All Australian workers are entitled to superannuation payments, contributing to their financial wellbeing after they retire.
However, many people are getting less than they should, because they lose money to the super funds in fees and charges.
Gareth Hutchens, in The Guardian, says Australian workers pay more than $30bn a year in super fees. A small increase in annual fees of just 0.5% can cost a typical full-time worker about 12% of their balance, roughly $100,000, by the time they retire.
Mr Hutchens suggests four ways you can make sure your super is safe.
Check your account
Because of changing jobs, many people end up with more than one super account, so they are paying multiple sets of fees, cutting into their super savings. It's easy to check how many super accounts you have on the MyGov website, my.gov.au. Registering with MyGov is quick, and there is no charge.
Consolidate your accounts
If you have more than one account, roll them all over into one. You can use one of your existing funds, or you can choose a new one. Some funds charge an exit fee, but this step could add over $50,000 to your retirement balance.
Choose the best fund
It's extremely difficult to compare multiple funds. The recent royal commission into banking and financial institutions revealed that some “retail” super funds, linked to the major banks, have been involved in repeated scandals involving billions of dollars, and other “questionable behaviour”. Work done by the Productivity Commission showed the best-performing funds in Australia were more likely to be run by industry super funds than retail funds.
Check your fees
This can also be difficult, but by law every fund must provide a product disclosure statement, disclosing the fees you are being charged. The most likely are an “administration fee” (typically a fixed dollar amount), and an “investment fee” (typically a percentage amount, which can vary each year). The other big cost will be the “insurance fee” linked to your super account. This will be found either in the product disclosure statement or a separate insurance guide.