Ever wondered how much super you will have when you retire? It’s a good thing to know.
Calculating your expected super balance at retirement allows you to know when you can retire and how much income you will have in retirement.
Let’s take a look at the factors that determine what your super balance will be.
How Much Super Will I Have?
The amount of superannuation you will have at any time is a culmination of super contributions and investment earnings within super, minus fees, insurance premiums and taxes.
As a result, your super balance will change every single day. This may seem a little scary and hard to predict what your super balance will be at any given time, let alone years into the future. However, there are ways of calculating how much super you will have using a few assumptions.
Let’s take a look.
The first thing you need to do is find out your current super balance.
How Do I See How Much Super I Have?
There are a few ways to find out your current super balance. To see how much super you have, you can either:
Login to your super account online, using your member number and password;
Phone your super provider, making sure you have your member number, date of birth and address handy; or
Look through your emails for any recent statements (or filing cabinet paper statements for those of you still rocking it old-school)
If you have more than one superannuation account you will need to contact each superannuation provider separately.
If you are unsure who your super is held with, you might consider contacting your current and/or previous employers and asking them which super fund they were paying your super contributions into.
If you have a MyGov account, there is a possibility that your super accounts will be listed in there.
Read Article: How Much Super Should I Have?
How Much Super Will I Have When I Retire?
To figure out how much super you will have when you retire, you need to know your current balance, the contributions going into your account, the expected investment earnings each year, as well as any fees, insurance premiums and taxes being deducted from your account.
For example, if you have a current balance of $400,000 and are receiving employer contributions of $10,000 and expected investment earnings of 6% p.a. (after fees), then after 12-months your super balance will be:
|Current Super Balance||$400,000|
|Less: Contributions Tax (15%)||$1,500|
|Investment Earnings (6%)||$24,000|
|Less: Earnings Tax (15%)||$3,600|
|Super Balance After 12-Months||$428,900|
You could continue with these calculations to see how much you will have at any given point in the future, all the way up until retirement.
Related article: How Much Super Do I Need To Retire?
A simpler approach might be to use a superannuation calculation, such as this one – remembering to check that all of the inputs are correct.
There are, however, a few things to consider when performing projections such as this.
Super Balance Projection Considerations
To understand the impact that each part of the calculation has on your projected super balance, it is important to gain an understanding on what the variables are and the limitations of the projection.
The types of contributions that can be made into super include employer contributions, salary sacrifice contributions and personal deductible contributions – all of which fit under the category of concessional contributions and are therefore subject to contributions tax.
The other type of contribution that can be made to increase your super balance is personal non-concessional contributions, which are after-tax contributions and do not incur contributions tax.
Investment earnings are never guaranteed – they are largely unpredictable over the short-term and somewhat predictable over the long-term. But ultimately, no-one knows how much of an influence investment returns will have on the future balance of your super.
Generally, more conservative investment options will have lower risk and lower expected returns; whereas, more aggressive investment options will have higher risk and potentially higher long-term returns.
In calculating what your super balance will be at retirement, you need to make an assumption. To do this, you might consider finding out how your super is currently invested (or the investment option that you would like it to be invested in) and look at the return objectives as published by the manager of the managed investment or investment option. Fact sheets on each investment option should be available through your superannuation provider.
If your super is invested in, say, Australian shares only, you may consider using long-term historical return figures – understanding that this is no guarantee of future returns.
In any case, whatever return figures you decide to use, you need to understand that it is being used as an assumption only and that no type return is guaranteed.
Within the superannuation accumulation phase, all income derived from investments is taxed at 15%. Realised capital gains are also taxed at 15%, reducing to 10% if the investment sold was owned for longer than 12-months.
If you have personal life insurances within super, such as Death cover, TPD cover or Income Protection, there will probably be insurance premiums being deducted from your super balance. You can find the insurance premium amounts by scanning through the transaction summary of your super statement.
Insurance premiums will reduce the projected balance of your super at retirement, as this is an ongoing cost for as long as you hold insurance within your super account.
There will be fees charged by your superannuation provider. These fees may include account keeping fees and/or asset-based administration fees. All fees can be found in your super fund’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), which can be located on their website.
If you have engaged the services of a financial planner, there may also be advice fees being deducted from your super balance.
All fees should be included in the calculation of how much super you will have at retirement.
Related article: How Long Will My Money Last in Retirement?
Your Final Super Balance At Retirement
Projecting what your super balance will be at retirement using all of the information above should not be a once-off calculation, due to the number of variables and assumptions involved.
Ideally, you should be performing this calculation at least every 12-months, using updated balances, return assumptions, contribution amounts, insurance premiums and fees and taxes.
The more often you perform this calculation and the closer to retirement you get, the closer you will get to accurately calculating how much super you will have.