To most people superannuation funds are very important as they can help to ensure they get to enjoy a comfortable retirement where they do not struggle to cope with essential costs and can even enjoy having money to make the most of their free time. These funds provide a very effective and efficient way of saving towards retirement, enabling consumers to enjoy a range of benefits including making big tax savings.
Of course, not everyone will know all there is to know about superannuation funds – in fact, unless you are an expert in the field, it is likely that there will be certain things that you are unsure of when it comes to superannuation funds, even if you are familiar with the basics. With something as important as superannuation it is best to ensure that you find out as much as possible about superannuation. There are many things that people may be unsure about when it comes to superannuation and below are some of the top FAQs when it comes to super.
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When can I withdraw the money from my super?
The money from your super is designed to cater for you in retirement, so you will not be able to withdraw on preserved funds until you retire. However, there are certain circumstances under with you may be able to take your preserved funds out of your super, which includes exceptional circumstances such as severe financial hardship or disability. However, things such as whether your case qualified as financial hardship will ultimately be decided by the trustees
How can I find lost superannuation?
Lost superannuation, or super that you have lost track of, is kept on a register that is kept by the Australian Tax Office. There is also a match service that is available via the ATO website, which makes it easier and faster to try and locate lost super
What happens to my super if I change jobs?
Although some people may stay in the same job or work for the same company all of their working lives, many others change jobs, sometimes on a regular basis. If you do this there are a couple of options available to you when it comes to your super. You may decide to leave your super as is and leave the money in the fund. Alternatively, you can look at rolling over the money from your old superannuation fund to your new one, which is often the preferred way because it makes it easier to manage and monitor your fund and can also save on fees. Another possibility is that you may be able to get your new employer to pay contributions to your existing fund, negating the need to roll over funds
How can I be sure my employer is paying contributions to my super?
Your employer has to pay contributions to your super and if, for any reason, you believe that this may not be happening, you should make enquiries and find out from your employer what the situation is. Your employer, like all other employers, will need to report back to the Australian Tax Office with regards to all employee contributions that have been made to superannuation funds. These accounts may be audited and if your employer is found to have failed to make contributions and interest and administrative fees can be charged on any outstanding contributions. Employees who are still concerned about whether contributions are being made, even after speaking to their employers, can request an investigation from the Australian Tax Office
How will I know the amount of super I will need?
In short, you won't really know how much you need because a lot of things may change by the time you come around to retiring. However, according to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, an average of around 60 percent of your annual salary is a good place to aim. Remember that many other factors can affect the amount of super that you need, such as the changes that you may experienced between now and when you retire or the type of lifestyle you want to lead when you retire
How is super dealt with in the event of divorce?
In the event that you get divorced, superannuation can be included as part of the divorce negotiations or may be subject to legal action depending on a number of different circumstances.
Am I able to name a beneficiary for my super in the event that I die?
This is something you will need to check with each individual fund, but many super funds will allow you to use a named beneficiary to receive the benefits from the super in the event of your death. You can choose to have a binding or a non binding nomination for your super benefits. If you fail to nominate someone then the decision is left to the trustees as to who receives the benefits