You’ve had an appointment with a Super Adviser and sorted out your investment options, contributions, beneficiaries, and insurance – so you’re set, right?
Well, for a little while, sure. But as we often say, super is far from “set and forget”, so it’s important to check in with the help of an expert every so often to make sure everything is still working like you need it to.
So, how often should you be meeting with a Super Adviser? There’s no prescribed schedule, but there are a few instances that might prompt an appointment:
When your super fund advises you of changes
Super funds make important changes to their products, services, and administrative functions every so often. These changes may be the result of improvements the fund has made, or due to new rules imposed by the government or regulators. When these changes or disclosure requirements occur, members are notified through what’s called a ‘Significant Event Notice’.
You may get a notice from your fund every now and then telling you about something obscure that doesn’t actually affect you in practicality and wonder, why do they need to tell me about this? These notices contain important information that may have an impact on the way your super works, so it’s good to have a chat to a Super Adviser to make sure you understand what’s changing and whether you need to take any action.
When you have a big life moment
There’s no better time to review your super with an expert than when you have a big life moment – whether it’s buying a property, moving in with a partner or getting married, having a child, moving overseas, or any other big life event, it’s an important time to make sure the change that’s occurred in your life is reflected and accounted for in your super account.
For example, if you’ve gotten married or had a child, you may want to ensure that you update your beneficiary nominations to make sure your family is taken care of should something happen to you. If you’ve bought a property, meanwhile, you may want to review your insurance cover to make sure that your levels of cover will be able to take care of your mortgage if you’re unable to work. If you’re moving overseas, you may want to have a chat about how to keep your super growing while you won’t have contributions from an employer going in.
Times of market volatility
It can be difficult to see your super balance swing up and down in times of market volatility, and a natural response is to want to make sure your hard-earned cash is as safe as possible. But while the natural inclination may be to switch to a more conservative investment option, this may be counterintuitive. This is because you may be effectively locking in your losses – for example, if you bought a house for $1 million, and then house prices dropped and your home was valued at $750,000, you would only make a loss if you actually decided to sell it at this point.
Before switching your investment options, have a chat with a Super Adviser to understand where your super is sitting and the pros and cons of switching investment options.
When you have a milestone birthday
A milestone birthday is often a time for both reflecting on the past and planning for the future. With that in mind, it’s also a good time to chat to a Super Adviser and not only make sure everything in your super account is working as it should, but that everything in your account reflects where your life is currently at and where it’s going.
Any changes to your work patterns or conditions
The most obvious point at which you should speak to an adviser in relation to your work patterns changing is, of course, when you decide the time is right for either transitioning to retirement, or fully retiring. However, there are a number of other things in your super account that can be impacted by your work patterns and conditions.
For example, if you are currently employed at the Qantas Group, depending on the division of Qantas Super that you’re in, your insurance may shift in line with what’s called your Salary for Insurance Purposes (and your age). Your Salary for Insurance Purposes is reported to Qantas Super by your employer and updated each 1 October.
We use this to calculate the default cover you receive in your account, which is calculated as a multiple of your Salary for Insurance Purposes. We have based these multiples on average insurance needs, taking into consideration household debt levels and needs at different ages.
So, if your salary shifts, you may want to chat with an adviser to check whether your new level of cover suits your needs.
Your salary changing for whatever reason will also affect the contributions that your employer must make into your account. For most members, this is the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) rate, which is currently 11% of your ordinary time earnings. So if your salary shifts, so too will the amount that your employer contributes. Depending on whether your SG contributions are going up or down, you may want to start making voluntary contributions of your own, or adjust any that you’re already making. A Super Adviser can help you determine whether making voluntary contributions is right for you.
As a member of Qantas Super, it’s also important to consider how your account will change if you leave employment at the Qantas Group. The changes differ depending on which division you’re in, so it’s a good idea to have a chat to a Super Adviser to make sure you understand them.
Book a one-on-one with a Super Adviser
You can book a one-on-one appointment with a Super Adviser at a time and location that suits you. This is part of your membership, so it comes at no additional cost.