It’s never too early or too late to learn more about your super and how you can make the most of your retirement savings. We’re here to help you.
The earlier you start to take control of your super, the more time you have to explore your options and allow your savings to grow.
Tip 1: making extra contributions is one of the best ways to grow your super
If you make even small regular deposits or lump-sum payments to your super, they can make a big difference to your final super balance over time:
- If you’re a long time away from retirement, starting early to regularly add extra money to your super now means you can make a bigger impact on your retirement savings
- If you’re close to retiring, you should aim to make the most contributions possible to grow your balance
There are limits on the amount of contributions you can make to super, and they change depending on which type of account you hold with us.
Tip 2: you could enjoy tax benefits when you invest in your super
One of the reasons you might choose to invest in your super over other types of investments is the chance to take advantage of certain tax benefits.
Boost your super with salary sacrifice contributions
Salary sacrifice contributions allow you to make the most of the special tax treatment that applies to super. If you compare salary sacrifice contributions to making contributions from your after-tax income (say to a savings account or managed fund), you’ll find salary sacrifice has three main benefits:
- You'll have more money to invest Your salary is taxed up to 47% (depending on your marginal tax rate), while a salary sacrifice contribution is generally taxed at 15%.
- You'll pay less tax on what your super investments earn The investment earnings on your savings or managed fund may be taxed up to 49%, while earnings on GESB Super are only taxed at 15%. If you have a West State Super or Gold State Super account, these are untaxed funds so tax only applies once you access your benefit.
- You could reduce your income tax Making salary sacrifice contributions means your taxable income is lower, so you might pay less income tax.
If you have reached your Commonwealth preservation age, salary sacrifice offers even more benefits. You can start a transition to retirement strategy and continue working. You can salary sacrifice to super while using some of your benefit through a retirement income stream. This means you can grow your super and still enjoy the same level of income.
Tip 3: choose an investment plan to match your goals
When you choose an investment plan, you might like to consider:
- How long you have until you retire
- How long you might live after you retire
- How much risk you’re comfortable with
In general, if you’re further away from retiring, you could probably afford to take more risk in your investment plan as you have time to recover from negative investment returns. If you’re getting close to retirement you might want to look closely at your investment plan. A conservative plan might be limiting how much your super could grow.
Tip 4: review your insurance
Your life may have changed a lot since you started working in the WA public sector. Perhaps you’ve bought a house or raised a family, or your circumstances have changed in other ways.
It's important to review your level of insurance from time to time. Check that you’re only spending your retirement savings on insurance that you actually need. You might decide that you would be happier with more or less cover, or that you don’t need insurance, depending on your situation.
Tip 5: combine your super
If you have more than one super account, it could be worth rolling your funds into one account. You could save on fees and you'll be able to see your super balance, and what it is invested in, on one statement.
Combining your super is now easier than ever. You can do it all using Member Online.
Thank you for printing this page. Remember to come back to gesb.wa.gov.au for the latest information as our content is updated regularly. This information is correct as at 15 July 2020.