay a contribution fee and a periodical account management fees. Wholesale profit generating funds can also offer competitive fee structures, but you might be able to join such a fund only through your employer.

Insurance cover

This aspect requires particular attention because if you’re seeking a super fund as an individual you could have to pay a tidy sum to get insurance cover. If you join through your employer you can expect a noticeably better deal on the insurance front. If you’re planning to make the switch, make sure you get suitable cover through your new account before abandoning the previous cover.

Account access

Given the widespread use of the Internet, your RSA provider should let you view your account details online. Some service providers offer online tools that allow users to search for their lost super, which they can then transfer to their new accounts.

The latest in super funds

What are the pros and cons of using a retirement savings account?

The pros

  • Good way to manage your finances during retirement. A retirement savings accounts is a good way to start saving for retirement, given that you stand to earn higher returns when compared to conventional bank accounts. You can also choose how much you get paid and how often through flexible pension payment alternatives.
  • Multiple investment options. Some retirement savings accounts come with capital assurances that guarantee no negative returns.You can also choose between low-cost basic options and leading cash and balanced funds based on your requirements and ability to withstand risk.
  • Typically no joining fees are charged. You can find an RSA that does not charge any joining fees, ongoing account keeping fees, investment fees, administration fees and commissions.

The cons

  • There are usually ongoing fees. Depending on the service provider you choose, you may have to pay operating fees, investment management fees and advice fees. The price you pay for getting insurance cover can also work as a deal breaker.

A list of institutions offering RSAs (and approved by APRA):

Name of financial institutionDate approved
Commonwealth Bank of Australia25-06-1997
Bananacoast Community Credit Union Limited26-03-1999
QANTAS Staff Credit Union Limited29-07-1999
Hunter United Employees' Credit Union Ltd29-07-1999
Queensland Country Credit Union16-11-1999
Police Financial Services Limited30-06-2000
Defence Bank Limited6-07-2009
​Heritage Bank Limited​7-10-2011
​Australian Defence Credit Union Limited16-12-2013

Tips for using a RSA

  • Read the terms and conditions

Make sure you go through the product disclosure statement (PDS) before signing up for any retirement savings account. The summary page of this document should give you a clear indication of all applicable fees and charges, including how much different insurance options would cost. This document lists investment options and also informs you how the fund provider will communicate with you.

  • Have the correct documentation

If you end up changing your super fund you have to complete and submit a Standard Choice Form (SCF) to your employer. It is then your employer’s responsibility to take suitable action within two months. You should also complete a member application form and arrange for transfer of existing benefits.

From an investment point of view, know that picking suitable investment plays a crucial role. For example, investing in shares at a time when the share market is going through turbulent times is not a good idea.

 Did you have these questions?

Do I have to pay any fees to make the switch?

This depends on the service provider you chose, and some may require that you pay a switch fee.

Can I apply for a retirement savings account online, and if so, how long does the process take?

Yes, you can submit an online application. If you have the required information close by, you can complete the application in minutes.

I’ve just changed my job. Can I continue using my existing superannuation account?

 Yes, you can. You simply have to notify your new employer of your choice.

Shirley Liu

Shirley is finder.com.au's publisher for banking and investments. She is currently studying a Masters in Commerce (Finance) and is the author of hundreds of articles. She is passionate about helping Aussies make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

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2 Responses to Compare retirement savings accounts

  1. Default Gravatar
    Juliet | October 11, 2016

    My only super account was closed due to bad mail redirection and the balance was sent to the ato. I contacted the ato and they said I should open a retirement savings account which has less fees. I don’t know much about super and rsa’s as I have spent most of my life unable to work much. What should I do to get this small amount 2000 as I now have a terminal disease. and need this money. The ato says they wont release it until I am 65 but I am not likely to make it to that age

    • Staff
      Clarizza | October 12, 2016

      Hi Juliet,

      Sorry to hear about your situation.

      If your account was closed, it may have been transferred to another super fund that holds unclaimed super or transferred to the ATO. You can log into myGov via the ATO website to find the super and organise to transfer it to your account. Otherwise, our guide on finding unclaimed super may also be of help.

      Regarding a retirement savings account, it works like a savings account but generally with a higher rate of interest. You can transfer your super into this account.

      Hope this has helped.

      Clarizza

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