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Superannuation is simply accumulating savings that can be used later in life when you’re working less.


Superannuation is accumulating savings that can be used later in life when you’re approaching retirement or have retired.

Saving for your retirement.

Superannuation (also known as Super) is a way for people be more self-funded in retirement in Australia, rather than relying on government payments. Superannuation is money  saved specifically for retirement and can generally only be accessed when certain criteria are met, such as reaching the age of 65.

Superannuation guarantee.

Your employer is required to pay a certain percentage of your wages into a superannuation fund on your behalf – this is known as the superannuation guarantee. You will need to provide your employer with details of your superannuation fund for them to pay the money into.

Choosing your super fund.

Most new employees are eligible to choose their own super fund or accept their employer’s default super fund. When choosing a super fund for yourself, find out about their investment returns, their fees and service history. Your chosen super fund can then be used by any additional or future employers too, though you also have the option to change funds in the future if you’re not satisfied with their returns, fees, or service.

Super contributions.

Money paid into your super fund is known as contributions. In addition to the super guarantee contributions from your employer, you can also make your own contributions. Additional money contributed to super is concessionally taxed (up to a certain limit)  to encourage you to save for your retirement. Except in specific circumstances, you generally aren’t able to access these savings until you turn 65 as it is intended to be used for long-term retirement savings.

Investing your super.

The goal with super is to accumulate as much money as you can for your retirement savings. Your super fund provider may invest your savings in a managed fund that invests the savings of many fund members in several different investments including Australian shares, international shares, property and cash. Your super fund provider will charge you fees for managing and investing your super.  Your super fund is required to tell you about how your super is invested, the return it’s achieving, and how much the fees are.

Accessing super.

Your superannuation savings are preserved until:

  • you turn 65 (even if you haven’t retired).
  • you reach your preservation age and retire.
  • you reach your preservation age, and you elect to use the transition to retirement rules while continuing to work.

There are other very limited circumstances where you can access your super savings earlier such as specific medical conditions, severe financial hardship, or when a temporary resident is eligible for a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment.

You can get more information on Superannuation on the ATO website or seek advice from a registered financial planner.


You can find the latest information on your superannuation from the myGov website and app. MyGov is a secure way to access government services online with one login and one password. Services linked to myGov include the Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink and Medicare. 

This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice. © Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714.


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