20 Things to Think About To Choose the Right Fund For Your Needs

As you may already well know, investment track record is the only among the key elements – along with insurance and fees, the kind of administration as well as the services given by the members – in choosing the right super fund to suit your needs.

In ordinary situations, you can tell whoever hired you where you want your superannuation to be paid. However, in some cases, it is based on your employment arrangement. If you do not make a choice or tell whoever it is that hired you where you want your, superannuation paid, they are going to pay your donations into their superannuation fund of preference.

If you had $100,000 a decade ago into the most highly-performing balanced superannuation fund within the past ten years that dragon's egg might have been raised to $203,147 on August 2015, based on the findings of superannuation fund analyst group SuperRatings.

This mind-boggling difference of $65,798 past the charges and the taxes highlights the reason the option of your superannuation fund, and then the close checking of that fund are very important.

However, if you had rather placed $100,000 into the least highly-performing superannuation fund for the past ten years that dragon's egg would just be $137,349 this day.

Think of superannuation as your future investment and the sooner you begin keeping cash into your account; the better off you will be by the time that you retire. We assist you in safeguarding your future earnings since, over the long run, your superannuation increases from returns of investment and cash that is added to your account on a regular basis.

Superannuation is an essential technique if you are planning on saving for your retirement.

Donations

People who hire you give a required donation to your superannuation known as the Superannuation Guarantee (SG). At present, this is 9.5% of your annual wages (affected by income limits) and originates from your pre-tax salary.

There are also other kinds of donations that could aid you in raising your superannuation.

• Prior to tax – has earnings sacrifice donations that you made as well as deductible donations made by independent members.
• Past tax – has whatever additional donations you create from your take-home wages.
• Government Co-donation – is dependent on your wages. You might be qualified to acquire Government Co-donations if you have post-tax donations to your superannuation. To check if you are qualified, go to australiansuper.com/CoContributions

Incentives and tax breaks are provided by the Government to motivate you to raise your savings for retiring and raise your superannuation as time goes by.

In normal circumstances, you can’t get to your superannuation savings until you are 55 or over (based on the year of your birth).

To know more about an age of preservation, go to AustralianSuperFinder.com.au.

It’s your superannuation, it’s your option.

1. Use a checklist of important aspects when selecting a superannuation fund
In the Australian Handbook of Financial Planning, written by Thomson Reuters, veteran superannuation writer, and Editor Stuart Jones writes among the most thorough checklists present for selecting a superannuation fund.

2. Put a great premium on quality insurance which has high competition
To make an instance of a superannuation fund that provides quality insurance coverage, director of editorial and research, Alex Dunnin, with the Rainmaker/SelectingSuper organization, directs us to Intrust Super, a small scale industry Fund who specializes in retail workers, tourism and hospitality and – as one that provides innovative insurance coverage. Dunnin says, in addition that Intrust performs consistently.

What funds provide the deals of insurance which are considered the best? The insurance coverage for a certain member considered as the best can depend a lot on the member’s situation. And it is really wise to take a look around.

It is pointless to have a 30-day period of waiting for income-protection insurance if you are entitled to three months’ leave due to sickness. A longer period of waiting must mean smaller premiums.

Aspects of comparison are expense, availability of immediate tolerance (some funds let members have considerable disability/death insurance coverage without medical) as well as waiting times for income-protection insurance.

Insurance could be the main cause for looking everywhere for a different superannuation fund. Maybe your present fund might not provide insurance coverage that is competitive or maybe you wish to put a raise on the insurance coverage.

3. Acquire the best pension deal

The quality of standard retirement and TRIP or transition-to-retirement pensions offered by superannuation funds is becoming increasingly essential given the fast aging of the population. And competition among pension products is becoming increasingly fierce as funds plan to keep members through their savings and pension stages.

Features to look for in pension stage include good underlying investment performance, competitive expenses, adjustability and ease-of-use, and the presence of in-house financial planning recommendation.

SuperRatings has named AustralianSuper as the top retirement/pension fund for 2015. The other finalists were VicSuper, Telstra Super, Sunsuper Income Account, REST Allocated Pension, Qsuper, Frontier Pension, OnePath OneAnswer, Mine Wealth plus Wellbeing, Club and Allocated Pension, Catholic Superannuation Pension.

4. Superannuation Risks

• All investments, including superannuation, have some risk.
• How you have to invest your superannuation is going to be influenced by your age, the length of time that you will be investing your superannuation, other investments that you might have and your tolerance for volatility.
• Volatility happens when the returns on your investment rise and fall over a certain time period. The amount of volatility your superannuation investment could possibly have is going to rely on the kinds of assets that your superannuation is invested in.
• Assets are investments like shares, property, fixed interest or money.
• Different kinds of assets have various levels of particular returns and volatility.
• In general, higher returns are mixed along with the higher potential for volatility shortly.

You can select from a wide array of investment choices, every one of them with a different combination of assets. So, the most probable return of investment and the amount of potential return volatility involved is unique for every choice.

When you consider your superannuation, it is very essential to remember that:

• investment returns could rise or fall over a certain period of time and the value of investments is going to change, so the value of your superannuation could also rise and fall
• conservative investing might have a lot of risks since over the long term your investment might not earn a return over the rate of inflation
• There are no guarantee of returns, and you could lose a bit of your cash
• returns in the past are not a trusted indicator of returns in the future
• the laws that influence your superannuation could vary
• the level of your future superannuation savings (including returns and donations) might not be adequate for your retirement.

5. Charges and Expenses

Charges for the balanced choice - Important Facts

Minute differences in both performance of investment and charges and expenses could have a significant influence on your permanent returns. For example, overall yearly fees and expenses of 2% of your balance instead of 1% could diminish your last return by up to 20% during a period of 30 years (for example, diminish it from $100,000 to $80,000).

You need to consider if the features like great investment performance or the provision of better member services mean higher charges and expenses. Your employer might be able to negotiate to pay smaller administration charges. Inquire from the fund or your financial adviser.

To know more

If you would like to know more, or know about the effect of fees based on your own situation, the ASIC or Australian Securities and Investments Commission website (moneysmart.gov.au) has a super calculator to assist you in finding different charge choices.

How fees are charged to your account

The expenses to handle your investment are paid from investment income before they are being added to your account. Administration charges are paid from your account and shown on your statement.

6. How superannuation is taxed

Tax on donations

The tax paid on superannuation donations relies on your age as well as the level and kind of donation. Tax is applied after the donation is acquired. There are caps on the amount that you can donate, and if you go beyond these caps you could pay additional tax.

• If your wages (such as your pre-tax donations) is above $300,000, all or a few of your pre-tax donations are going to be taxed at 30%.
• Including the Medicare tax of 2%.
• Including the Temporary Budget Repair tax of 2%.
• Investment wages tax: Investment wages are applied with tax up to 15%. This tax is subtracted from the crediting percentage which is applicable to your superannuation, before the income is credited to your account.
• Tax on withdrawals: If you are below 60, tax on withdrawals is diminished before getting your payment. Withdrawals are usually free of tax if you are 60 years old or over.

7. Selecting the cream of the crop

Obviously, some superannuation funds provide an excellent mix of low costs, highly competitive priced and excellent insurance, adequate investment selection for a member’s necessities and consistent performance with a portfolio balanced at the core (if it is being desired).

A balanced portfolio that is low-cost: A third superannuation fund to get to a low-cost, consistently-performing portfolio which is balanced. A fund that has highly competitive charges and solid performance in the permanent future is quite adequate for this reason.

Wide and adjustable investment option: A second superannuation fund to keep your choice of funds for investment and probably channel shares. (Commercial master funds and super wraps offer a huge array of managed funds for investment. And super wrap platform for investment also provide direct shares.)

Insurance: A single fund to give proper and highly-competitive insurance coverage.

8. Save on expenses

Alex Dunn, an employee of Rainmaker/SelectingSuper, tells us about focusing too much on expenses and not having ample consideration regarding other factors like member’s services, performance, and insurance.

Rice Warner’s recent report which they just released about super charges for the Council of Financial Services reveals that members throughout all kinds of superannuation funds paid overall average charges of 1.1% in the year 2013-14. (Fees paid towards balances.) The report shows charge differences in various kinds of superannuation funds.

These overall average charges (which cover advice, fund administration as well as management of investment whenever it applies) for various superannuation sectors include: self-managed super funds or SMSFs, 1.04%, personal superannuation 1.64%, public-sector 0.80%, industry funds 0.96%, large corporate master trusts 0.86% and corporate funds 0.64%.

The large portions of super savings discussed in the Rice Warner report are in portfolios which are balanced.

Nevertheless, fund members must treat high fees as a handicap to their real returns of investment.

9. Think about putting your money in a wide array of superannuation of funds

By way of the master fund, he has placed his money in fund managers of the boutique that specialize in small-scale companies, infrastructure, and resources. And his required employer donations were channeled towards the default selection of an industry trust that gave excellent income protection as well as death insurance.

Some superannuation consultant said to SmartCompany a back in the old days that he had a membership with around six superannuation funds. He selects the best types of various funds to form something to be what he claims is the most amazing combination of superannuation funds for his situation.

Freeborn provides the example of somebody who has an attraction to a superannuation fund due to the great quality infrastructure of where they put their money but does not like the other investment choices. So it could be proper to put their investment in their other superannuation savings in a different fund.

Members of funds are frequently told by their very own superannuation funds as well as by groups such as the Australian Securities and Insurance Commission or ASIC to put together their superannuation savings into one fund to trim down expenses. If this suggestion is proper for members who have low balances, a lot of members are going to acquire comfort and probably raise their chances by distributing their superannuation through some of the funds.

Perhaps our most ordinary duplicated expenses for staying for more than a single superannuation fund is fund administration charges for fixed-dollars of around $78 a year or $1.50 per week. Most fees that a member bears are for the management of where you place your money relying on a rate of your super assets therefore this expense does not usually vary with how many funds there are.

A different scenario is a known member of, say, a superannuation sponsored by an employer fund who has negotiated a really amazing deal for group insurance for the members. Freeborn states that the member could make a decision to leave adequate amounts in the fund of whoever hired the member to make the account stay open however to put their superannuation savings in a trust that fulfills their other superannuation requirements better.

Another superannuation fund consultant expressed to SmartCompany back in the old days that he has a membership of two superannuation funds, an industry fund and a retail master funding. “I utilize my retail master funding to place my investment in chances that are not available in other formats,” according to him. “It really is a risky portfolio yet it, is right for me with my phase.”

“The best situation is that you have one fund that caters to your needs based on charges, insurance, and investments,” according to Steve Freeborn.

“It is going to be unusual for one fund to be unable to locate one fund to cater to the needs of the members. However, it does not signify that each fund that caters to everything that anyone needs.”

It could also be viable to choose going away from insurance with a few of your superannuation funds to minimize expenses.

One superannuation fund researcher frankly expressed to SmartCompany: “I think it could be misguiding to state that superannuation fund members should not have several superannuation funds due to expenses. It’s nonsense.”

Maybe, the main setback of having several funds is the job of monitoring their performance, assets and costs distribution. A basic principle of really good investment wisdom is to make sure that your total portfolio for where you put your money is properly varied for returns and risks.

10. Differentiate funds – for nothing

AppleCheck gives such details as performance from one to ten years, administration and investment management charges, insurance choices and expenses, and the quality of administration and member services.

Many superannuation funds – even NGS Super, AustralianSuper, Sunsuper and First State Super – offer an online service, AppleCheck, from superannuation fund researcher Chant West. This lets you compare various superannuation funds at a time.

11. Determine the superannuation funds used by the professionals

All workers of another superannuation fund research group assert their right to select a fund. They are members of a wide selection of industry and retail funds.

One superannuation fund research institute, which is going to remain anonymous, utilizes a big-time industry fund for the right type for its workers who have not had a choice of fund. But not surprisingly for a superannuation fund researcher, a lot of workers have made their decision.

A lot of professional superannuation analysts are going to agree, at least off-the-record, that a consistently-performing, low-cost industry, corporate or government superannuation fund is perhaps the most proper choice for most fund members – for both the saving and retirement stages.

12. Don’t stay too long with poor administration of funds

Rainmaker/SelectingSuper employee Alex Dunn states that these commercial super providers such as Macquarie and BT have placed a lot of effort into giving great administration systems.

For example, SmartCompany mentions of an independent member of among the biggest industry funds that have given attention to this fund, with the use of the correct form, with his wish to acquire $100,000 reduction of tax for personal donations. (During this period, tax deductible donations that amounted to this were tolerated, based on the age of the member.)

The telephone assistance service of a different fund for a huge industry was not able to give a fund member with a precise total of donations over the fiscal year of 2014-15 during the month’s right when the financial year was through. The necessary details were not accessible on their website due to what seems to be technical problems.

Rather than taking the right course of action, the fund really took away the $100,000 from the balance of the member. It ended up with the participation of senior fund management to correct the error.

You could have heard a few horror stories about superannuation fund administration that has gone terribly wrong. Unfortunately, a few of these accounts mention the administration services utilized by a few of Australia’s largest industry superannuation funds.

13. Look at award winners

SuperRatings called the public-offer industry fund CareSuper as the best “choice” superannuation fund for accumulating superannuation savings. Six of the other finalists in the accumulation “choice” classification were VicSuper, UniSuper, Telstra Super, Sunsuper, Qsuper, Plum Super Fund, Mine Wealth and Wellbeing, HOSTPLUS and Equip.

CareSuper is also treated as the best MySuper fund for your employees who do not choose a fund.

SuperRatings, which compared more than 620 superannuation funds to this month, named the $60-plus billion state government fund QSuper as its fund of the year, giving the “best value for money” during the pension and accumulation stages.

A direct way to determine a top all-round superannuation fund based on performance, fees, and services is to look at the award winners.

14. Count expenses of high performance

As elaborated above, members who do not keep track of their fund’s performance could be throwing money away.

15. What is a working percentage?

For most Superannuation Funds, there are three various work ratings – Standard, Low Risk, and Professional. The kind of work you are going to do will define your work percentage, which makes a difference to the amount that you pay for your insurance or how much coverage you will acquire.

Normally, the more dangerous your job, the more you pay for insurance.

Your work percentage is Professional, which is the highest work percentage available and gives the cheapest coverage.

16. Check the performance of your superannuation fund

“Our performance, together with the donations, will in the end, dictate the size of our nest egg as well as the date of our retirement,” according to Steve Freeborn of Rice Warner.

Should your superannuation fund lag in the lower percentile for five years or more, you might as well ask if your long-term goals for your savings are going to be fulfilled.

Rainmaker/SelectingSuper representative Alex Dunnin recommends that members in an ideal situation consider funds that make a top of the line performance within a period of three to five years. According to him performance rankings “jump around” shortly basis in such a way that members have to look past the returns for the short-term.

Members of funds have to check closely their fund's performance as well as be on the lookout if its performance is slowing down within the medium term. An easy way to monitor the performance is to learn about the performance tables of the superannuation fund researchers like Chant West, SelectingSuper and SuperRatings.

17. Insurance in the superannuation

After joining a Superannuation Fund, you have to get basic Death, TPD or Total & Permanent Disablement and Income Protection coverage, depending on your age.

This coverage provides you with a basic amount of security during the time of your death, or become injured or ill.

• Death coverage – gives a lump sum to your dependents or your legal personal representative (executor of your property).
• Total and Permanent Disablement cover – gives you a lump sum if you are going to be totally and disabled in the long run.
• Income Protection – gives payments monthly if you become disabled temporarily.

Your basic level of Death and Total and Permanent Disablement coverage is given in units, and every unit gives a specific level of coverage for your age. You pay a set amount for every unit. The expense for every unit is not going to change, but your cover gets smaller as you become older.

• The cost of coverage is rounded to the closest cent.
• If you are below 35 when you take part, your coverage is going to increase immediately if you become 20, 25 and 35. Your coverage is going to increase to the amounts in the above table.
• However, if you create any variations to your basic coverage (including varying your work rating), then your coverage is not going to increase any longer immediately when you get older.
• If you are 35 years old or above if you join, you will keep the same amount of units if you do not opt to increase or decrease your coverage. • You can select a fixed amount of coverage, but the expense for your coverage is going to rise as your age increases. See our Insurance in your superannuation guide for more information.

When your coverage begins

Your insurance coverage will not begin until you acquire an employer donation into your account.

18. Don’t miss direct investment choices of industry funds

To elaborate this, Super Fund features like AustralianSuper’s Member Direct option lets members to invest in the terms deposits, S&P/ASX300 and ETFs or exchanged trading funds in the accumulation and pension stages.

A fund member wishing to select direct local shares while not being interested in selecting investment managers could find that the direct investment choices of these superannuation funds as AustralianSuper and CareSuper fulfill their needs.

19. Never ruin your insurance coverage when interchanging superannuation funds

People who wish to switch most of their superannuation savings from a large superannuation fund to a self-managed superannuation fund or SMSF often leave enough in the big fund to maintain their existing group insurance coverage.

When needed, you can keep a sufficient balance in the old fund to keep the insurance in place.

“Get your insurance coverage accepted in your new fund before leaving your old fund,” according to Freeborn.

This is particularly of dire importance if you have an existing medical condition. The new fund could deny your insurance coverage or apply high premium loadings.

A common insurance trap can happen when you roll all of your superannuation balance into another fund before you check if your current insurance cover is accessible with the new fund for similar premiums.

20. Change your coverage

You can increase, reduce or cancel your coverage. Find out the right amount of coverage for you – use our Insurance calculator at australiansuper.com/calculators

Basic Income Protection Coverage

The table below reveals the amount of Income Protection coverage you will get if you join and how much it is going to cost. If you are temporarily not able to work because you are sick or injured, you can be paid up to the monthly coverage level for up to two years. But payments cannot be more than 85% of your salary (with up to 75% being paid to you and 10% going into your superannuation).

Salary is your yearly (before-tax) salary, without the inclusion of your employer superannuation donations.

The weekly expense for Income Protection is rounded to the closest cent.

If you are below 25 if you join, your coverage is going to rise immediately if you become 25 years old. Your coverage is going to rise to the amount in the above table. However, if you make any variations to your coverage (including varying your work percentage, privilege payment period or waiting period), then your coverage is not going to increase any longer immediately as your age increases.

If you are 25 years old or older by the time that you join, you are going to keep the same amount of units if you do not choose to increase or decrease your coverage.

Limited coverage

Limited coverage means that you will not be covered for any sickness or injuries you had before you got your coverage.

There are many reasons why your coverage is going to be limited coverage, including if you are not in active employment when your coverage begins, you get additional coverage without providing detailed health information, you are getting paid income support payments, you have been paid a Total and Permanent Disability benefit before, or your basic coverage begins more than six months after you began work with your AustralianSuper employer.

If you increase your coverage without giving detailed health information, your extra coverage is going to be limited coverage for at least two years. If your coverage is limited coverage for other reasons, limited coverage could last for different lengths of time.

See our Insurance in your super guide for full information regarding the time your coverage may be limited coverage and how long it will last.

Active employment entails that you are employed or independent, and sickness or injury isn’t limiting you from enacting the normal responsibilities of your full-time work (at least 30 hours every week), even if you are not working full-time. The Insurer makes this verification.

Australian Super Finder is here to Help

Choosing a super fund can be quite complex, and sometimes you just like to know that you are making the correct decisions since the correct decisions about your superannuation could make a true difference to your financial future.

So if you have a few questions, or you just wish the comfort of knowing that you are on the proper track, why not give us a call?

We can address simple concerns over the phone, or if your circumstance is more complicated, we can have a total financial plan. It all depends on you, no obligation, just call 1300 650 873.

Disclaimer: All information on this website is of a general nature only. We have not taken into account your financial situation, needs or objectives. You need to make up your own mind and ascertain yourself if it is right for you. We recommend you read the product disclosure statement(s) and the financial services guide before making any financial decision.

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All information on this website is of a general nature only. We have not taken into account your financial situation, needs or objectives. You need to make up your own mind and ascertain yourself if it is right for you. We recommend you read the product disclosure statement(s) and the financial services guide before making any financial decision.