STARTING A NEW JOB? GET YOUR SUPER SORTED FIRST
When you start a new job, your employer will begin making regular contributions to your super. Contributing to super is one of the best ways to build your retirement savings throughout your career. For as long as you’re working, your employer has to help you grow your nest egg by making regular super guarantee (SG) payments into your super account. So if you’re about to begin a new job, there are a few things you should do to start off your SG arrangements on the right foot.
What to expect from your new employer
Once you start your new job, your employer has 28 days to give you a standard choice form, provided you’re eligible to choose your super fund (which most of us are). This form lets your employer know which super fund to pay your SG contributions into.
When you receive the form, your employer should have already filled out the details of their own ‘default fund’. They’ll also need to give you information about this fund, so you can decide whether or not you want to use it. If you’re eligible to choose your own fund, your employer could face a penalty if they don’t give you the chance to do so.
If you already have a super fund
If you already have a super account set up in a fund of your choice, you can keep using it for your SG contributions from your new employer — you don’t need to use your employer’s default fund. To do this, simply write these details on the form:
- The fund’s name and Australian Business Number (ABN)
- The fund’s contact details
- Your account name and membership number.
If you nominate a self-managed super fund (SMSF), you’ll also need to confirm that your fund is regulated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). You can find and print the compliance status of your SMSF by searching online in the Government’s Super Fund Lookup service at superfundlookup.gov.au.
Once you’ve given all this information to your employer, you should start receiving SG payments in your nominated account within two months.
If you don’t yet have a super fund
If you’re happy for your SG contributions to be paid into your employer’s default fund, simply tick the relevant box on the standard choice form. An account will be set up for you, and you’ll receive all the membership information you need.
Or, you can do some research online and set up a new account with another super provider ― then give these details to your employer.
Your Tax File Number (TFN)
Although it’s not compulsory, it’s a good idea to provide your super fund and your employer with your TFN. This will ensure you don’t end up paying extra tax on super contributions ― and it also makes it easier for your employer to make SG payments to your account.
How to switch your super fund
Once you choose a super fund, it doesn’t mean you’re stuck with the same fund for life. You can change your fund at any time — or once a year while you’re with the same employer — by filling out a transfer form for your new preferred fund. If you roll over your super from one fund to another, you’ll need to ask your employer for a new standard choice form so you can give them the details of your new fund. Before you switch, make sure you understand what this means for any personal insurance you hold through your super. You should also check if you’ll be charged any fees for leaving your current fund.
If you change jobs
If you move to another employer, it doesn’t mean you have to change your super fund — even if you’ve been using your previous employer’s default fund. You can either:
- Keep your super in the same fund ― as long as it will accept contributions from your new employer
- Switch to your new employer’s default fund — or any other fund you choose.