Krystle Swanson agrees she’s super clueless and confused by superannuation.
Krystle Swanson agrees she’s super clueless and confused by superannuation. Sharyn Oneill

Encouraging super at a young age

FOR a lot of young people, like Rockhampton’s Krystle Swanson, superannuation isn’t on the top of her priority list.

“It’s not something you really think about at my age because retirement is so far away,” the 24-year-old said.

When Krystle tried rolling over her super into the one account two weeks ago, the busy mother of three gave up after struggling to get original documentation together.

“Because I had changed names and been through a divorce there was so much involved in trying to roll it over,” Krystle said.

Krystle, who has a mortgage to pay, along with the costs of a car loan and day care, school, netball and ballet for her girls, said superannuation wasn’t something she took too seriously at this stage.

Steve Gardner, relationships manager for Media Super Australia, said a lot of young people were in the same boat.

“It’s hard for young people to think that far ahead,” Mr Gardner said.

“We find the interest starts at about 50 onwards, when the house is paid off, you’ve been overseas and retirement is getting closer.”

Contrary to this, Mr Gardner said any extra super contribution from a young age could make a huge difference in the long run.

“It depends on the individual and if you can afford the extra, because once it’s in, you can’t touch it,” Mr Gardner said.

Mr Gardner said up until 1987 employers paid only 3% super, but now the compulsory amount is 9%, with some companies paying up to 15% to their employees.

“If we look at an average wage of $50,000, a 9% super contribution is an extra $4500 a year.”

Mr Gardner said five easy steps to get your super into shape were finding your lost super, rolling over your super, monitoring your money, boosting your super and paying less tax (see fact box).


Five easy steps to get your super in shape:

1. Find your lost super

Changed jobs a few times? You may have super accounts that you’ve lost track of, eating up your money with unnecessary fees.

2. Rollover your super

Multiple super accounts equal multiple fees. Consolidate your super into one account by filling out a rollover form.

3. Monitor your money

Access your account online to monitor your contributions.

4. Boost your super for free

If you earn less than $61,920 and make a voluntary contribution to super, the government will contribute up to $1000 to your super each financial year.

5. Pay less tax

Did you know you may be able to redirect some of your income to super and pay less tax? Salary sacrifice can help you achieve significant tax savings.

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