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Those who know their exact retirement balances are the most likely to say they are in an above average performing super fund, new research reveals.
Just one in four Australians with super (26 per cent) know their balance exactly and regularly monitor its performance.
But this group is likely to have higher balances and say they are in the best performing funds.
“People who check their super are generally happier with how their fund is performing- the more engaged you are, the more likely you are to make good financial decisions,” Industry Super Australia chief executive Bernie Dean said.
“Spending a little more time checking your super could spare many people a lifetime of economic pain caused by being stuck with a dud fund that robs you of hundreds of thousands from your retirement.
“Check you are getting what is legally owed, that you’re in a fund with a long-term history of good performance, combine multiple accounts and invest extra in super if you can – getting engaged with super now will give you the best chance at a financially secure future.”
A UMR survey of 1,042 Australians found overall 37 per cent rate their super fund as above average or excellent.
But more than half (54 per cent) of those who claim to know their exact balance say their fund’s performance is at least above average, compared with 28 percent of those who check their super balance once a year and 13 per cent of those who regularly check it.
Men are more likely to say they are in a good fund – 47 per cent of men rate their fund’s performance as at least above average, compared with 29 percent of women.
Only 12 percent of people with a super fund rated its performance as below average or very poor.
Age does not determine engagement with super either – 30 percent of over 55s claim to know their super balance exactly, but so do 26 per cent of those aged 35-54 and 23 per cent of those aged 18-34.
With the quieter summer holiday upon us Industry Super Australia is urging Australians to get to know their super fund, this research shows the more engaged members are happier with their funds performance.
There are four easy steps workers can take to get engaged with super:
First, make sure you are being paid all your legal entitlements. Unpaid superannuation impacts three million workers a year – costing them a total of $5 billion.
Second, consolidate your super funds into one account, finding lost or unpaid super is simple now using the Australian Tax Office tools.
Third, compare the pair and make sure you are with a top performing super fund. Investment returns after fees are the most important metric in measuring performance. The stapling reform has meant that workers who don’t switch out of poor performers are stuck there for life, ISA research shows being stuck to a dud super fund potentially costs up to $225,000 at retirement.
Fourth, consider making extra contributions to super. A 30-year-old on average wages that salary sacrifices $20 a week into super, has $67,000 more at retirement and gets a tax saving now.
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