Get that SUPER sorted

You could be throwing away over $800 a year on extra insurance premiums and account fees!

The average working Australian has three super accounts* each charging them fees and each potentially taking out fees for life insurance. Three life insurances unfortunately won't help when the time comes, but more money in the account certainly would. I am a solid advocate of uniting those accounts and NOW. Even if you don't know which one to go for just pick one randomly and do consolidate as you'll be in a better financial position for doing than not. 

To give you an example, over a six month period an average person with an average super account, let's call him Fred, pays $39 worth of administration fees and $200 worth of life insurance premiums. Unfortunately, Fred has another super account and despite it being with the same company (that happens!) he's being charged another $39 administration fee and $144 insurance premium. Now, Fred's been a busy guy over his so far short career and has another super account with another super fund that is also charging him a $39 account fee, a $166 insurance premium as well as a $28 income protection insurance premium. All unnecessary insurance double-ups and account fees. Now if Fred had rolled these accounts over six months ago he would have saved himself from loosing $78 worth of administration fees and $338 worth of unnecessary insurance premiums. That's $832 that won't be deducted from his super next year! 

Balances can be transferred to the ATO in as little as 12 months if you're considered an 'uncontactable member' by the fund if they haven't been able to contact you. Your balance can also be transferred if a contribution hasn't been made in 5 years as you're classed as an 'inactive member'. This could mean any non-working Mum or Dad or sole trader not making contributions!! Your super could also go to the ATO if you are considered an 'existing lost member', having had your balance from another fund transferred as a lost member to the existing one that also can't find you. Now, don't presume that by 'find you' they are making any real effort, this is just sending you a letter so they really mean if you don't contact them, you're an 'uncontactable member'. For details check out this article.

If you've got any lost super from a job you were briefly at earlier on in your career you should still be able to find and get those funds rolled over. Check the unclaimed money search and the lost super tool to find them. Nowadays, the super companies and getting a bit savvy and doing the legwork of rolling your accounts together for you. You just need to supply them with your TFN and be rolling into their fund of course ;) 

Most super companies also have member pages so you can register with your provider with your member number and manage you super from there, including rollover requests. 

If you are happy to make this task slightly larger, than do some research and select the best fund for you. Super companies can be categorised into multiple groups like, MySuper, Retail funds and Industry funds to name a few (see this article for a great breakdown). Industry funds are 'not for profit' meaning the profits are put back into fund to benefit members. An example of an Industry fund is VicSuper.

As this kind of task can be one that sits on your todo list for six months or longer it can help to decide a timeline for completing this now. I mean right now, whilst you're reading this. Think of the $832! I usually go for an obvious deadline like December 31st but hey, we've got a nicely obvious deadline of the end of the financial year coming up so that could be a deadline that saves you $416, so go on...

*http://www.superguide.com.au/accessing-superannuation/find-lost-super