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As the royal commission continues to expose the dirty secrets of some of the leading superannuation funds, it’s no surprise that so many Australians are finding themselves disillusioned with the industry in general.
However, despite the wrongdoings of some, there are still plenty of Super funds offering a great service and even better returns, and switching over could be as simple as submitting an online form.
Take a look at our tips below on how to spot a great Super fund and get the best return on your retirement savings.
Check out the fees
The first thing to look out for when comparing Super funds is the fees you are going to be charged. While it sounds simple enough, it can actually be more difficult than many realise. Often, fees aren’t made obvious, so you’ll really need to go over your product disclosure statement with a fine tooth comb.
Usually, Super funds charge two different types of fees, investment and administration, however they can be laid out as a percentage of your total savings, so it’s important to do the math and determine the exact figures.
As well as these, some funds may charge for things like advice fees, switching fees and leaving fees – so it pays to make sure you’re aware of these ahead of time. Needless to say, the lower each of these fees are, the better off you will be – as it will mean less eating away at your hard earned savings.
Consider the investment options
While low fees are ideal, you may also want to consider the extensive range of investment opportunities that Super funds can offer. Most funds will allow you to choose from a variety of conservative to high growth investment options depending on your own individual preferences.
As can be expected, the high growth options will generally come with higher risk and more volatile returns in the short term, but will usually bring in a much higher return in the long run.
While investing your super in high growth options is not advised for those who are close to retirement age, the younger generation could stand to see some serious gain if they’re prepared to wait it out.
Look for any extra benefits
Next up, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for any extra benefits you could be entitled to. While employers are required to pay a minimum of 9.5% towards your Super fund of choice, some companies may actually pay more if you sign up with their preferred fund.
Furthermore, some funds offer great incentives for those who choose to make voluntary contributions on top of their employer-paid Super.
Ask about insurance
Another important aspect to consider is whether or not your Super fun offers and kind of insurance – and making sure you aren’t doubling up!
Often, Super policies will come with things such as income protection and life insurance as a default, so if you have already signed up for this sort of coverage elsewhere you will need to ensure they are removed so that you aren’t paying for the same thing twice.
Alternatively, you may find better coverage for a more affordable cost within a Super fund, and decide to cancel your pre-existing coverage and save some extra money instead!
Compare the performance
With these other points in mind, your final duty should be to compare the performance with other funds offering a similar service. You want to make sure they are going to bring in a good return before you sign up, and the best way to do this is to look at the results from the last 5 to 10 years.
Keep in mind, we don’t recommend chasing last year’s best performer, and Super comparison websites aren’t always the most reliable sources. Be sure to do your own research and find out exactly what you’re getting in to before making any final commitments.