Once you've set some goals for what you'd like to do in retirement and worked out an estimated budget, you can look at strategies to maximise your super savings while you're still working.
General tips for maximising your super
Here are some things you can consider now to make sure your super is working effectively for you:
1. Make extra contributions
Even though you can't access it until you retire, making extra voluntary member contributions to your super—and getting the balance right between before and after-tax contributions—could help your super savings in the long term. Learn more about making extra contributions.
2. Consolidate your super
If you have multiple super accounts, your super savings may be eroded by multiple sets of fees. By putting it together, you'll pay only one set of fees and charges. Find out how to get your super together.
3. Review your investment options
Choosing your investment options is an important decision that can have a big impact on your super balance and pension income. Learn about choosing your investment options.
4. Check your eligibility for the government co-contribution
If you're eligible, and you put some of your own after-tax money into your super, the government could match it by 50% up to a maximum of $500. Read more about the Government co-contribution.
5. Attend an education seminar or watch a webcast
UniSuper runs seminars around Australia and hosts regular webcasts for members and their spouses on various topics to help you make informed decisions about your super.
Find out more about our seminars or view our library of upcoming and on-demand webcasts.
Tips for bridging a gap before retirement
What if your retirement’s not that far away and you’re looking at a shortfall between what you have and what you think you might need? If this sounds like you, as well as the above list, you might want to consider one or more of these strategies.
1. WORK LONGER
This may not fit in with your idea of a dream retirement, but delaying full retirement can have many benefits—and they’re not just financial. Tapering down your work hours and staying in the workforce part time might be preferable to an abrupt step into full retirement. It can also help you maintain an active mind and keep in touch with your professional community.
And then of course there are the financial benefits. By working part time, you don’t have to rely as much on your super and can continue to add to your savings.
You can also consider what’s known as a transition to retirement strategy. This involves reducing your working hours and accessing your super as an income stream before retirement. You can also continue to top up your super from your work income. You should seek financial advice from a professional if you’re considering a transition to retirement strategy.
Of course, you should keep in mind that the money you earn from any part-time work could affect your entitlement to the Government Age Pension.
2. REVIEW YOUR INCOME EXPECTATIONS
If it looks like your retirement income won’t cover your estimated expenses, you could revise your budget and reduce your annual retirement income, making it last longer.
3. GET FINANCIAL ADVICE
It’s essential to have a plan as you approach retirement, and a financial adviser can help you with this. A financial adviser can advise you on:
- pension and retirement income options
- transition to retirement
- projected benefits
- investment options
- Age Pension entitlements
- building your super prior to retirement
- estate planning considerations.
As a UniSuper member, you have exclusive access to UniSuper Advice. Our advice service is solely dedicated to helping you and your spouse with your finances. The result? Personal financial advice from a team with unique, in-depth knowledge of UniSuper and the higher education and research sector. You can contact UniSuper Advice to find out more about the service or to make an appointment.