The Courier-Mail

GEN Y JUSTINE DAVIES

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IF you man­age your su­per­an­nu­a­tion prop­erly it will set you up for a com­fort­able re­tire­ment and Gen Y has the most to gain. So here are some im­por­tant su­per things to know.

It’s amaz­ing how many peo­ple will make blan­ket state­ments like: “su­per­an­nu­a­tion has per­formed badly this year.” Umm – hello?

Su­per­an­nu­a­tion is just a tax struc­ture in the same way as a com­pany is a tax struc­ture or you are a tax struc­ture. It’s what you in­vest in within that tax struc­ture that does well or badly. You can have all your su­per funds in cash if you want, or in Aus­tralian shares, or in prop­erty. It’s your choice.

If you take an ac­tive in­ter­est in your su­per­an­nu­a­tion fund you could po­ten­tially end up with a lot more money at re­tire­ment. A Univer­sity of Mel­bourne study last year, analysing the knowl­edge and at­ti­tudes of 994 Gen Y work­ers, con­cluded that young adults are un­en­gaged by and un­in­ter­ested in su­per­an­nu­a­tion or re­tire­ment plan­ning. Only one-third even read their su­per­an­nu­a­tion state­ments! C’mon guys – that’s your money!

The fees you pay on your su­per fund over time can make a mas­sive dif­fer­ence to your re­tire­ment sav­ings. Canstar.com.au’s re­cent re­search of 74 su­per­an­nu­a­tion funds found there’s a big dif­fer­ence be­tween fees for the high­est, low­est and av­er­age.

Given the ef­fort we put into sav­ing a few dol­lars on food or petrol, it’s worth check­ing your su­per op­tions as well. Justine Davies is fi­nance editor of fi­nan­cial re­search and com­par­i­son firm Canstar.com.au

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