Superannuation FAQ

Superannuation – Frequently Asked Questions

Superannuation F.A.Q.

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

    Rates last updated December 5th, 2016
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    30 Responses to Superannuation – Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Default Gravatar
      Robyn | September 16, 2016

      Is superannuation considered an asset for eligibility for age pension

      • Staff
        Shirley | September 19, 2016

        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.

    2. Default Gravatar
      Tiari | August 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
        Shirley | September 6, 2016

        Hi Tiari,

        Thanks for your question.

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

    3. Default Gravatar
      Rozina | August 24, 2016

      Hi
      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.
      Thanks.

      • Staff
        Clarizza | August 25, 2016

        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.

        Regards,
        Clarizza

    4. Default Gravatar
      malita | August 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
        Shirley | August 12, 2016

        Hi Malita,

        Thanks for your question and we’re to hear about your situation.

        finder.com.au 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.

    5. Default Gravatar
      Kim | May 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
        Shirley | May 30, 2016

        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
        Kim | May 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
        Shirley | June 1, 2016

        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.

    6. Default Gravatar
      Helen | April 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
        Shirley | April 4, 2016

        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.

    7. Default Gravatar
      Helen | April 3, 2016

      If you work 2 days in the fortnight and it goes into Salary Sacrifice does that make a difference to how much you can earn?

    8. Default Gravatar
      geoffrey | January 21, 2016

      hi this is my member number XXXXXXXX.i wish to 1nform you of my new address.YYYYYYYY also can please inform how I can check my balance.Thank you Geoffrey

      • Staff
        Shirley | January 22, 2016

        Hi Geoffrey,

        Thanks for your question, just to clarify you’ve posted on finder.com.au.

        Please contact your superannuation provider directly to change your details, if you need help sourcing a phone number please let us know.

        Cheers,
        Shirley

    9. Default Gravatar
      | December 18, 2015

      can i take part of my super out i am 74 and invest out side of supper.tony

      • Staff
        Shirley | December 21, 2015

        Hi Thomas,

        Thanks for your question.

        According to the rules you should be able to. You can access your super as long as you are permanently retired or have reached 65.

        Cheers,
        Shirley

    10. Default Gravatar
      Rhonda | November 30, 2015

      I will retire in January and would like to access my superannuation to pay all my debts and to purchase a small car. I would also like to arrange for a small payment to be issued monthly with what’s left. I obviously need to engage a financial planner however my superannuation is for only $60,000 so I am limited despite working all my life. can you tell me how long after I finish work will the age pension be released to me. I will be 65 when I cease work in January 2016

      • Staff
        Shirley | December 1, 2015

        Hi Rhonda,

        Thanks for your question.

        Generally to be eligible for the age pension you must be 65 years or older. From 1 July 2017, the qualifying age for Age Pension will increase from 65 years to 65 years and 6 months.

        To apply, you’ll need to speak to Centrelink directly.

        Cheers,
        Shirley

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