Why now could be a good time to consolidate your super
29 June 2022
Over 4 million Australians were reported to have two or more super accounts at 30 June 2020. While this might seem harmless, surplus accounts charge around $450 million in fees every year1 in Australia – money that should be funnelled into retirement funds.
The benefits of consolidating your super
Consolidating your super means combining superannuation from different funds into a single account. While having more than one super account might not seem like a big issue, there are two big advantages to consolidating your accounts.
Money savings: superannuation funds charge fees to provide their services, so having more than one account will unnecessarily eat into your super. So the more super accounts you have, the less money you’ll likely have to spend in retirement. Focusing on a single account means only a single set of fees to worry about.
Easier to manage: having all of your super in one place can make it easier to manage and keep track of how your super is performing, especially over the long-term.
The Australian Government aims to prevent unnecessary new accounts with a superannuation reform called “Your Future, Your Super”. As part of the legislation, from 1 November 20212 your existing super account is likely to be ‘stapled’ to you if you change employer, unless you choose another fund under Choice of Fund. Stapling means that your new employer must pay your super contributions into your existing ‘stapled’ super account, rather than create a new account on your behalf.
Re-evaluating your super now can be a great way to prepare for these changes. It’s a good opportunity to work out the fees you are paying, whether your current fund is underperforming, or if it still suits your needs – especially if you’re looking for employment in a different industry. Otherwise, it’s possible that getting an underperforming super account stapled to you could cost you in the long-run.
What to check before consolidating your super
Super funds are rarely identical, so contacting your current super fund is important. Your current super fund can give you a clearer idea of what you might lose or miss out on if you transfer. It’s also a useful opportunity to learn about any possible fees or charges that may apply and investment impacts you may not have yet considered.
There are a few things you need to consider before you choose to transfer any super to another fund, such as:
- life insurance
- total and permanent disability insurance
- income protection insurance
If you’re eligible for any – or even all – of these covers in your current fund, transferring your super to another fund could change this. You may lose one or more of your covers, or you might have trouble finding similar cover on the same terms.
Consider your tax obligations: if you’re eligible to claim a tax deduction for personal superannuation contributions, you’ll need to provide a notice of intent to claim to your current fund before requesting to transfer to your new fund.
Check relevant benefits: sometimes changing funds affects other valuable benefits. Some employers contribute more to certain funds, such as those in the public sector, and others may pay for insurance cover and fees if you’re a member of the default fund they’ve chosen.
Let your employer know: if your employer is still paying super into a fund you’re leaving, you’ll need to provide them with details of the new fund as soon as possible. If you don’t, they won’t know to start contributing to your new fund. If you already have a Suncorp super account you can find out how to do this here.
Getting help with your super consolidation
Consolidating your super can be complex and is an important decision. We recommend that you refer to the relevant product disclosure statement and consider getting advice from a financial adviser beforehand.
Financial advisers can use their expertise to take into account your personal circumstances and provide you with a solution that caters to your specific needs.
How to consolidate your super
Consolidating your super is simple. If you feel it's right for you, you can either:
Use myGov: if you have a myGov account, log into the ATO portal to see all of your super accounts. You can then use the super consolidation option to combine your superannuation into a single account.
Contact your fund: you can contact either your current fund or your new fund when planning your super consolidation and they’ll consolidate your super for you. If you’re a Suncorp super member and want to consolidate your other super into a Suncorp super account, simply login to your online account and click Search & combine, under the Grow my super tab3.
Send paper forms: if you don’t have internet access, you can also organise super consolidation using paper forms provided by either the ATO or your super fund.
Consider consolidating your super today
Consolidating your super might only take a few minutes, but it could be a great way to get more out of your superannuation. If you’re looking to consolidate your super with a new account, check out Suncorp’s super products. Our transparent fees, extensive investment choice, comprehensive insurance options and easy-to-use online tools can help you build your financial future. Please refer to the relevant Suncorp super product disclosure statements at www.suncorp.com.au/super for more information.
1 Treasury: Your Future, Your Super
2 Your new employer will be required to treat your existing super fund as being ‘stapled’ to you if certain legislative conditions are satisfied.
3 If you request a search via the Search & Combine tool, you will be asked to agree to us transferring any lost super or unclaimed money held by the ATO for you into your Suncorp super account. If you don’t agree, we won’t be able to conduct a search for you, but you still have the option to search for and consolidate any super through your MyGov account. If you have another super fund account, you should consider whether it would be better for any ATO held super to be transferred into it instead.