Changing Superannuation Funds is common practice these days. There are hundreds of superannuation accounts to choose from.

So which superannuation fund is best for you?

Well, let me tell it to you straight.

It is very unlikely that any one superannuation fund will consistently outperform all others. You will send yourself insane looking for that one fund that provides an additional 0.5% annual return year after year after year. There’s a good chance it’s not gonna happen….. because, I’m sorry to say, that miracle fund doesn’t exist.

There are too many variables to take into account if you are trying to determine the best performing superannuation fund.

What I would suggest, when changing superannuation funds, is to find a fund that you are comfortable with.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the fees?
  • If I have a question, is it easy to find an answer?
  • How long did I have to wait on hold before speaking to a real person?
  • Do I have easy online access?
  • Is it easy for my employer or myself to make contributions (user friendly)?
  • Do I know how to make changes to my account?
  • Is it an account my adviser can assist me with?

There are two main ways to change your superannuation:

– SUPERANNUATION CONSOLIDATION

– SUPERANNUATION ROLLOVER

So, what’s the difference?

Changing Super – Consolidation

The term consolidation usually refers to combining multiple superannuation accounts into one of your existing accounts. It isn’t uncommon to find yourself with 3 or 4 super accounts, as a change in jobs will often bring about a new superannuation account.

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If this is you, and you have an account that your employer contributes to, or simply one that you prefer, you may wish to consolidate your remaining accounts into that one.

Changing Super – Rollover

A Superannuation Rollover is more commonly linked to a situation where you have an account that you would like to rollover to a new account. This may come about because either you are not happy with your existing superannuation fund, you are going to a new employer who will be contributing to a new fund, or you have found a new account that is more suited to your needs.

 

INSIDE INFO!!!!

If you are considering rolling over your superannuation or consolidating into a new account, be sure to CONTACT THE FUND THAT YOU ARE TRANSFERRING YOUR MONEY TO and ask them to explain the steps required. DO NOT CONTACT THE FUND THAT YOU ARE LEAVING.

Why? Well, there’s two reasons:

  1. The account that you are transferring your money to will be making fees from you. Therefore, they will do whatever they can to help you transfer your savings to them. This will relieve a lot of the stress of collating and filling out all of the forms. They will also make sure the rollover occurs in a timely fashion.
  2. Conversely, the fund that you are taking your savings away from will make your life hell. They are required to transfer your money within a certain time frame; however they will use every excuse under the sun to prolong the process so that they can continue to charge fees and hope that you give up and leave the money with them. Some of the excuses I’ve heard are: You signature doesn’t match (when clearly it does), your ID documentation is blurry (put your glasses on num nuts), we never received your rollover forms (how convenient), you sent the forms to the wrong department (then forward it on, please)… and the list goes on.

 

 Risks of Changing Superannuation Funds

You should be aware of the following risks prior to rolling over or consolidating your superannuation accounts:

  • The fees associated with the account your are changing to may be greater than the existing fees you are paying
  • There may be an exit fee or withdrawal fee for changing superannuation funds
  • There will be a period during the rollover/consolidation period where your savings will not be invested. Therefore, you will not receive a return on your investment during this period. Some rollovers or consolidations can take over a month to complete.
  • Closing down an existing superannuation may result in the cancellation of insurances. Many superannuation accounts include life insurances such as Death cover, Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) cover and/or Income Protection/Salary Continuance cover. The risk of closing down your account and effectively cancelling this cover could be detrimental, as changes in your health may result in an inability to obtain new insurance cover. One option is to leave sufficient balance in the account to continually cover premiums.

If you would like anything clarified or have any further questions about Changing Superannuation Funds or any other topics, please do not hesitate to leave a comment .

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Chris Strano

Chris Strano is a specialist independent superannuation author for SuperGuy.com.au - one of Australia's leading superannuation information resources.

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