There’s no doubt that the world of superannuation can be labyrinth of confusing terms, different funds and changing rules that many of us would rather avoid. The complexity is often greater for contract workers with fluctuating hours, such as truck drivers.
Yet the consequences of not investing in your super are too big to ignore. According to the Association of Superannuation Funds, the rising cost of power, health care, food and rates over the past 10 years has “increased the amount needed to achieve both modest and comfortable retirements”.
With that in mind, spending some time to get your head around your superannuation, and to work out what you’re entitled to, can make a huge difference when your well-deserved retirement arrives.
So where should you start? Here are three things you can do today to get your super in order.
Review your pay slip
According to superguide.com.au, your employer must contribute the equivalent of 9.5% of your ordinary time earnings (OTE) each time you are paid. However, if your weekly pay fluctuates, due to factors such as overtime, your OTE is not straightforward. Some employers are using an outdated definition of OTE which means they will incorrectly calculate the compulsory super contribution.
Therefore, it’s important you are proactive in determining what your super guarantee is.
You should begin by reviewing your payslips to make sure your compulsory payments are being made and are accurate. The best way to confirm your entitlements is to contact the Super Guarantee hotline on 13 10 20. Additionally, there is specific information on the ATO website about how OTE should be calculated for long-distance drivers.
Consolidate your super
As a contract worker, it’s highly likely that you’ve held more than a few jobs in your career; which probably means you have more than one super account.
If you haven’t already, it’s essential that you consolidate your superannuation. Rolling the balance of your all your funds into one account makes it easier to manage your super and can significantly reduce the fees you will pay over time.
This is also a good opportunity to review your preferred fund and compare it with other funds to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Once you’ve selected a fund and consolidated, it’s then important that you remember to select it as your preferred fund every time you start a new job.
Boost your super with personal contributions
Working in an industry with inconsistent weekly hours can often mean your super contribution is less than what you need to be put away into your super.
Making your own pre- and/or after-tax contributions to your super is an important way of making sure you continue to build for your retirement. This checklist from superguide.com.au gives you 10 ideas for boosting your super.
What you may not know is, as of July 2017, the rules around pre-tax and after-tax contributions will change. My Life My Super has put together a helpful factsheet that summarises the changes.
If you want to find out more information, the following resources are a good place start:
- The Super Guru
The Super Guru website, run by Association of Superannuation Funds is an independent site set up to help you understand and maximise your superannuation.
- Superannuation Calculator
Check if your super is on-track and how fees can affect your super balance.
- Australian Tax Office – Super Guarantee
The best way to confirm your entitlements, is to contact the Super Guarantee hotline on 13 10 20.
Now your super is under control. If you are looking for a new position, now or in the future, Logical Staffing Solutions is here to help. Get in touch with Logical Staffing Solutions today and sign up to our newsletter, or follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook.