Super can be super confusing

Super can be super confusing

As you retire or move closer to retirement you may start to pay closer attention to your super.

But with multiple changes to the rules associated with super over the last few years and fluctuations in the share market which can affect your super balance, you may be feeling confused.

Our super facts outline some of the important matters associated with superannuation and may help you to understand and manage your super.

Breathe Easy
Investments are renowned for fluctuating depending on the share market conditions. Making sporadic changes in the short term may mean you’re missing out on long term share growth.

For example the Commonwealth Bank issued shares to the public in 1991 at $5.40 per share. While these shares have fluctuated recently, the share price was over $73 in February 2019, demonstrating an example of long term growth of shares.

Through your super fund, you are likely to have investments across multiple asset groups, such as property, cash, equity, and bonds in addition to shares. As a result, different assets perform differently over time and at different times. Subsequently, you may have greater chance of side-stepping the highs and lows of each asset group through a differentiated portfolio. Different investment options have different levels of risk and you may wish to change your investment options as you move closer to retirement.

Here are some examples of the different types of investment options you could consider:

Growth: This option typically invests around 85% in shares or property and aims for average returns over the long term. High growth options may also be available with 100% investment in shares and property.

Balanced: This option generally invests around 70% in shares and property and the remainder in fixed interest and cash, and aims for reasonable returns. Moderate options may also be available with 50% investment in shares and property.

Conservative: This option aims to invest around 30% in shares and property with the majority in fixed interest and cash and aims to reduce risk and usually has a lower return over the long run.

Cash: This option invests 100% in cash deposits with Australian institutions with the aim of avoiding losses on investments.

Manage your risk
It’s important for you to be aware of risk and how much risk you are comfortable to have when building your superannuation and financial plan. It’s also important to regularly review your plan, as your personal situation changes.

For example; if you’re transitioning into retirement and you have a high growth strategy you may need to consider your investment strategy to suit your level of risk.

When can I access super?

Depending on when you were born will determine when you can access your super. The age you can access your super, called your ‘preservation age,’ is outlined in the table below. Once you reach your preservation age (or the age of 65), you are able to access all your super, but only if you are retired.


Date of  birth

Age you can access super

Before 1 July 1960


1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961


1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962


1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963


1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964


From 1 July 1964


Chat with an adviser

If you require support or assistance in determining a suitable financial plan it may be advantageous to chat with a qualified financial advisor. With professional advice you may have increased confidence that your superannuation plan matches your overall financial goals.

For further information on super, visit Superguide or MoneySmart.

Please note: This is not financial advice and should not be considered without professional advice which takes your financial objectives and personal circumstances into account. We strongly recommend speaking to a financial advisor before making any financial decisions. Suncare does not accept responsibility for the opinions, comments, forward looking statements or analysis contained in this post.

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