I set up a new superannuation account. It took less than ten minutes – and then less than ten minutes again to transfer other accounts to the new fund.
Christmas is a busy time of wrapping things up for the year, and in the week before Christmas, I was running around completing admin tasks that needed to be done. Like taking my kids to the dentist, buying school stationery supplies for next year – and setting up a new superannuation account.
Why I needed to change super
Hubby and I both have quality superannuation accounts as a result of our public service careers. I am no longer a public servant and thus can no longer contribute to that fund. While I went back and performed two contract jobs in 2021, I did not contribute to my main public service super – the PSS (long story!) Instead, I chose to open a new fund when I started back at work as, due to the paperwork demands, it was easiest. Meanwhile, due to the way the fund is structured, hubby is not able to make additional salary sacrificed contributions into his public service superannuation account (the CSS). Accordingly, he also had a small (but growing) superannuation account that he contributes to.
In summary, both of us have one major superannuation account in a great fund that we wish to stay with, and then smaller superannuation accounts (one for him, two for me).
In November, we received a letter advising that one of the (smaller) funds was being wound up and we needed to move to a new fund.
The ten minute account
I’ll be honest here and say that I always thought it was super difficult (pun intended) to switch super funds. While I often advise people to change super funds, I found myself not practising what I preached. Instead, I was procrastinating.
Hubby, being a no-nonsense type of guy, went into action first. “I’ve just opened a new superannuation account,” he messaged me.
“So quickly?” I responded.
“Yep, and it took less than ten minutes – it was so easy,” he responded.
I must admit that I didn’t quite believe him. In our marriage, usually he’s the one doing stuff like fixing the car and taking out the rubbish. I’m the one who researches and applies for things online. Usually I’m the organised one.
But when I put my mind to it, it was soooo easy. I was embarrassed at how easy it was. These are the steps:
- We researched superannuation funds. This was the most difficult step of all. While past performance is no guarantee of future performance, it is a start. Low fees and ease of use is another. We both chose an industry fund (which tend to perform better due to lower fees) after researching Money Magazine’s Best of the Best and Canstar’s review. Our industry fund of choice was AustralianSuper.
- We followed the prompts. We went to the AustralianSuper homepage, pressed ‘join super’ and followed the prompts. We needed to have our tax file number, and in my husband’s case, his employer’s ABN. We also needed some details of our existing superannuation accounts.
- We selected our preferred investment mix. Part way through the process, we were invited to choose our preferred investment mix. Hubby chose 100% high growth, and I chose 25% socially aware and 75% high growth. Since joining, it’s been easy to log on and check my balance according to this mix.
At this point, we were done. We had set up an account, we had member details, and were sent emails with detail of how to log on and check balances. I stuffed around a bit at first, but I guestimate it took six to seven minutes. It would take less if you had all information at hand.
Then there were a few additional steps to complete the process. This again took less than ten minutes.
- We transferred from existing super funds. I admit that I thought that transferring funds from my existing super funds would be a nightmare, but it was quick and easy. We both did this through the AustralianSuper portal; we didn’t have to go anywhere else and the main informatin we needed was the Unique Superannuation Identifier (USI). I found this through a Google search; this is required ifnormation available on superannuation sites. Altenratively, you can find and transfer superannuation through MyGov using the ATO portal. Interestingly, one of my super funds transferred across within days but the second one took weeks – but it did eventually happen.
- Hubby notified his employer. It’s one thing to set up a new superannution account, and another to ensure that your employer pays into the right account. You need to notify your employer so that they can make payments into your new account. Obviously, the ease of this step is largely dependent on your employer. Most employers will have cutoffs for payday payments, so if you miss one window you might have to wait a little while before your pay starts going into the new account.
And that’s a wrap.
I said this was easy, and it really was. Honestly, if you’ve been thinking of changing super funds but have been putting it off and off and off, make yourself a cup of coffee and go do it now. Really. In the time you could read some clickbait or watch a YouTube clip about cute puppies, you could have made a financial decision that will mean you are tens of thousands of dollars wealthier in your retirement.
Have you changed your superannuation details recently? If so, what was the process like?