But many people unwittingly walk away from that opportunity when they maintain multiple super accounts. The end up paying extra fees and insurance premiums that significantly erode balances over time.
In this increasingly mobile economy, it's understandable that so many people have more than one super account. New accounts may have been established as you changed jobs, or you may work more than one job, each with their own super plan.
When it comes to boosting your super, however, one is the friendliest number.
Last year the Australian Productivity Commission estimated that a 21-year old with a full-time starting salary of $50,000 and an average insurance premium of $340 would have $833,000 in her super by age 67 if she has only one account. If she has multiple accounts, her final balance shrinks to $782,000, leaving her with $51,000, or 6% less, to spend in retirement. That's roughly equal to her first year's salary.
It's a common scenario. About one in three member accounts is an unintended multiple, according to the Productivity Commission, and they cost members about $2.6 billion annually.
And it's the compounding effect of these additional premiums and fees that really damage your super balance over time.
In addition to increasing your balance, consolidating your super accounts reduces your paperwork and makes it easier to track your super.
And it only requires a small amount of work.
(Keep in mind that while consolidating makes sense for most of those in defined-contribution plans, it is a more complicated decision for participants in defined-benefit plans. If you are in a defined-benefit plan, consult with an advisor to determine whether reducing accounts is wise.)
Before you consolidate, find out whether your super fund charges exit fees and review how any changes will impact the insurance you may have through super. Also, check whether changing funds will affect how much your employer contributes.
Then, look for a diversified, low-cost fund that matches your risk tolerance and time horizon. It may be a super plan you already participate in, or a new one you find by comparing funds.
Then, let your employer know about your decision. If you are not sure how many super accounts you have, you can find out and continue tracking your super with this tool from the Australian Tax Office.
Written by Robin Bowerman
Head of Corporate Affairs at Vanguard.
25 June 2019
For more than 20 years, Sam has been a financial planner helping individuals and families achieve their financial planning goals, by providing advice on Investment Planning; Insurance Planning; Tax Planning; Retirement Planning; and Estate Planning. Working with a network of highly skilled professionals in Sydney he is dedicated to providing high-quality advice and integrated wealth management solutions that simplify and enhance the quality of his clients' lives.
Sam established his own firm in 1997 and has overseen its steady development and growth. Attention to detail, good listening skills and great empathy are symbols of his appreciation by his clients. He has built long-term relationships with his growing client base and aims to provide excellent customer service.
Sam began his financial planning career in 1993 after completing a Bachelor of Science degree in 1991. Since this time he has accumulated many professional qualifications such as:
Sam has volunteered with the Cancer Council of NSW and can be seen almost every year volunteering or participating in the 7 bridges walk.
Away from the business, he enjoys spending weekends with his son. He is also a football (soccer) tragic and is a massive Chelsea FC fan.
Having worked for national financial planning companies in the past, George has extensive experience in the provision of advice in risk insurance, investments and retirement planning and is focused on forming long-term relationships with his clients.
George has been awarded a Masters of Commerce (Financial Planning) and a Bachelor of Commerce through University of Western Sydney as well as having the Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning).
Jane Lim is a friendly character with a bubbly personality. She has the unique ability of making complex information sound simple and easy to digest.
Jane entered the financial services industry in 2006, and worked with big blue-chip financial companies such as Count Financial Limited and AMP Financial Planning Pty Ltd.
She holds a Master's degree in Applied Finance through Macquarie University, and she is a member of the Million Dollar Round Table.
Being a self-confessed "tennis nut", Jane spends many weeknights in the tennis court, and is a frequent member of Sydney's Eastern Suburbs Tennis Competition.
Being a highly motivated professional, Jane is always eager to help her clients on a wide range of financial planning needs.
Paul has been a financial planner for over 15 years helping individuals and families successfully achieve their financial planning goals. He is very focused on building successful long-term harmonious relationships with his clients.
He provides a holistic approach on various aspects of financial advice encompassing areas such as Investment Planning; Insurance Planning; Tax Planning; Retirement Planning and has extensive experience and knowledge in these fields.
Paul's professional qualifications are:
Away from his professional life, he enjoys spending his time with his family doing various activities such as coaching his son and taking him to games. He is a very avid sports fan and a cricket enthusiast.
Client Services Manager
Christian joined Capitalwise as Client Services Manager, with backgrounds in both customer service and administration.
Christian is passionate in providing excellent customer service by being attentive to client’s need as well as being able to circumnavigate challenges.
He holds a Master's degree in Commerce specialising in Marketing through the University of New South Wales.
Volunteering is one of his delights in life, where he had spent time being involved with the Centre for Volunteering, St Vincent de Paul's Society, and Sculpture by the Sea in a variety of positions.
Jenny is a University of New South Wales graduate who joined the team as an Administration Assistant. She is keen to put her customer service and organisational skills to use, making sure day to day operations run as smoothly as possible.
Outside of work, Jenny focuses her efforts on karate and ice hockey. She can often be found coaching and practicing karate at her alma mater. The rest of her time is spent at one of Sydney’s many ice rinks playing, practicing, or officiating ice hockey.
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