Today millions of people around the world celebrate International Women’s Day, championing the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and focussing on increasing gender equality globally. International Women’s Day began more than one hundred years ago and there has been much to celebrate over that time; the right to vote, increased workforce participation, increased legal rights and financial freedom are just some of the positive outcomes campaigned for by women and men over the last century.
One challenge that many women continue to face is achieving sufficient superannuation for their retirement. In Australia today, on average, women retire with about half the balance in their super than men. There are many factors at play, but often this difference is driven by lower income, lower contributions during career breaks to care for children and family and by working part time. Women also tend to live five years longer than men, which means they need their retirement balance to last just that bit longer.
It can be daunting to think about, but small changes today can have a significant impact on your super balance in the future. Here are three easy steps to help you boost your account balance and enable you to live out a purposeful retirement.
Step 1: Understand your super
We understand that superannuation can be a daunting concept. However, having a working knowledge of how it functions can be a very powerful tool to empower you to take responsibility for your financial future. You can visit our “understanding super” page here to help you understand some of the ins and outs.
To get a better picture of your specific account, start by logging into ‘Member Access’, your online account which gives you access to your account balance, personal details, transaction history, ‘SuperEquip’ (advice tool), investment options and much more.
Use your ‘MemberAccess’ to make sure you’re in an investment option that’s suited to your needs, understand the fees you are paying and check that your insurances are appropriate for your financial needs. As you begin to understand and take in this information, you might find it helpful to discuss this information with someone. Our friendly Member Care Team are only a phone call away and would be happy to discuss any questions or queries you might have.
Step 2: Consolidate your Super
An essential step to maximising your Super is to make sure all your Super is in one place. The recent productivity commission highlighted members risk losing $50,000+ over the course of their working life by having two super accounts (the compounding effect of fees and insurance costs). This can easily be $100 000 or more for those with more accounts. Thankfully consolidating your super can be so easy!
There are two ways to consolidate your super:
- The easiest way to do this is to give us a call on 1300 360 907, and we can consolidate your Super for you in a matter of minutes!
- Alternatively, if you are familiar with the government’s ‘MyGov’ website you can login and do it online.
Step 3: Boost your Super
Consider speaking to your employer about making additional contributions from your salary. You can even make your own contributions with the purpose of claiming a tax deduction on these contributions at the end of the financial year. Additionally, if you have a spouse you could consider the benefits of them making Spouse Contributions into your account, in some situations allowing them to receive a tax rebate. These small contributions can make a huge difference to the health of your retirement savings in the long run.
Compound interest is a powerful tool and starting early, even if small, can have a significant impact on your balance in the future. This is especially useful if you plan to take time off, whether it be to have children, or to pursue further study or a move to switch to part time work rather than full time. Each of us has a different story but there are some common strategies that can be used to effectively manage your Super through these periods.
In addition to the benefits of compound interest, government schemes such as the Low-Income Superannuation Tax Offset (LISTO) and the Government Co-contributions for low to middle income earners encourage you to contribute with Government incentives of up to $1000 based on eligibility criteria.
If you would like more information on any of this information, please call our Member Care Team on 1300 360 907 alternatively you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: The content of this article includes advice that is general in nature and does not consider your personal situation. Christian Super encourages all people considering their options in retirement planning to seek out qualified professionals who can provide specific personal advice.