Switch to super savings
With super caught up in the banking inquiry, the time’s right to look at your own fund, writes
BEING on the dating circuit can be pricey if you’re left picking up the bill at the end of the night.
For those on the hunt to find true love, it appears there’s a real divide on who should pay.
Independent research commissioned by online reservation platform OpenTable quizzed more than 1000 Australians and found for those on a first date, 48 per cent of men believed they should pay, compared with only 25 per cent of women.
Melissa Pearson, 21, said her first date with now-boyfriend Jack Coles, 24, was smooth sailing when it came to handling payment.
“Jack was really open to paying; he was a gentleman and insisted on paying for it,’’ she said. “It wasn’t until our fourth or fifth date that I paid.”
Ms Pearson said they now split bills and take turns paying.
Consumer finance expert Lisa Montgomery said broaching the “who will pay” topic could be awkward so “be prepared to have the conversation when the bill comes”.
She suggests being armed with cash in case both parties decide on “Going Dutch’’.
“Challenging discussions can arise when you both have cards to place on the table,’’ Ms Montgomery said.
She said it can be a nice gesture to offer to pay even if this is declined.
“Its always good to ask if you can make a ‘contribution’ to the cost if someone else pays, because that shows intent to want to pay,” Ms Montgomery said. PRICE OF LOVE: Jack Coles and girlfriend Melissa Pearson say they split the bill or take turns to pay when going out on a date. Picture: Danny Aarons SUPERANNUATION funds have come under fire in week one of the banking royal commission and there’s more pain to come in week two.
For frustrated members who have been outraged with the tales of rorts, blatant gouging and the collection of lucrative commissions, it may be time to switch. But before you jump, experts warn there are a few things to consider.
1. BE ENGAGED
The superannuation industry is worth a whopping $2.6 billion, and with dozens of funds available there’s plenty of choice for members.
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia’s chief executive officer, Martin Fahy, said the first step was to check the status of your existing fund, including fees, charges and balance, before taking any action.
“People need to be more engaged with their super and if you’ve got concerns with your super, get out your statements and fund letters,’’ he said.
Also pay attention to what investment option you are in because this will significantly impact your returns.
2. FEES AND CHARGES
Dr Fahy suggests members ask friends and family what fees and charges they pay so you can compare with your own.
“Compare your fees and then ring your fund,’’ he said. “If you feel you are not getting a good deal then don’t be afraid to move.”
He said fees could range up to 3 per cent but ideally customers should be paying around 1 to 2 per cent.
“For most consumers, fees will range from 0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent dependent on product features such as the nature of underlying investments,’’ Dr Fahy said. “On average, the percentage-based fee for consumers in MySuper products is 0.81 per cent per annum.”
There are many different fees that apply, including administration and investment fees and insurance costs, so if you’re confused, call your fund.
One of the nation’s largest super funds, Hostplus, has more than 1.1 million members and manages $34 billion. The fund’s group executive of retirement solutions and advice, Paul Watson, said it was important to also weigh up how your fund had performed in recent years.
“General considerations include the long-term net performance of an investment option,’’ he said. “Staying with one top-performing fund over the long-term could mean the difference in tens of thousands of dollars.”
The fund recently returned the best of all “My Super” balanced investment options for the last financial year, at 12.5 per cent. But industry experts say 10-year performance is often a better indicator of how a fund has really fared.
4. SWITCHING/ CONSOLIDATING
There are plenty of online sites, including Canstar, Chant West, Super Ratings, Morningstar and RateCity, to compare funds.
Mr Watson said it can be a relatively smooth process. “Setting up a new super account and consolidating your other accounts can be done over a cup of coffee and could be the most valuable 10 minutes of your life,’’ he said. shows a shift in attitude towards the digital economy.
“Go back 10 years, people were worried about how their data would be used or their credit card security,” Mr McCrindle said. “Australians have now made the decision to trade off their privacy for convenience and price. It’s like the school of fish being chased by a shark; some are going to get eaten but most won’t be affected.”
He said people also trust that big companies and retailers will sort out any breaches or issues when and if they occur.