Money Matters

How do I track my super?

 

Depending where you’re at in life, you might be wondering, how much super should I have when I retire? Whether retirement is front of mind or out of mind, the choices you make now about super can affect you in the future.

The earlier you start thinking about super, the better. Because what goes into your super now, could grow in value (thanks to that compound interest) and give you more money to live on. So when it comes time to stop working, you’ll hopefully have enough cash for whatever you dream of doing in your twilight years.

How much superannuation do I need when I retire?

Everyone has a different opinion on how much super is enough to comfortably retire. As with everything when it comes to your finances, it all depends on your personal circumstances – whether you own a home, have a partner, your ideal retirement age and the kind of life you want to live. As a ballpark figure, MoneySmart suggests that homeowners without a mortgage need around 67% of their pre-retirement income to maintain their current lifestyle.

But what about the dollar amount per year? The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia suggests these amounts will cover a comfortable and modest lifestyle in Australia for those aged around 67.

 
Comfortable lifestyle Modest lifestyle
Single $46,494 a year $29,632 a year
Couple $65,445 a year $42,621 a year

Source: ASFA, March quarter 2022. These values are updated regularly, so check out the ASFA website for the most up-to-date figures.

How much super should I have at my age?

The table below could help you gauge whether you’re on track, or whether it’s time to look at boosting your superannuation retirement funds. And don’t worry, there’s plenty of ways to do it.

 

 
Age Recommended
amount
Average super balance for men Average super balance for women*
How much super should I have at 30?   $61,000   $27,182 $22,850
How much super should I have at 40?   $154,000   $67,179 $54,765
How much super should I have at 50?   $271,000   $130,066 $101,560
How much super should I have at 60?   $430,000   $198,482 $165,986

*On average, women earn less than men because of the gender pay gap. Their average super balance is therefore slightly smaller.
Source: Canstar

How’s my super tracking?

You should be able to check your super balance by logging into your online account. And if you’ve had heaps of different jobs and super funds, it might be a good idea to consolidate the balances into one fund. This could help you avoid doubling up on account fees and save you money in the long-term. If you’re with ubank, you can connect your other accounts from over 140 financial institutions (including super and investments) and see it all in the one app.

MoneySmart’s super calculator helps forecast the amount you’ll have saved at any age based on your current salary and super amount. Don’t like what you see? It’s ok – there’s ways you can supercharge your savings.

Ways to boost your super

Here’s a few ways you could give your super a boost:

  • If your workplace offers salary sacrificing, you could contribute an extra percentage of your before-tax income to boost your super
  • You could also make your own contributions at any time, however this is subject to contribution caps
  • Consolidate your super into one account to avoid paying multiple sets of fees
  • Track down any lost super with the help of the ATO.

But if all of this is news to you, don’t be alarmed because you’re not alone. By reading this article and doing some research, you’re already a step ahead.