The five things you need to know about super

Super and investments 101 | Date Posted: 7 June 2023

Most people are aware that their employer generally pays a percentage of their salary to their super fund. This is called a Super Guarantee (SG) contribution. You can have a choice in how this money is invested by making an investment switch. But did you know there are other things you can do that can make a difference to how you grow and manage your super? In this article, we discuss the five things you should be across when it comes to super.

1. Nominating beneficiaries 

It’s important to think about what happens to your assets when you pass away. And that includes who’ll receive your super or pension benefit. Nominating a beneficiary can help make sure your super or pension benefit goes to where you want it to. Read more about choosing a beneficiary.

2. Accessing your super

Super is a way to manage your retirement savings. You can therefore generally only access it when you retire or reach ‘preservation age’. Your preservation age depends on when you were born and ranges from 55 and 60 years old. Anyone born after 1 July 1964 will reach preservation age (and can access their super) from age 60. There are also very limited circumstances when your super can be accessed ‘early’, such as becoming permanently incapacitated or terminally ill, or if you’re under financial hardship or meet specified compassionate grounds. 

It’s important to know the rules, as accessing your super early is illegal when you don’t meet a ‘condition of release’. If you do, you could lose your retirement savings and be hit with huge penalties. You also need to be aware of people who offer to help you access your super early. These people, also known as ‘promoters’, may tell you they can set up a self-managed super fund (SMSF) in your name so you can access your super to buy a house to live in, or go on a holiday. But this is also illegal.

3. Changing jobs

If you’re changing jobs, your new employer should ask you which super fund you want them to pay your super contributions to. To make it easy for Mine Super members, you can simply download and fill in this Super Standard Choice form, then share it with your new employer. 

If you don’t tell your new employer which super fund you want them to pay your super to, they’ll need to check with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to see if you have a ‘stapled super fund’. If you do, then they’ll have to pay your super into that fund. If you don’t, they can pay your super into their default super fund.

4. Insurance

Insurance can give you peace of mind as it provides financial support to protect what’s important to you if you die or must stop work due to illness or injury. Super funds typically have three types of insurance for members:
  • death cover (also known as life insurance)
  • total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance
  • income protection insurance

Deciding if and how much insurance is best for you depends on your circumstances, such as your age, whether you have dependants and the amount of savings or other income you have. For more information about insurance available via Mine Super, head to the Insurance explained page.

5. Growing your super

Investing extra money into your super is one way you can help set yourself up for a comfortable retirement. One of the great benefits of super is that earnings are taxed at a low rate. So, unlike other types of investments, any earnings you make on your super will be taxed at a maximum of 15% instead of your marginal tax rate.

Small change now can mean a big change later. Adding an extra $10 a week to your super, could mean an extra $18,179 in retirement1. Even small contributions can really snowball over time. And the earlier you start, the better, so forming good habits now can really pay off in the future! Head to the Super Guru website to check what small changes you can make now to save big later.

Did you know? Mine Super members have access to a secure online account, which is available 24/7 and provides easy, immediate access to your account. You can check your inbox, account balance and transactions, update your details or switch investment options whenever it suits you.

Turn to Mine

If you have any questions about super in general or about your Mine Super account, you can reach us on 13 64 63, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, or email We can also put you in touch with Mine Super Financial Advice for additional support to help you decide what’s right for you. Mine Super members are entitled to a complimentary appointment. And did you know? Advice on how your account is invested is at no extra cost, but there are fees associated with providing personal financial advice. During your appointment your adviser will discuss the fees and how you’d like to proceed. 

Meet the team or request an appointment with Mine Super Financial Advice.

Calculation made using Super Guru calculator and based on a 35-year-old person putting an additional $10 each week into their super account as an after-tax contribution, assuming 4.80% pa growth over 32 years (and retiring at age 67). Calculation as at 28 March 2022.