How does super work? Your questions answered.
Not sure about super and how it all works? We can help. We've compiled a Q&A featuring some of the most common questions from our members.
Have a look, and start building a brighter future.
Why do I need super?
Super is designed to provide you with an income in retirement. In other words, you’re saving for the future. The end goal being enough money to support yourself once you’re no longer working.
Super isn’t the only way to support yourself in retirement. The government provides an age pension for people who qualify. This is currently $24,551 per annum for a single person, which works out to be about $472 per week. For most people that’s only enough to pay for the basics.
The good news is your super and the age pension can work together. So even a modest super balance can help top up your age pension to provide you with a more comfortable lifestyle.
Where does the money in my super come from?
Good question. There’s this thing called a ‘Super Guarantee’, or SG for short. It’s a law that says employers need to pay 10% of a person’s salary into their super annually.
So, if you’re applying for a job, and the position description says the salary package is $70,000 p.a. + super, that means you’ll receive $7,000 in super every year (10% of $70,000).
There’s all kinds of additional fine-print around the super guarantee, including the number of hours you need to work every week to qualify, etc. You can find those details here.
Can I choose where that money is invested?
Yes. But if you don’t nominate an investment choice your super will be invested in our default MySuper option. This is a low-cost investment option that adjusts for your age.
If you’re 50 and under we will invest your super into our Aggressive MySuper option, which is geared towards higher risk and returns, then gradually move your super to our Balanced MySuper option, which has a lower risk/return ratio.
But there are all kinds of investment options you can choose from. At a basic level we offer nine diversified options, from Conservative to Aggressive. Each of these options offers a different mix of investment risk and potential returns and is managed by our asset managers. For example, our Balanced options has returned just shy of 8% per annum over the last decade.
Changing your investment options is easy, just login to your account and update your preferences.
Make sure that whatever options you choose is aligned with your long-term strategic goals. If you’re not sure and want to find out more about whether your investment strategy is right for you, you can always speak to one of our financial advisors.
How do I check on my super and how it’s doing?
You can check on the progress of your super at any time by logging into your account. You’ll be able to see the balance, check recent contributions, and see how much you’ve earned in investment returns.
Once a year we’ll send you an annual statement that breaks down your super contributions, fees, and returns.
Super and life insurance
Does my super include insurance?
Yes. One of the underrated benefits of superannuation is that it usually includes a form of life insurance.
When you join Catholic Super, you may automatically receive a certain level of cover – no health checks required. We also make it easy to increase your cover to suit your needs.
The types of cover available through Catholic Super are:
- Death – Death insurance is the industry term for life insurance. We really should just call it life insurance, but that’s a conversation for another time. It provides a lump sum benefit to help ensure your dependents are looked after if you die.
- Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) – Provides a lump sum benefit to help you cover your financial commitments if you become totally and permanently disabled.
- Income Protection - Provides you an income if you cannot work due to total or partial disability for up to 2 years.
The point is insurance is available through your super and the premiums are deducted from your super account. For most people, this is considerably cheaper than life insurance via third party insurance firms.
Not sure if you’re covered? Login to your account and check your insurance details.
Fees and returns
What is a good return on my super?
There’s no simple answer to this one. It will vary from person to person.
We’ve been recognised by independent research agency SuperRatings for their highest rated Platinum Performance 15 years in a row. Our Balanced (MySuper) option has averaged just under 10% in returns per annum since 1971.
We've also been awarded a 2020 5-star rating from Canstar for outstanding value.
That’s important because even a small difference in investment returns can make a big impact over the long term. According to one report, having your super in one of the worst performing super funds can mean $200,000 less when you retire. So, it really does pay to choose a super fund that delivers solid investment results over the long term.
Building a nest egg for retirement
How much will I have when I retire?
We can’t provide you with an exact number, but we can certainly help with some projections.
Try our retirement calculator. You’ll need to manually enter your details, but it’s a quick and easy way to get a rough estimate, and look at ways to boost that number.
Is there anything I can do to boost my super balance?
Definitely. Here are few quick options.
What if I’m a freelancer or self-employed?
We appreciate that super can be the last thing on most people’s mind. Especially if you’re freelance, working for yourself, and/or dealing with all the other paperwork that entails. But it’s important to have a super strategy in place.
Not contributing to your super when you’re younger can seriously impact your long-term balance, and your retirement options.
If you’re self-employed it’s worth talking to your accountant or a financial planner to better understand your options.
Everything else you should know
What is an industry fund? And is Catholic Super one?
Originally, an industry fund meant a super fund set up to provide a retirement income for people within a specific industry, e.g. manufacturing. These days we are open to everyone, not matter which industry you’re in. The term refers to a not-for-profit member focused industry super fund - like Catholic Super.
The alternative is a retail fund, which is generally owned by a bank, and has external shareholders.
So yes, we’re an industry fund.
Does Catholic Super have a sustainability policy?
Yes, we do. At Catholic Super we believe in Responsible Investment. While our objective is to maximise the retirement income of our members, we recognise that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues are factors which may influence whether this objective is met.
How does early access work?
We have a whole section of the website dedicated to our COVID-19 response plan and what we’re doing to help members, including early release of super. You can find it here.
Speak to a financial planner
Find out more about our services and how to book an obligation free appointment.
Any figures quoted are correct at the time of writing but may be subject to change.
Authorised by Togethr Trustees Pty Ltd (ABN 64 006 964 049; AFSL 246383) ('Trustee') the trustee of the Equipsuper Superannuation Fund (ABN 33 813 823 017). Catholic Super is a division of the Equipsuper Superannuation Fund (ABN 33 813 823 017). Financial advice services may be provided to members by the trustee's related entity.
Togethr Financial Planning Pty Ltd (ABN 84 124 491 078; AFSL 455010). The information contained herein is general information only. It has been prepared without taking into account your personal investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. It is not intended to be, and should not be, construed in any way as investment, legal or financial advice. Please consider your personal position, objectives, and requirements before taking any action. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.
© 2020 Togethr Trustees Pty Ltd. For further information please our contact our Service Centre on 1300 655 002 or visit our website: csf.com.au.