Choosing the best option for your super

In 2012, the State Government introduced an initiative known as Choice of Super, which means you can choose another fund for these contributions. At GESB, we support this initiative and encourage you to learn as much as you can about your super. This will help you make the right choice for your situation and retirement goals.

Gold State Super is a defined benefit super scheme. This means Choice of Super doesn’t apply but you do have the choice to voluntarily withdraw from the scheme and have your future contributions directed to any complying super fund.

You can change your account but you can’t change your mind

Gold State Super is very different to most other super accounts and is closed to new members. This means if you decide to make contributions to another fund, you’ll need to withdraw permanently from your Gold State Super account. You can’t re-join at a later date. It’s important to understand the unique benefits and the consequences of withdrawing from Gold State Super, and seek financial advice to suit your personal circumstances before making a decision.

There are not many funds like Gold State Super in Australia

Your Gold State Super is an untaxed, constitutionally protected super fund.

As a Gold State Super member, you can take advantage of some unique benefits not available with other super funds.

Your Gold State Super benefit is guaranteed by the WA State Government

This means you can know exactly how much you’ll have when you retire, as your benefit is determined by a defined formula. The formula includes your final average salary, how long you have worked in the WA public sector and your Average Contribution Rate.

Unlike most other super funds, your Gold State Super balance doesn’t change based on the performance of investment markets.

Gold State Super is an untaxed scheme

You don't pay tax until your benefit is paid to you or rolled over to a taxed scheme or retirement income stream.

No separate fees are charged

You aren’t charged any separate fees for administration, insurance and other running expenses.

Gold State Super includes automatic insurance at no cost

If you’re working for the WA public sector and are aged under 60, you have automatic death and disability insurance at no extra cost, for as long as you're making contributions. This cover applies 24 hours a day, seven days a week, no matter where you are.

You can take advantage of concessional tax treatment

As a Gold State Super member, you have an untaxed plan cap, which means your Gold State Super account allows you to accumulate an untaxed benefit of up to $1.480 million2 and still be concessionally taxed. If you exceed this cap, tax on the excess is levied at 47%. Concessional contributions such as salary sacrifice to Gold State Super are not capped, but they count towards your cap when making these contributions to a taxed scheme.

If you’re a Gold State Super member, you might be able to take advantage of some unique strategies to reduce tax if you started working in the WA public sector before 1 July 1983.

Essential things to know if you’re considering changing super funds

If you’ve thought about withdrawing from your Gold State Super account, it’s important to understand what will happen next.

If you change funds, your super will be impacted by investment markets

As a defined benefit fund, your final Gold State Super benefit is determined by applying a fixed formula. Your super is not market-linked, which means it isn’t impacted by the performance of investment markets. If you withdraw from Gold State Super and ask your employer to contribute to a different super fund, your Super Guarantee (SG) will be exposed to movements in the market.

You may have a lot less super to draw on when you retire

The formula used to calculate your Final Benefit includes your salary and how many eligible years you’ve worked in the WA public sector. If you withdraw early from the scheme, these elements could be lower now than what they may be when you retire, which could result in a lower benefit.

If you withdraw from Gold State Super, your Final Benefit will be calculated and preserved in the fund until you meet a condition of release.

You can't roll your Gold State Super over to another fund

If you are under 55 or still working in the WA public sector, you can choose to have your employer contributions paid into another fund, but you can’t roll your Gold State Super over to another super fund. Instead, we preserve1 your super until you are at least age 55 and no longer working in the WA public sector. During this period, your Final Benefit will accumulate interest in accordance with the State Superannuation Regulations 2001 at the rate of Perth Consumer Price Index (Perth CPI) plus 1% p.a. until you turn 55, then indexed annually at Perth CPI plus 2% p.a.

If you change funds, you may need to pay fees and insurance premiums

With Gold State Super, you have no fees and automatic insurance cover at no extra cost. If you choose to withdraw, the fund you choose will charge fees and you’ll be charged insurance premiums for any cover that you have.

You can’t change your mind

Gold State Super is closed to new members. If you choose to withdraw from Gold State Super, you can’t contribute to it again in the future.

Learn more before you make a decision to change your super fund

Find out more about what makes your Gold State Super account unique or call your Member Services Centre on 13 43 72. It’s also worth reading the Gold State Super essentials brochure for more details. We recommend that you seek independent financial advice from a licensed financial adviser before deciding to change your account. Gold State Super is a rare scheme that some advisers may not be familiar with. Visit our financial advice for Gold State Super page to help you and your adviser understand the unique benefits.

1 Depending on certain circumstances, you may have options to access your super from age 55. However, your Gold State Super preservation age will affect how your benefit is taxed. Your Gold State Super preservation age is dependent on your date of birth. For more information on your Gold State Super preservation age, read the Accessing your super brochure.
2 For the 2018/19 financial year, indexed annually in line with Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings, in increments of $5,000 rounded down. The untaxed plan cap applies for each untaxed scheme you are a member of.

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Page last updated 13 November 2018