Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann has delayed the introduction of ‘Super Dashboard and Disclosure’ legislation until 1 July 2015. The intention of this was for members to be able to choose a Superannuation fund, get full disclosure from their fund as to the fees they pay and what exactly they have in their portfolio. Government has obviously identified this as a gap in the Super industry and will be working toward fuller disclosure by Super funds.
This begs the question though, “how many Australians actually know the details of their Super portfolios, the costs and management fees of the investments held and how many actually care?”
The sobering reality for many of us is that we are now facing a budget that is going to leave us less well off, regardless of income or age. Minister Joe Hockey is unfortunately confronted by a double edged sword: he faces the problem of tackling the country’s debt burden and the growing cost of an ageing population, with less workers in the field supporting the ‘system.’
One way to reduce debt is to cutting spending on services and in turn, add various tax increases the government labels as levies. Most agree that the current situation is unsustainable, so the government will be left with very few options.
Most likely, one solution will be pushing up the pensionable age and where this will finally rest can only be speculated at. It is obvious that many Australians are going to have to retire much later, and possibly, with much less. Unless, you start taking charge of funding your own retirement – from now!
Superannuation will play an increasingly important role in all our futures. What we do today is going to affect our Super tomorrow. This brings us back to the choice of super fund we now make and the associated costs involved. Small percentage differences can have a huge impact at the end of our working lives. The Gatten Institute has recently reported that fees and costs in Australian Super funds are higher than those in most other countries with similar retirement systems, although these fees have started dropping in the last few years, they still have a long way to go.
As there are so many funds to choose from and most Australians are left confused through choice and probably reason that one fund is as good as another. But as we know, all birds have feathers, but not all birds can fly! Besides fees and costs, other aspects to consider are things such as investment options that funds offer, exit rules, ease of interaction, taxation concerns, control over investments, insurance options and transparency.
Financial Planners make it their business to know the intricate ins and outs of funds, they have the tools to compare funds as to the benefits and advantages of one fund over the other. It is a therefore, a ‘no-brainer’ that everyone who owns a superannuation fund should at least have one discussion with a professional who can assess your situation, and possibly set an action plan in place that can deliver the desired outcome for every Australian.
The team at Wealth Planning Partners make it their aim to stay up to date, so don’t hesitate to give us a call for a no obligation visit, to discuss your needs. Now’s the time to start taking charge of your financial future.