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Get your super together and save

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If you have had different jobs with different employers over your working career you will probably have superannuation accounts in many different funds. Apart from the time it takes to keep track of these accounts, there are three more serious concerns of which you should be aware.

Investment strategy

Choosing the right investments for your situation is critical to maximising your retirement nest egg. Super is for the long term and just 1% extra in returns every year can make a significant difference. For example, if you were earning $70,000 per annum and your fund was receiving only the 9.5%pa superannuation guarantee contributions, you could have $288,000 after 20 years if the fund earned 7%pa. If it earned just 1%pa more, you could have $326,000, over $38,000 more!

Paperwork and fees

More than one fund means you receive multiple annual reports and statements. Apart from being a nuisance, the big danger is that your super will be eroded by fees. It is likely those with multiple account are also paying for insurance policies that may not all pay out.

Lost billions

An inactive account is one that has not been accessed or contributed to in over 12 months and the super fund cannot locate the account owner. Superannuation held in inactive accounts with balances less than $4,000 is transferred into the federal government’s consolidated revenue account. As there are billions of dollars held in inactive accounts, this is a huge windfall for the government, but does any of this money belong to you?

You can easily find out using the ATO’s “SuperSeeker” service. You will need your Tax File Number and (ideally) details of past employers to enable them to search for lost accounts. This service is on the ATO website www.ato.gov.au or phone 13 10 20. Or you can use any of the private services available to locate your super.

Whichever way you do it, the key is to get your super all together now and make it work for your future.

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