Grow your super

Most Australians receive a minimum of 9.5% of their salary contributed into their super account from their employer. This is known as the Superannuation Guarantee (SG). 

While these contributions help your super to grow, they may not be enough to afford you a comfortable retirement. Super is one of the best ways to save for retirement as tax concessions on contributions and investment earnings are available.

A recent study by ASFA1 shows that Australians face a major shortfall in retirement if they only rely on their employer's super contributions.

For retirees aged 65 to 85, a single person needs around $831 and a couple $1,143 a week for a comfortable retirement. For retirees aged over 85, a single person needs around $751 and a couple $1,053 a week for a comfortable retirement.

According to ASFA, your current employer super contributions afford you a rather modest lifestyle in retirement. For retirees aged 65 to 85, a modest lifestyle allows a budget of only $460 a week for a single person and $662 a week for a couple. For retirees aged over 85, the weekly budget for a modest lifestyle is $452 for singles and $670 for couples.

By adding extra to your super now, you can close the gap in your retirement savings and enjoy a more comfortable retirement.

A comfortable retirement means being able to afford private health insurance, internet at home, running your car and a few luxuries like dining out. A modest retirement would mean having to reducing your current standard of living.

You can grow your super in the following ways:

  • Extra contributions: contribute your own money to super by making regular before-tax or after-tax contributions, one-off lump sum payments or by contributing to your spouse's super.
  • Commonwealth Government Super Co-contribution: this initiative is designed to increase the retirement savings of Australians, by matching up to 50% your personal after-tax contributions. You need to meet certain criteria to qualify for Super Co-contribution.
  • The low income super contribution (LISC) is another type of Commonwealth government super payment to help low income earners save for their retirement. For more information visit the ATO website.
  • Roll-in: consolidate your other super funds into one account.
  • Find lost super: track down super accounts you may have lost track of from past jobs.

To see what kind of retirement you're heading for, and how much extra you could be saving each week, use our calculators.

1 Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, Retirement Standard, September quarter 2016

Gold State Super

Gold State Super members can make extra contributions (above their Average Contribution Rate) into a separate West State Super or GESB Super account. Learn more.

Disclaimer: this information is of a general nature. The information does not take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or needs. If you need specific advice for your personal circumstances, you may wish to consult a suitably qualified adviser to ascertain whether the information is appropriate for you.

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