Superannuation FAQ

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.

Compare super fund accounts

Rates last updated January 24th, 2018
Details Features
  • Admin fee:$78 p.a. + investment fee of 0.75% p.a. (Balanced option)
  • Past 3-year return: +9.23% (Balanced option)
  • Automatic cover: Death and Total and Permanent Disablement insurance
  • Choose from 8 investment options
  • Mobile app available
  • MySuper product available
  • Access education tools and programs
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Essential Super
Essential Super
  • Admin fee: $70.56 + combined investment and admin fee of 0.80% (Lifestage option)
  • Past 3-year return: +5.75% (Balanced option)
  • Automatic cover: Death and Total and Permanent Disablement insurance
  • Choose from four investment options available
  • Manage your account in NetBank
  • Switch investments at any time
  • Consolidate super funds online
Go to site More info
  • Admin fee: $65 p.a + 0.08% of balance + annual investment fee of 0.81% p.a (MySuper)
  • Past 3-year return:+7.95% (MySuper)
  • Automatic cover: Death and income protection cover.
  • Choose from up to 11 investment options
  • No setup or exit fees
  • Industry fund so no commissions paid
  • Consolidate your super online
Go to site More info
ING Living Super
ING Living Super
  • Admin fee: $60 p.a. + 0.64% of balance and investment fee of 0.25% p.a. (Growth option)
  • Past 3-year return: +7.26% (Growth option)
  • Automatic cover: Automatic Death and Total and Permanent Disablement insurance
  • Choose from four investment options
  • Invest in other Living Super investment classes
  • Earn interest on your SMSF balance
Go to site More info
Virgin Money Super
Virgin Money Super
  • Admin fee: $58 p.a. + 0.394% of balance and investment fee of 0.116% p.a (LifeStage Tracker)
  • Past 3-year return: not yet available
  • Automatic cover: Death and Total and Permanent Disablement insurance
  • Choose from eight investment options
  • Consolidate super from your online account
  • Apply online in less than 5 minutes
  • Virgin Money will reward you with Velocity Points
    for contributions (Eligibility criteria + T&C's apply)
Go to site More info
Grow Super
Grow Super
  • Admin fee: 0.95% p.a + $1.65per week
  • Past 3-year return: N/A as GROW Super is a new provider
  • Automatic cover: Automatic Death and Total and Permanent Disablement insurance
  • Choose from up to 8 investment options
  • Invest your spare change with the top-up feature
  • Consolidate your super online or via mobile app
  • Customise + self-select insurance cover
Go to site More info

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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38 Responses

  1. 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?

    • Staff
      ArnoldDecember 28, 2017Staff

      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


  2. 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?

    • Staff
      LiezlApril 28, 2017Staff

      Hi Sara,

      Thanks for your question and for contacting – 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,

  3. 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.

    • Staff
      MayJanuary 16, 2017Staff

      Hi Ann,

      Thanks for your question and for contacting – 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.


  4. Default Gravatar
    MikeJanuary 7, 2017

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

    • Staff
      LouJanuary 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.


  5. Default Gravatar
    RobynSeptember 16, 2016

    Is superannuation considered an asset for eligibility for age pension

    • Staff
      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.

  6. 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 “?

    • Staff
      ShirleySeptember 6, 2016Staff

      Hi Tiari,

      Thanks for your question.

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

  7. Default Gravatar
    RozinaAugust 24, 2016

    My husband receives the aged pension has been offered some part time work. How much per year can he earn before it effects his pension and what is the rate of decline in the pension according to income.
    Should I return to work what can I earn before it effects his pension.

    • Staff
      ClarizzaAugust 25, 2016Staff

      Hi Rozina,

      Thanks for your question.

      You may find our page on Australian Age Pension Eligibility Requirements helpful. This page shows the maximum you can earn before you are no longer eligible to receive pension. The max you can earn as a couple is $$2,922.80 so as long as your combined earnings is below this, you may be eligible for pension. Please note, it is best to check with a financial planner to assess your situation. As a comparison website, we provide general advice only.


  8. Default Gravatar
    malitaAugust 11, 2016

    Hello, I am in the UK and have been for about a month. I will be here for a further three months I return on November the 19/20th. I informed the pension office in person at Mirrabooka shopping centre. My address in Australia is XX. The number on my card is XXXX. I am now told by a friend looking after my interests That my pension has not been payed into my account
    This is and will cause me a big problem with paying my bills some of which I pay monthly ie insurance for many things including insurance to cover me on this trip to the UK. My phone number in the XXXX. This is very important to me. Can you please sort this out for me and let me know it all is OK and in place. Thank you.

    • Staff
      ShirleyAugust 12, 2016Staff

      Hi Malita,

      Thanks for your question and we’re to hear about your situation. is a third party comparison service, unfortunately we are unable to assist but we may be able to point you in the right direction.

      If this is in regards to your Age Pension, you will need to call Centrelink on +61 132 300 to address the issue. If it’s an account-based pension, please get in touch with your provider.

      I hope this has helped.

  9. Default Gravatar
    KimMay 28, 2016

    I was born and have lived all my life in Australia. With the rule about only staying overseas when I eventually claim my Old Age Pension at 66.5 yrs old , being 6 weeks max, what does that mean. I have family overseas that I wish to stay with after getting my pension ?? Does 6 weeks mean 1 a year or each time I go out for the first 2 years??
    I hope you can enlighten me on this enquiry .
    Thank you.

    • Staff
      ShirleyMay 30, 2016Staff

      Hi Kim,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you have returned to live in Australia within the last 2 years and you have started receiving Age Pension during this period, you cannot be paid outside Australia until the 2 year waiting period has passed. However, you can still travel outside of Australia during this time for a period of up to 6 weeks.

      After the 2 year period has passed and you wish to leave Australia permanently, the rates will change according to how long you were an Australian resident. You will usually need to have lived in Australia as an Australian resident for 35 years to get a full means tested rate of Age Pension after 26 weeks overseas.

      For more information, please see our age pension page.

    • Default Gravatar
      KimMay 31, 2016

      No I haven’t ever given up my citizenship to live any , where else , but have worked overseas for a few years , paid my taxes as supposed to then , so in that case the 6 weeks limit away would not apply to me are you saying ? Anyway this proposed Bill has not got through the Senate , so maybe concerned about nothing as governments change and also Senate reviews may not pass these amendments …

    • Staff
      ShirleyJune 1, 2016Staff

      Hi Kim,

      Thanks for your question.

      The 6 week holiday limit applies to everyone who receives the Australian Age Pension.

      The above rule already applies to those who are receiving the Age Pension.

  10. Default Gravatar
    HelenApril 3, 2016

    I lived and worked in NZ until Dec 31 1987. I have heard that I need to give all my prior information on employment in N.Z. as they will need to pay into my pension. Is this correct? Many thanks

    • Staff
      ShirleyApril 4, 2016Staff

      Hi Helen,

      Thanks for your question.

      Assuming that you’re referring to the Australian Age Pension, yes you will need to supply details of your employment in NZ. NZ and Australia have a social agreement where you can use the years of residency in NZ to contribute to your claim for the Australian Age Pension.

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