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Superannuation is important ... because it's your money for your retirement

When you start off in the workforce, you might not have much in your superannuation fund. And your retirement may seem like it's a long way off. So it's easy to forget about your super savings.

But things change. As your employer and personal contributions add up over the course of your working life, your super could grow to become your largest single investment after the family home.

Super's low-tax framework is designed to help build up your nest egg so you don't have to rely on the basic Age Pension to make ends meet in retirement.

After a lifetime of hard work, many people don't want to be scrimping and saving in retirement. They want to maintain a decent standard of living, with enough money to spend time with family and friends, enjoy a range of leisure activities and reward themselves with a few overseas trips.

The Age Pension may not provide you with the retirement lifestyle you are seeking.

So taking a few simple steps now can put you in control and on the path to enjoying the retirement lifestyle you want.

Why you should care about your superannuation fund?Grow your superannuation with AMP

What is superannuation?

Successive governments have built super up into one of the most tax-effective ways to save for retirement over the course of your working life.

It generally works like this:

  • Contributions are made to your super account. These could be from your employer, you, your spouse and/or the government.
  • Your superannuation fund invests the money on your behalf, according to the investment strategy you have chosen, or the default investment strategy if you have not made an investment choice.
  • Net returns (earnings) on your investment go into your super account
  • Earnings are also invested and earn even more returns with a potential to grow your balance
  • You only pay 15% contributions tax on before-tax super contributions*. After-tax super contributions are not taxed going into the superannuation fund
  • Earnings are taxed at 15% - this is tax effective for many people to encourage them to invest for their retirement
  • The money is typically held until you reach your 'preservation age' or retire. Once you reach your preservation age you can:
    • continue to hold your money in super, paying 15% tax on earnings and making withdrawals when it suits you^
    • withdraw some or all of your money as a lump sum^
    • use some or all of this money to start a pension account that pays you a regular income

*Or 30% tax on pre-tax super contributions if you earn over $300,000 pa.
^You may be taxed on your super withdrawal, depending on your age when you make the withdrawal.

Boosting your super

Australians are leading longer and more active retirements than ever. So it's important to maximise your superannuation fund and give yourself the best chance of enjoying a comfortable retirement. There are things that you can do today to boost your super:

  1. Find your lost super. There are millions of 'lost' super accounts in Australia worth billions of dollars!1 Some of this could be your money. We can help you get your lost super back.
  2. Consolidate your super accounts to avoid paying multiple sets of fees and charges. You can do this online. There are some things you should consider before deciding whether to consolidate your super, such as whether there are any fees for consolidating (e.g. exit fees) or other loss of benefits (e.g. insurance).
  3. Consider your contributions strategy. It may be possible to make extra contributions to super from your pre-tax salary through salary sacrifice and take advantage of super's 15%* concessional contributions tax rate. Remember that there is a limit on the amount of pre-tax contributions you can make to your super each financial year. If you contribute more than the limit allowed, you will pay additional tax on your excess contributions.
  4. Taking advantage of government incentives like co-contributions and spouse contributions, if eligible.

*Or 30% tax on pre-tax super contributions if you earn over $300,000 pa.

So how much will you need in retirement?

The latest ASFA Retirement Standard estimates you'll need $56,406 a year to enjoy a comfortable retirement if you're part of a couple or $41,197 if you're single.2

But everyone's different. AMP's My Super Simulator can give you a sense of how much you may need to retire and whether you are on track, as well as helping you see the long-term effects on your superannuation for the things you can control.

1 Australian Taxation Office, Taxation statistics 2010-11, 'A summary of tax returns for the 2010-11 income year and other reported tax information for the 2011-12 financial year'.
2 http://www.superannuation.asn.au/resources/retirement-standard

Superannuation choices

We have solutions for many situations and needs:

  • Want to open an AMP super account? - AMP Flexible Super puts you in control and lets you tailor your account to suit your needs
  • DIY - AMP make it easier for you to run your own SMSF
  • Talk to an adviser - we can help you find one near you

Already have an AMP account?

 

What is MySuper?

  • MySuper is a simple default investment option for people who haven't made an active choice about how their super is invested.
  • If you haven't made an investment choice:
    • Your super contributions can be automatically directed to the AMP MySuper investment option
    • You can choose to continue to contribute to your existing default investment option (if applicable) or
    • You can select other investment options within your AMP super product.
  • If you have made an investment choice, your existing super balance and ongoing contributions will remain in your current investment option(s).

Is MySuper the right choice for me?

  • Contact your Financial Planner or locate a Financial Planner in your area to get professional advice on the investment option that best suits your needs.
  • Our 'Risk' profile tool establishes your attitude to risk to help guide you in choosing the right investment options.

Changing your investment options
It's easy to change how you want your super invested. Visit My Portfolio and select "Change my investment mix" or complete the 'Investment Options Selection' form. Please refer to your Product Disclosure Statement for more information.

Learn

  • Understanding finance can help you take control of your future. By making educated choices with your money, you have the potential to 'own tomorrow'.    
  • We have a range of education materials designed to help you.
Education and Tools
Watch these Videos for everything you need to know about super and more.
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