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Five tips to consider when selecting the super fund that’s right for you.

May 14th, 2018

Retirement planning and superannuation in Australia dates back to the early 1900s. As is the case today, initial schemes were established to provide for people in retirement.

Fast forward a century and the complexity of superannuation has spawned a whole new industry dedicated to growing and protecting savings wealth for use in later life, or in the event a person can no longer work.

With so many funds today it may seem confusing when choosing one. But, it needn’t be. Consider the following five criteria (in no particular order) when making your selection to ensure you choose a fund that supports your needs.

Service: while it’s unlikely you’ll deal with your chosen fund with significant frequency, it is important to select a proactive fund with a robust and proven service culture. Well-trained call centres with helpful staff, live web-chat, call-back services and a website allowing you to login and access your details are all important features to consider before settling on a fund.

Many funds also operate within and support certain industries, meaning their services are geared towards the specific needs of that industry’s employers and employees. If you belong to a particular industry, consider the merits of a fund within your industry along with the below criteria.

Investment options: these are a ‘premix’ of assets aimed to diversify your investment risk in obtaining your targeted longer term return. Superannuation funds typically offer a range of investment options, ranging from balanced, to growth and even cash. Your preferred option depends largely on your goals, time to retirement and appetite for risk.

Performance: when selecting a fund, consider those with strong medium- to long-term performance. Short-term performance can vary widely depending upon market conditions, however, longer term results are often a better indicator of fund performance. After all, superannuation is a long game.

Insurance: although many funds provide basic insurance by default, it’s wise to review insurance options, costs and a fund’s payout record before committing.

Fees: while all funds charge administration fees, some are much higher than others. Before selecting a fund, compare the fee structure across multiple funds to ensure you are receiving value.

Additional benefits: many funds often provide a range of additional member benefits including financial planning and advice, online account management, member education, no insurance medical examinations and cheaper insurance cover. Though, don’t be swayed by flashy benefits you may not need.

With these quick and simple tips, you’re more likely to select a fund suited to your short- and long-term needs. However, if in doubt, contact an independent financial adviser (who does not receive commissions) to assist you to select a fund best suited to maximise your desired outcomes.

Voted among the top performance fund in 2017, First Super is an industry superannuation fund run only to benefit members. While First Super welcomes all Australian employees, it has strong ties to the furniture and joinery, pulp and paper, and timber industries. To speak with First Super about your superannuation and retirement needs contact 1300 360 988 or email mail@firstsuper.com.au.

This publication was issued by First Super Pty Ltd (ABN 42 053 498 472, AFSL 223988), as Trustee of the First Super superannuation fun (ABN 56 286 625 181). It does not consider your personal circumstances and may not be relied on as investment advice. Content was accurate at the date of issue, but may subsequently change. You should contact us on 1300 360 988 for updated information and to obtain a copy of the product Disclosure Statement.

Note: Past investment returns are not a reliable indication of future returns.