RateCity Says: This super fund assigns a "path" to your savings based on your birth year, and adjusts your investments based on your life stage to help better manage your retirement assets.
Winner of SuperRatings Platinum 2022 MySuper
Quick superannuation review
For Virgin Money Super - LifeStage Tracker
These are the benefits of this superannuation.
- One of the lowest fees in the market.
- Simple and straightforward investment options including a LifeStage Tracker® option.
- Automatic Insurance cover with a pre-approved level of Death and TPD cover based on your age.
- Access to your super 24/7 with the ability to make changes instantly to your investment mix; plus online consolidation in less than 10 minutes.
Virgin Money Super is a plan within the Mercer Super Trust, designed to provide a default structure for superannuation investments with competitive fees to optimise retirement incomes for members across all industries.Virgin Money Super LifeStage Tracker is the fund's MySuper offering, which is a whole of life investment strategy that adjusts underlying asset allocations according to a member's age, gradually 'gliding' from a growth-oriented investment strategy to a defensive-oriented strategy. The LifeStage Tracker Born 1959-1963 option underperformed the SuperRatings Index over the 1-year period to 30 June 2021; however, outperformed over the 3-year period.Fees are lower than the industry average across all account balances assessed. Eligible members can apply for a reduced asset-based administration fee via the 'Virgin Money Super Baby Break' program for a maximum of 12 months. Members can switch investment options at no cost.A full suite of insurance cover is offered, with Death and Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD) cover automatically provided to eligible members upon joining the fund. Members can apply to increase their Death and TPD cover following the occurrence of a prescribed Life Event without additional underwriting. Income Protection (IP) with a benefit period of 2 years, covering up to 75% of salary, is available following a 90-day waiting period. Members have access to a free Simple Super Advice service, as well as comprehensive financial planning services provided through Mercer Financial Advice. Online account access allows members to check their account balance and investment performance, as well as make investment changes.
For Virgin Money Super - LifeStage Tracker
- Insurance Cover
Account size discount
Financial planning service
Non-lapsing binding nominations
Employer size discount
Insurance life event increases
Total and permanent disability cover
Long term income protection
Administration fee (%)
Indirect cost ratio (%)
Target Market Determination
Visit Virgin Money to view Target Market Determination.
Fund fees vs. Industry average
Fund past-5-year return vs. Industry average
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What will the superannuation fund do with my money?
Your money will be invested in an investment option of your choosing.
What is superannuation?
Superannuation is money set aside for your retirement. This money is automatically paid into your superannuation fund by your employer.
Can my employer use money from my superannuation account?
No, your employer can’t touch the money that is paid into your superannuation account.
Can I take money out of my superannuation fund?
Superannuation is designed to provide Australians with money in their retirement. The government has strict rules around when people can take that money out of their fund because it wants to prevent people eroding their savings before they reach retirement.
As a general rule, you can only take money out of your superannuation fund when you reach:
- Age 65
- Your ‘preservation age’ and retire
- Your preservation age and begin a ‘transition to retirement’ while still working
That said, you can take money out of your superannuation fund early based on one of these seven special conditions:
- Compassionate grounds
- Severe financial hardship
- Temporary incapacity
- Permanent incapacity
- Superannuation inheritance
- Superannuation balance under $200
- Temporary resident departing Australia
Can I transfer money from overseas into my superannuation account?
Yes, you can transfer money from overseas into your superannuation account – under certain conditions. First, you must provide your tax file number to your fund. Second, if you are aged between 65 and 74, you must have worked at least 40 hours within 30 consecutive days in a financial year. (Australians under 65 aren’t subject to a work test; Australians aged 75 and over cannot receive contributions to their superannuation account.)
Money transferred from overseas will generally count to both your concessional contributions limit and your non-concessional contributions limit. You will have to pay income tax on the applicable fund earnings component of any money transferred from overseas. You might also be liable for excess contributions tax.
When did superannuation start?
Australia’s modern superannuation system – in which employers make compulsory contributions to their employees – started in 1992. However, before that, there were various restricted superannuation schemes applying to certain employees in certain industries. The very first superannuation scheme was introduced in the 19th century.
What are reportable employer superannuation contributions?
Reportable employer superannuation contributions are special contributions that an employer makes on top of the regular compulsory contributions. One example would be contributions made as part of a salary sacrifice arrangement.
How much superannuation should I have at age 40?
The amount of superannuation you should have at age 40 is based on how much money you need to have at retirement. That, in turn, is based on how much money you expect to spend each week during your retirement. That, in turn, depends on whether you expect to lead a modest retirement or a comfortable retirement.
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) estimates you would need the following amount per week:
Here is the superannuation balance you would need to fund that level of spending:
These figures come from the March 2017 edition of the ASFA Retirement Standard.
The reason people on modest lifestyles need so much less money is because they qualify for a far bigger age pension.
Here is how ASFA defines retirement lifestyles:
|Holidays||One annual holiday in Australia||One or two short breaks in Australia near where you live||Shorter breaks or day trips in your own city|
|Eating out||Regularly eat out at restaurants. Good range and quality of food||Infrequently eat out at restaurants. Cheaper and less food||Only club special meals or inexpensive takeaway|
|Car||Owning a reasonable car||Owning an older, less reliable car||No car – or, if you do, a struggle to afford the upkeep|
|Alcohol||Bottled wine||Casked wine||Homebrew beer or no alcohol|
|Clothing||Good clothes||Reasonable clothes||Basic clothes|
|Hair||Regular haircuts at a good hairdresser||Regular haircuts at a basic salon||Less frequent haircuts or getting a friend to do it|
|Leisure||A range of regular leisure activities||One paid leisure activity, infrequently||Free or low-cost leisure activities|
|Electronics||A range of electronic equipment||Not much scope to run an air conditioner||Less heating in winter|
|Maintenance||Replace kitchen and bathroom over 20 years||No budget for home improvements. Can do repairs, but can’t replace kitchen or bathroom||No budget to fix home problems like a leaky roof|
|Insurance||Private health insurance||Private health insurance||No private health insurance|
How do I combine several superannuation accounts into one account?
How do you find superannuation?
Lost superannuation refers to savings in an account that you’ve forgotten about. This can happen if you’ve opened several different accounts over the years while moving from job to job.
You can use your MyGov account to see details of all your superannuation accounts, including any you might have forgotten. Alternatively, you can fill in a ‘Searching for lost super’ form and send it to the Australian Taxation Office, which will then search on your behalf.
Can I buy a house with my superannuation?
First home buyers are the only people who can use their superannuation to buy a property. The federal government has created the First Home Super Saver Scheme to help first home buyers save for a deposit. First home buyers can make voluntary contributions of up to $15,000 per year, and $30,000 in total, to their superannuation account. These contributions are taxed at 15 per cent, along with deemed earnings. Withdrawals are taxed at marginal tax rates minus a tax offset of 30 percentage points.
Voluntary contributions to the First Home Super Saver Scheme are not exempt from the $25,000 annual limit on concessional contributions. So if you pay $15,000 per year into the First Home Super Saver Scheme, you have to make sure that you don’t receive more than $10,000 in superannuation payments from your employer and any salary sacrificing.
How do you set up superannuation?
Before you set up a superannuation account, you’ll need to check if you’re allowed to choose your own fund. Most Australians can, but this option doesn’t apply to some workers who are covered by industrial agreements or who are members of defined benefits funds.
Assuming you are able to choose your own fund, the next step should be research, because there are more than 200 different superannuation funds in Australia.
Once you’ve decided on your preferred superannuation fund, head to that provider’s website, where you should be able to fill in an online application or download the appropriate forms. You’ll need your tax file number (assuming you don’t want to be charged a higher tax rate), your contact details and your employer’s details (if you’re employed).
How long after divorce can you claim superannuation?
You or your partner could be forced to surrender part of your superannuation if you divorce, just like with other assets.
You can file a claim for division of property – including superannuation – as soon as you divorce. However, the claim has to be filed within one year of the divorce.
Your superannuation could be affected even if you’re in a de facto relationship – that is, living together as a couple without being officially married.
In that case, the claim has to be filed within two years of the date of separation.
Either way, the first thing to consider is whether you’re a member of a standard, APRA-regulated superannuation fund or if you’re a member of a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF), because different rules apply.
Standard superannuation funds
If your relationship breaks down, your superannuation savings might be divided by court order or by agreement.
The rules of the superannuation fund will dictate whether this transfer happens immediately, or in the future when the person who has to make the transfer is allowed to access the rest of their superannuation (i.e. at or near retirement).
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If your relationship breaks down, you must continue to observe the trust deed of your SMSF.
So if you and your partner are both members of the same SMSF, neither party is allowed to use the fund to inflict ‘punishment’ – such as by excluding the other party from the decision-making process or refusing their request to roll their money into another superannuation fund.
This no-punishment rule applies even if the two parties are involved in legal proceedings.
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Superannuation funds often charge a fee for splitting accounts after a relationship breakdown.
Splitting superannuation can also impact the size of your total super balance and how your super is taxed.
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What are ethical investment superannuation funds?
Ethical investment funds limit themselves to making ‘ethical’ investments (which each fund defines according to its own principles). For example, ethical funds might avoid investing in companies or industries that are linked to human suffering or environmental damage.
What is an SMSF?
An SMSF is a self-managed superannuation fund. SMSFs have to follow the same rules and restrictions as ordinary superannuation funds.
SMSFs allow Australians to directly invest their superannuation, rather than let ordinary funds manage their money for them.
SMSFs are regulated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). They can have up to four members. All members must be trustees (or directors if there is a corporate trustee).
Unlike with ordinary funds, SMSF members are responsible for meeting compliance obligations.
What are the risks and challenges of an SMSF?
- SMSFs have high set-up and running costs
- They come with complicated compliance obligations
- It takes a lot of time to research investment options
- It can be difficult to make such big financial decisions
What should I know before getting an SMSF?
Four questions to ask yourself before taking out an SMSF include:
- Do I have enough superannuation to justify the higher set-up and running costs?
- Am I able to handle complicated compliance obligations?
- Am I willing to spend lots of time researching investment options?
- Do I have the skill to make big financial decisions?
It’s also worth remembering that ordinary superannuation funds usually offer discounted life insurance and disability insurance. These discounts would no longer be available if you decided to manage your own super.
How do I set up an SMSF?
Setting up an SMSF takes more work than registering with an ordinary superannuation fund.
An SMSF is a type of trust, so if you want to create an SMSF, you first have to create a trust.
To create a trust, you will need trustees, who must sign a trustee declaration. You will also need identifiable beneficiaries and assets for the fund – although these can be as little as a few dollars.
You will also need to create a trust deed, which is a document that lays out the rules of your SMSF. The trust deed must be prepared by a qualified professional and signed by all trustees.
To qualify as an Australian superannuation fund, the SMSF must meet these three criteria:
- The fund must be established in Australia – or at least one of its assets must be located in Australia
- The central management and control of the fund must ordinarily be in Australia
- The fund must have active members who are Australian residents and who hold at least 50 per cent of the fund’s assets – or it must have no active members
Once your SMSF is established and all trustees have signed a trustee declaration, you have 60 days to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN).
When completing the ABN application, you should ask for a tax file number for your fund. You should also ask for the fund to be regulated by the Australian Taxation Office – otherwise it won’t receive tax concessions.
Your next step is to open a bank account in your fund’s name. This account must be kept separated from the accounts held by the trustees and any related employers.
Your SMSF will also need an electronic service address, so it can receive contributions.
Finally, you will need to create an investment strategy, which explains how your fund will invest its money, and an exit strategy, which explains how and why it would ever close.
Please note that you can pay an adviser to set up your SMSF. You might also want to take the Self-Managed Superannuation Fund Trustee Education Program, which is a free program that has been created by CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand.
What is an SMSF investment strategy?
All SMSFs are required to have an investment strategy, which should explain what assets the fund will buy and what objectives it will pursue. This strategy must be reviewed regularly.
Issues to consider include how much risk the SMSF will take, how easily its assets can be converted into cash and how it will pay out benefits.
What contributions can SMSFs accept?
SMSFs can accept mandated employer contributions from an employer at any time (Funds need an electronic service address to receive the contributions).
However, SMSFs can’t accept contributions from members who don’t have tax file numbers.
Also, they generally can’t accept assets as contributions from members and they generally can’t accept non-mandated contributions for members who are 75 or older.