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Unpaid super costing workers tens of thousands of dollars

Workers on the cusp of retirement who are short changed on their superannuation entitlements have nest eggs that are tens of thousands of dollars less than those who are paid correctly.

Using the latest ATO data from 2013-14, the research from Industry Super Australia found that people aged 60 to 64 on salaries ranging from $50,000 to $75,000 who weren’t correctly paid their SG that year, had overall super balances that were $35,089 or almost 40 per cent less than those who were.

Across all ages and all salaries, those Australians who were underpaid their super had balances that were $19,709 or 47 per cent lower than those who had received it.

Australian law requires employers to contribute 9.5 per cent in superannuation towards every worker over the age of 18 earning more than $450 (gross) a month. This is the Superannuation Guarantee.

However, a report released late last year found that 2.4 million or one-third of entitled workers were denied their SG in 2013-14. For the average worker, this represented $1,489 or four months’ worth of savings.

This new work draws from an ATO 2 per cent sample file of matched personal tax and superannuation records for 2013-14 and analyses the difference in balances for people who are underpaid employer super by nine categories of age and by six categories of wage and salary. In the matrix of 54 combinations, underpaid super was associated with a markedly lower balance in all combinations.

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Understanding various kinds of super fees

February 16, 2018

No matter the kind of superfund you opt for, you will be subject to super fees. Understanding how these fees work and the difference they can make to your next egg is vital.

When it comes to superfund fees, there are two factors you need to get your head around; the kinds of fees you are being charged and the rate of fees you pay. Opting for a superfund based on these two factors can see you retire with hundreds of thousands more money.

You should be aware of the various types of fees you are being charged. If you would like to find out the fees you are being charged, you should do two things. Firstly, Google your fund’s product disclosure statement and scroll through to the fees section. You should see a list of different types of fees, with an explanation of what they are, how they are applied, and how often they will be incurred. Secondly, you should log in to your superfund account and take note of all the fees being charged to you. Investigate how closely these correspond and correlate with the product disclosure statement.

If you feel there are discrepancies, do not hesitate to contact your superfund or financial advisor and ask for clarification. It is worthwhile doing your research and comparing the fees you are being charged against other super funds and what they charge. Being complacent and not paying attention to your super is extremely irresponsible; the dividends you will receive later in life for being diligent now outweighs the burden of taking time to be informed today.

Some of the common super fees across the board include:

Another major factor contributing to how much you accumulate in your super account throughout your working life is the rate of fees you pay. Plain and simple, some funds offer much lower fees than other, creating a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars when it comes time to retire.

Generally, funds are categorised into three groups; low super fees, medium super fees and high super fees. Ultimately, you want to be in a fund that charges low super fees. In saying this, it’s not only about super fees, as some funds have medium-high super fees but also perform better based on investment strategy, meaning you will get more back from your investments.