Given that your super is your money and will play a big role in your future, it’s important that you are familiar with some basics.
Am I eligible for super?
Generally, your employer must pay super (also called the super guarantee) into your super fund if you’re:
- - over 18 and you earn at least $450 (before tax) a month.
- - under 18, you work at least 30 hours a week and are paid a minimum of $450 (before tax) per month.
This applies whether you are a casual, part-time or full-time employee. Currently, the super guarantee is 9.5%.
You can also contribute to your super to help grow your account balance. Thanks to the principle of compounding, small amounts that you and your employer contribute to your super are a great way to help build your nest egg over time. So, the earlier you start, the better off you are likely to be when you retire.
Learn about the different ways you can boost your super balance.
What happens if I am eligible for super?
If you’re eligible for super, your employer will give you a superannuation standard choice form within 28 days from the day you start working for them. This is so your employer knows where to deposit your super contributions.
If you don’t make a choice of super fund or if your employment agreement doesn’t allow you to choose your own super fund, your employer will pay your super into their nominated super fund, which is also known as a default fund. Note that if your enterprise agreement is made on or after 1 January 2021, your employer can’t mandate that your super is paid to its nominated default fund.
What does my super fund do with my money?
Your super fund will invest the contributions received from you or your employer in either a default investment option or the investment option that you have selected. At Australian Catholic Superannuation, you can choose from 14 different options to suit your needs.
Read more about some of the things you should consider when choosing an investment option.
Are super contributions subject to taxes?
In most cases, it depends on whether the contributions are made before or after you’ve paid taxes on your salary.
Super contributions that you or your employer makes before tax (also known as pre-tax, concessional or salary sacrifice contributions) are subject to taxes. If you earn less than $250,000 a year, employer super guarantee contributions and your pre-tax contributions are taxed at 15%, or 30% if you earn more than $250,000 per year including super. Both of these tax rates are typically lower than the marginal tax rate that most people pay on their salaries*.
Contributions that you or your employer makes from your after-tax income (also called post-tax or non-concessional contributions) are not subject to further tax.
*Note that there are limits to the amount of concessional and non-concessional contributions that you can make each financial year. If you exceed these limits, you may have to pay extra tax. For more information about contribution caps, please refer to the Contributions – Superannuation Factsheet.
To learn more about the taxes on your super or pension, please refer to the following factsheets:
- - Tax and Superannuation – Superannuation Factsheet
- Tax and Account Based Pensions – Pension Factsheet
- - Tax and Superannuation – Superannuation Factsheet
Are the returns on my super investment taxed?
Yes they are. The earnings on your super investments are generally taxed at 15%.
Do I need to give my super my TFN?
While giving your super fund your TFN is not mandatory, it is a good idea to do so because it’ll ensure that you’re not paying extra tax on your super contributions.
When can I access my super?
Typically, you can withdraw your super when you reach:
- - age 65, even if you haven’t retired;
- - your preservation age and retire;
- - age 60 and resign from any employment arrangement from age 60; or
- - your preservation age and set up a transition to retirement pension.
If you’re aged 60 or over and have met a condition of release you are can withdraw your super tax-free.
There are limited circumstances where you can access your super earlier than the age requirements above. These circumstances can include a terminal medical condition, severe financial hardship or using your voluntary contributions in super towards the deposit for your first home.
For a full list of the conditions of release for your super, please refer to the following factsheets:
Are there other things I need to be aware of?
The following are other points that you may like to consider when making decisions about your super. For further details about our product and service offering, please refer to the Superannuation Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).
- - Your super fund may offer insurance cover and if it does, the premiums are deducted from your account balance. Australian Catholic Superannuation offers members total and permanent disability, death and income protection cover within their super. Find out more.
- - Super funds charge fees for the services they provide. Some of these fees are deducted from your account balance and include administration, investment and insurance. Other costs are reduced from the investment return before being applied to your account (indirect costs). You can read more about the fees charged by Australian Catholic Superannuation in the Fees and Costs - Superannuation factsheet.
- - If you change jobs, you can usually take your super fund with you. Signing up for another fund while keeping your existing one could mean that you end up paying duplicate fees. In this case, you may want to consider consolidating your accounts.
- - Your super fund may offer financial advice as part of their services. If you are a member of Australian Catholic Superannuation, we offer advice on your superannuation investments, contributions or insurance at no additional cost through our limited advice team. Alternatively, we also offer comprehensive advice that looks at a broader range of topics including your finances outside of superannuation and those of your partner’s, if applicable. Find out about the different types of financial advice services we offer or make an appointment today.
- - Whether you have many decades to go before you permanently leave the workforce or you’ve retired, it’s important to ensure that your super is working hard to meet your future needs. For instance, you may wish to check that your super is invested in an option that suits your tolerance for risk. Additionally, if you’re female, you may find that you have some catching up to do when it comes to your retirement savings. Find out why and what steps you can take to be financially confident.
Any advice contained on this webpage is of a general nature only, and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Prior to acting on any information on this webpage, you need to take into account your own financial circumstances, consider the Product Disclosure Statement for any product you are considering, and seek independent financial advice if you are unsure of what action to take.