In simple terms, superannuation is just a tax-effective way to save for retirement. It is a long-term investment designed to provide you with money for retirement. The main advantage of super is that, generally speaking, the earnings on money invested in superannuation are taxed at a lower rate than earnings on money invested outside super.

Your super starts to build up from the time you start work, because that’s typically when your employer starts to make compulsory contributions in to your superannuation fund on your behalf. The current minimum compulsory contribution, known as the superannuation guarantee or SG, is 9.5% of your salary. The SG will increase over the next few years to be 12% by 2025/26.

When you retire, you can withdraw your super (after taxes and other charges) as a lump sum, as an income stream or a combination of both.

Your super is to be used to provide money for your retirement so, any money you put into super must stay there until you reach your preservation age. Your preservation age depends on your date of birth.

There are several things you can do right now to grow your super, such as making voluntary personal superannuation contributions, consolidating your super into one fund and choosing your superannuation investment option.

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