Super basics

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Super is a means of saving for your retirement which is, in part, compulsory.

Super is a tax-effective way to save for your retirement. At a glance:

  • your employer pays money into your super and you can too
  • your super fund invests your money for you to help your savings grow
  • when you retire, this money can be used to pay you a regular income.

Because it’s designed to provide an income for retirement, withdrawals prior to retirement generally aren’t allowed, unless you meet special conditions (called conditions of release).

You can learn more about super in our How super works fact sheet.

What's so special about super?

The thing that makes super so special is the way it’s taxed. Unlike the returns on other investments, which are typically taxed at marginal income tax rates (as high as 45%), super investment returns are taxed up to 15% depending on your investment options.

Your money can potentially grow in value faster than other investments you may have.

It can be a good idea to also make your own contributions if you can – giving up a few dollars now can really help improve your lifestyle later. There are certain tax benefits and government payments to super that may also be available depending on your circumstances.

How does your account work?

Your account balance is made up of:

Money that goes into your account

  • contributions paid by yourself, your employer, your spouse or the Federal Government
  • transfers from other super funds
  • investment returns, when positive.

Money that comes out of your account

  • applicable taxes, fees and costs
  • any insurance costs
  • investment returns, when negative
  • any withdrawals you make
  • transfers to other super funds.

Why top up your super?

There are lots of good reasons to grow your super including:

  • the government Age Pension alone won’t fund a comfortable retirement lifestyle
  • investing in super may have tax benefits
  • you might live to be 100, and your money needs to last for as long as you do
  • the cost of living keeps going up.

Where should you start?

Super can be daunting, but the basics aren’t. Put simply, you’re saving money now for your retirement later.

Don’t be afraid of your super. Take these simple steps to get started, or call us if you need some help.