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How to consolidate super

Avoid fees and boost your retirement savings by consolidating your super into a single fund.

If you've had several different jobs, it's possible you have more than one super account open in your name. This means you're paying multiple sets of fees that will be eating into your super balance.

Consolidating your super (which means combining them into one fund) lets you avoid these fees and also offers a few other benefits. This guide will take you through what you need to know.

How to consolidate your super

Consolidating your superannuation funds can be a wise financial move to simplify your savings, potentially reduce fees, and make it easier to manage your retirement funds.

It involves transferring the balance from multiple super accounts into a single fund. This process not only helps in keeping track of your retirement savings but can also have a significant impact on the growth of your super balance over time.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) provides a straightforward online service through the myGov platform, allowing you to seamlessly transfer your super balances without hassle.

Simply: go to my.gov.au

  • log in or create an account
  • link your myGov account to the ATO
  • select 'Super' and then 'Manage'
  • select 'Transfer super' (this option will only appear if you have more than one super account)

Finder survey: How committed are Australians to a long-term relationship with their super fund?

Response
I am commited73.23%
I am not commited26.77%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1016 Australians, December 2023

Why should I consolidate my super?

There are a bunch of reasons why you should consolidate your superannuation, including:

  • You'll save on fees. Super funds charge an annual fee as well as investment fees and additional indirect fees (this is the indirect cost ratio) for the ongoing management of the fund. Depending on your super balance and the kind of fund you have, you might be paying lots of fees, maybe even hundreds of dollars each year.
  • You won't be paying for the same insurance twice. If you have more than one super fund, you could be paying for the same insurance, such as death and income protection insurance, more than once. Consolidating your super means you will still be covered but you’ll save on your insurance costs.
  • It'll be easier to keep track of your super. Outside of the financial savings, having 1 super fund is much easier to keep track of than 2 or 3, as there's less admin and paperwork to worry about. Plus, it's nice to know your retirement savings are all in the same place rather than scattered across multiple funds.

What's wrong with having multiple super accounts?

Consolidating your super accounts into one can help avoid paying multiple sets of fees and enhance your retirement savings. If you've had several jobs, you might have multiple super accounts, leading to paying redundant fees and reducing your super returns.

Here's a quick overview of why having multiple accounts can be a problem:

  • Unnecessary costs: Each super account carries its own fees and insurance premiums. Data shows that Australians have held 2 super funds over their lifetime on average and 10% have more than 1 active fund, so a number of us might be paying unnecessary fees. The Productivity Commission's 2018 report also highlighted that unintended multiple accounts lead to $2.6 billion in extra fees annually.
  • Long-term financial impact: Having more than one super account can make it harder for your money to grow over time. This could mean you end up with less money saved up for when you retire. It is estimated that a worker with dual super accounts could face a 6% reduction in their retirement funds compared to having a single account.

Understanding these impacts highlights the importance of consolidating your super funds. It's not just about reducing paperwork, it's about maximising your financial readiness for retirement.

Key considerations before consolidating your super

Consolidating your superannuation is a significant financial step. Before you start, there are a few important considerations including:

  1. Understand fees
    • Check for any entry or deposit fees in the fund you're transferring to.
    • Be aware of exit or account-closing fees from the funds you're moving out of.
    • Evaluate all fees to ensure that the consolidation benefits outweigh these costs.
  2. Consider insurance implications
    • Be aware of the potential loss of insurance benefits, like TPD insurance, in your current fund.
    • Explore if the new fund offers more suitable insurance options.
    • Ensure you maintain necessary insurance cover when consolidating super funds.
  3. Employer contributions
    • Verify if changing funds will affect your employer's contribution rate.
    • Confirm with your employer about any changes in contributions to avoid reduced super accumulation.
  4. Assess fund performance
    • Analyse the long-term performance (5–10 years) of the fund, not just short-term fluctuations.
    • Be cautious about chasing past performance, as it may not indicate future results.
    • Look for consistent performance for sustainable growth of your retirement savings.

Remember, the goal is to improve your super balance by reducing costs and streamlining fund management without compromising on essential benefits like insurance and employer contributions.

Unless indicated otherwise, the information in the table is based on data provided by SuperRatings Pty Limited ABN 95 100 192 283, Australian Financial Services Licence 311880.

*Past performance data and fee data is for the period ending Jan 2024

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