When it comes to retirement, many of us may receive retirement income from various sources. For example, investments (inside and outside super) and social security entitlements. Importantly, if we desire to have a retirement lifestyle greater than what can be provided by sole reliance on the Age Pension and the benefits of Super Guarantee contributions—then a proactive approach to retirement planning is worth considering.
In light of the above, as a super fund member, you will soon be receiving your annual super statement. While this statement can be complex, it’s vital to engage with it-to stay informed, and make changes if applicable. Therefore, the below information can help you understand and assess several key areas covered in the statement.
Asset allocation Review your existing asset allocation (and underlying investments): the proportion of your super money invested in each different type of asset class (and sub-asset class). By reviewing this, you can assess if you are appropriately investing your super money, in line with your investment risk profile.
Investment performance Review the past performance of your investments: the performance of the investment options selected and your specific rate of return over a given period. By reviewing this, you can assess your investments' performance relative to other investments and super funds.
Super contributions Review your past super contributions history: By reviewing this, alongside other things (eg account balance, asset allocation, investment performance, and fees), you can assess your progression in terms of the accumulation of wealth for retirement. You can also assess your use of relevant contribution types and limits, and your employer’s payment of Super Guarantee contributions.
Super beneficiary nomination Review your existing beneficiary nomination: your beneficiary nomination details outline whom you have nominated to receive your super benefits upon your passing, and the nomination type you have used. By reviewing this, you can assess whether the details are up to date, valid and reflects your wishes.
Personal insurances Review your existing personal insurances: in most instances, you will find that you are able to hold personal insurances inside super, such as life, total and permanent disability and income protection insurance. By reviewing this, you can assess whether the cover (and features), and the insurance premiums payable for this cover, are appropriate, based on your personal circumstances.
Fees Review your existing fees: several fees may be payable with super. For example, member fees, admin fees, investment management fees, contribution fees, and insurance premiums. In broad terms, the lower the fees payable, the lower the impact on your ability to accumulate wealth. By reviewing this, you can assess if the fees payable are proportionate to the features and benefits, investment and insurance options, and advice services you receive-and the impact on your account balance.