Yeah, yeah, I know every wellness influencer you’ve ever followed online has been telling you to ‘be present’, but I’m gonna ask you to do the EXACT OPPOSITE right now. Okay?
I want you to stop and take a long hard look into your future. What do you see? Do you see a happy family? Do you see a happy dog? Do you see a happy amount saved up for your retirement? Because you better. Superannuation is no joke, guys. If you’re really committed to being a 70-something grey nomad cruising the east coast in a dope camper van then you better start super saving.
Sure, making contributions to super can be easy when you’ve got a steady employer who is paying you a steady salary every month. If you’re someone with a steady employer and a steady salary then feel free to tune out. But if you’re a freelancer or a contractor or anyone out there doing it for themselves, then listen up. It’s time to get wise to the super game. Here are the things you need to know:
You are not covered by the Superannuation Guarantee (SG)
Well, not technically anyway. No real boss generally means no SG. There are exemptions to the rule, of course, like if you’re contracting then your contract employer may pay you super as part of your remuneration – it’s always worth checking the terms and conditions of your contract. But if you’re a straight up sole-trader who works from home, in their pyjamas, and has to wait millennia for client invoices to be paid, then you’re responsible for your own contributions. Because if you don’t pay yourself some super, then no one else will.
Consolidation could be your friend
I used to pick up a new super account every time I started a new job (which was worryingly often). What I didn’t realise was that I was basically losing money by leaving little nuggets spread thin across seven different super accounts. If you haven’t looked at your super accounts you should get on to it, worker bees. And honestly, it can be hella easy and could save you $$ on fees & insurance.
Just a heads up before consolidating your super accounts – take a sec to consider where future employer contributions will be paid, the other fees you may incur with the rollover, and losing your current insurance benefits from your existing provider(s) when the insurance is cancelled. It could make your life a lot easier in the long run.
You might be eligible for government stuff
SOME self-employed people MIGHT be entitled to some sweet bonus co-contributions from the big guys in Canberra. Co-contributions are exactly what they sound like; the Government will make a contribution into your regulated My Super or choice superannuation account. It all depends on age and income and current super status but you never know, it’s worth checking the ATO site here.
You can make super part of your business plan
If your business is an incorporated company and it employs you, then the company has gotta pay you the SG (9.5% of your income). But if you’re a sole trader or partner, it’s optional. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t though. An easy way to guarantee life savings is just to factor it into your overall business plan, much like paying your taxes. Think of it as a life necessity and it will become far less overwhelming.
There is a super account out there for everyone
Treat your choice of super account like Cinderella’s shoe and find the one that fits. Because there are a lot out there. Don’t take the decision lightly – every fund offers different investment options and benefits, and charge different fees.
This article was sponsored by ING (ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292, Australian Financial Service Licence 229823) and written by PEDESTRIAN.TV. It’s also general in nature and does not take into personal circumstances, objectives or needs. Make sure you consider the appropriateness based on what you need and your financial situation. So speak to the experts before making financial choices, ok?Image: Sex & The City