Superannuation: Frequently Asked Questions

Superannuation FAQ

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 concerning 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 superannuation and below are some of the top FAQs about super.

AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed Balanced Super Fund Offer

AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced Super Fund

AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed Balanced Super Fund Offer

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  • Australia's best performing growth fund over 10 years*
*To June 2019, according to Chant West. Investment returns are not guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.
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Compare super fund accounts

Name Product Past Performance - 1 Year Past Performance - 3 Years Past 5 year performance Calculated fees on $50,000 balance
1.21%
7.56%
7.84%
$467.65
The Balanced option is a pre-mixed, MySuper fund that invests in a diversified range of asset classes.
AustralianSuper is an award-winning industry super fund and is the largest super fund in Australia.
1.9%
7.51%
7.47%
$523
The Lifecycle Balanced option is a MySuper product that invests your super in a balanced fund until you’re near retirement.
Earn a Retirement Bonus of up to $4,800 when you open a new Income account. T&Cs apply.
2.85%
7.57%
N/A
$395
The Lifetime option is a MySuper product that adjusts your investment mix each 7-10 years as you get older.
QSuper is a member-owned super fund and is one of the largest super funds in Australia.
-1.36%
N/A
N/A
$358
The Lifestage Tracker is a MySuper product that invests in a range of asset classes in line with your age.
Earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points for making contributions to your super. T&Cs apply.
1%
6.59%
6.39%
$598
The LGIA MySuper Lifecycle option aims for higher returns while you’re under 75.
LGIA is a medium-sized, member-owned super fund open to all Australians.
-0.22%
4.86%
5.43%
$603
The LifetimeOne investment option is a MySuper product that changes your investment mix as you get older.
A Catholic super fund open to all Australians and designed for people working in Catholic education, healthcare or aged care.
New Fund
New Fund
New Fund
$291.50
The Balanced Essentials fund invests in a range of shares, residential property and other assets and has a medium level of risk.
Superestate focuses on investing your super in physical residential properties and charges some of the lowest annual fees in the market.
1.14%
6.95%
6.73%
$549.42
This MySuper product will invest your super in a pre-mixed Growth fund until you’re 60, then it’ll switch to Balanced.
First State Super is a not-for-profit super fund with more than 750,000 members around Australia.
2.54%
7.21%
7.19%
$548.53
The Core Pool invests in a mix of asset classes and is an authorised MySuper product.
HESTA is an industry super fund open to all Australians and designed for employees in the health and community services sector.
-2.16%
5.03%
5.41%
$643
The MySuper Lifestage fund invests your super in a mix of asset classes depending on how old you are.
Westpac Group customers can manage their super alongside their day-to-day bank accounts.
-1.04%
4%
5.27%
$581.80
The Lifestage Fund readjusts your investment mix every few years to reduce your level of risk as you get older.
A retail super fund that offers access to personalised financial planning and advice.
0.63%
6.23%
6.24%
$497.60
The Core Strategy is a diversified investment portfolio that balances risk and return, and is an authorised MySuper product.
REST is an industry super fund tailored towards the retail sector and open to all Australians with almost two million members.

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The information in the table is based on data provided by Chant West Pty Ltd (AFSL 255320) which is itself supplied by third parties. While such information is believed to be accurate, Chant West does not accept responsibility for any inaccuracy in such information. Chant West’s Financial Services Guide is available at https://www.chantwest.com.au/financial-services-guide . Finder offers no guarantees or warranties about the data and we recommend that users make their own enquiries before relying on this information. Performance, fees and insurance data is based on each fund's default MySuper product. Where the performance, fees and insurance data for the MySuper fund vary according to the member's age, results for individuals between 40-49 years of age have been shown. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

*Past performance data is for the period ending December 2018.

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 with 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

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46 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    BobAugust 29, 2019

    Hi, I understood that in addition to being resident for 10 years you also had to work in Australia for a minimum number of years while you were below a certain age (can’t recall if it was 55 or 60? Or something else) to become eligible for the age pension.

    Is that wrong? Or have the rules changed?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      NikkiAugust 30, 2019Staff

      Hi Bob,

      Thanks for getting in touch! The eligibility of Age Pension is dependent on certain factors and you can read more into it by going to this page.

      Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    garryMay 4, 2018

    hi thanks for your reply to my ques. regarding old age pension. is there anyway i can check my status in regard to how long ive actually resided in australia? as since i was 40yrs old i have spent quite a bit of time overseas travelling. ie. maybe i need to spend another year or whatever amount of time in oz to be able to apply for a full pension or maybe i have already accumulated enough residential status already. ie. can i log on to a immigration site to check my status? hope you can help me with this one. yours sincerely garry a. hosking . gaza

    • Default Gravatar
      ArnoldMay 5, 2018

      Hi Garry,

      Thanks for your inquiry

      The Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs keeps track of your Australian residency and everything you need to know as an Australian permanent resident or citizen. You may visit their official website by clicking here. You may also contact them by email and phone using the contact details found on their website. The department will determine if you are qualified to receive a full pension and other government benefits.

      Hope this information helps

      Cheers,
      Arnold

  3. Default Gravatar
    JodieMarch 29, 2018

    My husband does not have a superannuation account as he had a payout due to a work accident. He has recently returned to some casual work so my question is can he get his employer to put the super payment into my super fund instead of starting another one himself. Thanks

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayMarch 30, 2018Staff

      Hi Jodie,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      It is possible to though to split your husband’s super contributions with yours but I’m not sure though if the whole part can be made to your super. Best to speak to your super fund about this though. Meantime, ATO has a fact sheet on contributions splitting on this page which may be helpful. If you decide to split, you can do this after the end of a financial year.

      Cheers,
      May

  4. Default Gravatar
    garryMarch 23, 2018

    hi hows things i would like to know when i can apply for an old age pension? someone told me that you can apply up to a year . they said the earlier the better. hope you can help me. all the best garry.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayMarch 25, 2018Staff

      Hi Garry,

      Thanks for your question.

      You can start filing for the Age Pension when you reach the age of 65 or more. When applying for an Age Pension, you must meet the eligibility criteria. Please refer to this guide about applying for the Age Pension.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

  5. Default Gravatar
    CornelisDecember 23, 2017

    I want my money, Work 2 Year 1 year in perth and 1year in melbourne am from holland immigrate in australia. Now i live in thailand. Am born 15 Sep 1941. How did i get money from superannuation?

    • Default Gravatar
      ArnoldDecember 28, 2017

      Hi Cornelis,

      Thanks for your inquiry

      As a general rule, you usually can’t access your super until you reach your preservation age (between 55 and 60 years, depending on your date of birth) and meet a condition of release. However, there are certain conditions that allow early release of your super. To know more about them, please click on this page.

      Hope this information helps

      Cheers,
      Arnold

  6. Default Gravatar
    SaraApril 27, 2017

    Can you use your super as a divorce settlement? if so does it get transferred or paid in cash to the other person?

    • Default Gravatar
      LiezlApril 28, 2017

      Hi Sara,

      Thanks for your question and for contacting finder.com.au – a financial comparison website and general information service designed to help consumers make better decisions.

      Superannuation can be included in divorce negotiations. The law provides that a super interest or a super payment may be divided or split by agreement or court order in the event of relationship breakdown. Also, the law treats superannuation as a different type of property and splitting does not convert it into a cash asset. Moreover, super benefits remain in the superannuation system unless the individual entitled to the benefit has satisfied a condition of release.

      I hope this has helped.

      Best regards,
      Liezl

  7. Default Gravatar
    AnnJanuary 12, 2017

    Hi ,
    I am going to be 65 in 2017 ,Not a homeowner and no Centrelink benefits , I get $600 per month from UK and Canada as a widows pension. I have $250,000 in super.

    My question is
    If I apply for age pension , how much can I get
    I may need to go and stay with my son overseas soon after I turn 65 , will the 2 year rule apply.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayJanuary 16, 2017Staff

      Hi Ann,

      Thanks for your question and for contacting finder.com.au – a financial comparison website and general information service designed to help consumers make better decisions.

      As we are not affiliated with the Department of Human Services or Centrelink, I’m afraid we may not be able to determine how much you would be able to receive on your Age Pension. Although, generally, even if you’re outside of Australia, you still can receive a pension, but the amount you’re paid may change depending on the length of time you’ve been gone and your personal circumstances. I would suggest that you contact Department of Human Services or Centrelink to get more information about your Age Pension.

      Cheers,
      May

  8. Default Gravatar
    MikeJanuary 7, 2017

    If we use all our superannuation to pay off our existing mortgage will this effect our pension entitlement?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeJanuary 24, 2017Staff

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for your question.

      First of all, there are certain eligibility criteria that you must meet to be eligible to receive your super early. You can check this page for more information.

      Taking out money from your super fund means that you will have less money available when you retire. Please do note that any money that you get before retirement is taxed at a higher rate.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  9. Default Gravatar
    RobynSeptember 16, 2016

    Is superannuation considered an asset for eligibility for age pension

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleySeptember 19, 2016Staff

      Hi Robyn,

      Thanks for your question.

      Superannuation is included in your assets test if the owner is over age pension age. If you were born between 1 July 1952 to 31 December 1953, the age pension age is 65 years and 6 months.

      Hope this helps.

  10. Default Gravatar
    TiariAugust 30, 2016

    I am employed full time earning approx. $120000 p.a. Am I eligible for a ” Gold Card ” or any other benefits not including “the pension “?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleySeptember 6, 2016Staff

      Hi Tiari,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please check this page for a list of things you may be eligible for.

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