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Protecting your superannuation

This guide answers the most common questions around the protection and safety of your super.

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Your superannuation is likely to be your biggest asset when you retire, and it's the main way of saving for retirement. Given the importance of your super, it's important to make sure it's protected and be sure that it's in good hands. Luckily, the Australian superannuation sector is heavily regulated.

In this guide we've answered some key concerns you may have regarding the safety of your super, plus listed some tips to help you keep it safe.

AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced Super Fund

AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced Super Fund

Choose from an extensive range of investment options and enjoy discounted rates on select banking products when you join AustralianSuper.

  • 2019 Finder Awards Winner: Best Super Fund - Balanced
  • Join and consolidate your super with the easy-to-use mobile app
  • Australia's largest industry super fund
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Common questions regarding the safety of superannuation

Q: Can money from your superannuation fund be used by your employer?

A: If you are concerned about your employer being able to use money from your superannuation fund, don't be. The money that is accumulated in these funds is held in trust, which means that it is not available for your employer to use.

Q: What if your employer goes out of business?

A: There is no need to worry about losing your superannuation in the event that your employer goes out of business. Your super fund will be protected even if your employer has to cease operations.

Q: Do the trustees of your super fund have specific responsibilities?

A: Yes, they do. The trustees of any superannuation fund have to make a lot of important decisions and choices concerning the day-to-day running of the fund. But they also need to follow the requirement and responsibilities as set out by the Superannuation Industry Act. These responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring that they always act honestly
  • Investing money carefully and properly, taking professional advice if they wish to
  • Ensuring that there are enough reserves in the fund to pay the benefits of the member when the time comes
  • Keeping the assets of the fund separate from the employer
  • Providing statistics, documentation, statements, etc to enable consumers to see how their funds are performing
  • Maintaining accurate records and accounts of the superannuation fund

Q: What are the record keeping responsibilities of trustees relating to superannuation funds?

A: There are a number of record keeping responsibilities that trustees of superannuation funds need to adhere to in accordance with the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act. This includes the following:

  • The maintenance of accurate records in relation to the superannuation fund
  • Ensuring that all accounts relating to the superannuation fund are kept up to date and accurate
  • Keeping copies of certain reports and maintaining records of trustee meetings
  • Ensure that the accounts are audited on an annual basis
  • File an annual return with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority

Q: What do trustees have to take into consideration when choosing superannuation funds?

A: Under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act, trustees are asked to take into consideration a number of different things with regards to superannuation funds. This includes:

  • Risks and returns. Trustees are asked to take into consideration the risks and the likely returns that can stem from investments taking into account the fund objectives and the investment strategy
  • Diversity of investments. The Act asks trustees to consider the variation and diversity of the investments in the fund's portfolio e.g. looking at spreading investments across different asset classes to reduce risk rather than having all of their eggs in one basket
  • Liquidity. Under the Act, trustees are also asked to take into consideration the liquidity of the investments in the funds based on its cash flow requirements
  • Meeting liabilities. Trustees are also required to take into consideration the needs of the superannuation fund in regards to being able to meet its current, as well as its possible future, liabilities

Tips for protecting your super

  • Keep your account log in details secret and don't share these publicly
  • Check your payslips regularly to ensure your employer is paying the correct amount of super into your fund
  • Check your superannuation statements regularly to ensure you're not being overcharged any incorrect fees
  • Lastly, compare super funds to make sure you're not paying more in fees than you need to be.

Compare your super options today

Name Product Past Performance - 1 Year Past Performance - 3 Years Performance - 5 Years Calculated fees p.a. on $50,000 balance
AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced option
0.56%
6.67%
7.37%
$411.18
AustralianSuper is an award-winning industry super fund and the largest super fund in Australia. The Balanced fund invests in a mix of different assets like shares, property and cash.
Virgin Money Super - Lifestage Tracker
-0.86%
6.46%
$358
Virgin Money Super's Lifestage Tracker invests in a range of different assets in line with your age, reducing your risk as you get older, and has some of the lowest fees in the market.
Sunsuper Lifecycle Balanced
-1.69%
5.7%
6.45%
$453
Sunsuper is an award-winning super fund with more than 1.4 million members. Its Lifecycle Balanced option invests your super in a mix of growth assets, and reduces your risk when you're near retirement.
QSuper Lifetime - Aspire 1
-0.35%
5.97%
6.91%
$315
QSuper is one of the largest member-owned funds in Australia. The QSuper Lifetime fund adjusts your investments each 7-10 years as you get older, so you're not taking on too much risk.
HESTA Balanced Growth
N/A
5.84%
6.27%
$538.53
HESTA is an industry super fund for the health and community services sector and open to all Australians. The Balanced Growth fund invests in a mix of asset classes without taking on too much, or too little, risk.
Spaceship GrowthX
11.93%
14.45%
$573
Spaceship's Growth X fund invests heavily in Australian and international shares, with a focus on technology stocks. This is a high-risk investment option that aims to deliver high returns over the long term. Performance figures and fees supplied by Spaceship, not Chant West.
Australian Catholic Super Lifetime - Grow
-0.39%
N/A
$588
A Catholic super fund open to all Australians and designed for people working in Catholic education, healthcare or aged care.The Lifetime One fund option changes your investment mix as you get older.
Australian Ethical Super Balanced
2.77%
6.88%
6.88%
$622
Certified by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia.
Australian Ethical seeks to invest in companies that have a positive impact on the planet, people and animals, such as renewable energy and healthcare while avoiding investments in coal, oil, tobacco and gambling.
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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 June 2020.
Disclaimer: 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. This article is general advice. You should consider your own personal circumstances before deciding if a superannuation product is right for you. Superannuation is a long term investment and past performance is not indicative of future performance.

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