Rolling my superannuation into one
In order to save money and hassle, it helps to have your super all in one place. Here is the process for consolidating your various super funds.
Money’s always better when you can have it in one place. Unfortunately, it’s not unheard of for Australians to rack up multiple superannuation funds by the time they’re just about ready to hang up the proverbial hat.
It’s a bit like a game of marbles. Currently, your collection is spilled on the ground, splayed in all kinds of directions; you just want to pick them up and put them back together in the pouch. Fortunately, in reality the process of consolidating your superannuation might actually be easier than picking up a bunch of stray marbles.
- The preliminaries
As always when it comes to a retirement issue, you can’t just dive in headfirst. Before you do anything, choose the super fund you want to consolidate your other accounts into. This might be the fund you’re currently using provided by your employer, or it might be a totally new one.
If it is a new fund, you need to ask three key questions:
- Will your employer still be able to pay into it?
- Are there any exit or termination fees that come with leaving your current fund?
- If you like the level of insurance your existing fund provides, can it be transferred to the new fund? If not, will the insurance in the new fund be an adequate replacement?
When choosing a new fund, you’ll also want to compare elements like fees, performance, investment options and more. Also, speak with a financial adviser to be sure you’re making the right decision as there are literally hundreds of funds available.
- Start an account with your new provider
Once you’ve picked a super fund you’re happy with (and you’re sure it’s not a downgrade), it’s time to open an account. With a number of super providers, you can open an account online. Be sure to request from the fund, or otherwise obtain, the fund’s details that your employer will need in order to pay into this new account, and provide this to your employer. If utilising a financial planner, they will usually take care of this.
- Fill out the paperwork
Go to the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) website and download the “Rollover initiation request to transfer whole balance of superannuation benefits between funds” form, and fill it out. You’ll need a separate copy for each of the funds you’re planning on consolidating, with a separate copy of your identification attached to each. Send them to your new fund. Again a financial adviser can assist with the paperwork, as well as providing advice.
If you don’t know the details of your previous funds – or how many you even have – you can:
- Contact your previous employer(s)
- Find old statements
- Use the ATO’s online SuperSeeker tool
The advantage of using the latter is that you can complete the entire process online. Check out our previous superannuation piece to find out how to find ‘lost’ super in more detail.
- Check the rollover benefits statement
It should take around three working days for your new fund to process your request. You’ll receive a rollover benefits statement from it, which you should look over and file away securely.