Switching super funds? Make an informed choice

If you're contemplating the super fund shuffle, it's a decision worth considering.

There are several compelling reasons to contemplate this change: potentially lower fees, a broader spectrum of investment options, the allure of improved or more suitable insurance coverage, or the satisfaction of streamlining your financial portfolio by consolidating multiple super accounts to reduce fees and administrative hassles.

However, before you embark on this endeavour, let's break down what it entails. Think of it as embarking on a journey, and we're here to guide you through every step.

When assessing super funds, consider the following factors:

1. Performance: Evaluate long-term performance for consistency.
2. Fees and Costs: Be aware of different fees to avoid surprises.
3. Investment Options: Explore diverse strategies.
4. Member Services: Assess the quality and availability of support.
5. Insurance: Safeguard your future with appropriate coverage.
6. Financial Advice: Seek expert guidance for informed decisions.

With these factors in mind, you can create a tailored super fund that suits your financial journey.

Pre-super fund switch checklist: safeguarding your interests

1. Investment returns assessment

Don't be swayed by a super fund's past performance; it doesn't guarantee future success. Therefore, it's essential to conduct a thorough evaluation.

Before making the switch, explore the range of investment options offered by your new fund or investigate if your current fund holds hidden gems with a track record aligned with your financial goals. Remember, it's not about quick wins; it's about a robust strategy that suits your unique circumstances.

2. Fees and costs awareness

Switching super funds involves evaluating the differences in fees and costs. This can include administrative fees, investment fees, and transaction costs such as brokerage and buy/sell spread fees. Understanding the cost structure of your current find and how that compares to other funds will give you a good idea of what you can expect to pay and hopefully save if you switch.

3. Investment options

Choose investment options that are appropriate for your life stage and your own personal acceptable risk profile. Many funds offer a number of different options, from conservative to high growth.

You can also choose how involved you would like to be with your super investments. Depending on the fund, you can select a set and forget approach to super with various pre-mixed options where our fund managers allocate and manage investments on a members behalf. Or perhaps you’re keen on a build your own portfolio DIY-style with a diverse selection of sector investment options, including those unavailable at other funds.

4. Member services

Despite superannuation being one of life’s biggest investments, many people rarely change investments or even check their super balance. To help you be more proactive, you may want to consider a fund with a great record of superior member service, an app and/or easy online access to your super account.

5. Insurance considerations

As you contemplate switching super funds, pay careful attention to your insurance arrangements. If you're closing a super account with valuable personal insurance, don't expect it to automatically transfer to your new fund.

So, before taking the plunge, think about whether you can transfer or replace your insurance coverage with the new super fund.

6. Financial advice

As life changes, your needs change too. Choose a fund where it’s easy to get advice and information that’s right for you. From setting up your super or preparing for financial freedom. Many funds offer a combination of no additional cost advice, or more extensive advice, which you may be able to pay for with your super balance. This can be over the phone or face to face. Many funds also have online calculators and a range of educational support material for members such as webinars or regular investment updates.

5 Steps to change super funds

1. Select a new super fund

Conduct thorough research to find a super fund that aligns with your financial objectives. Look for one with competitive annual fees, a strong long-term track record, and an investment strategy that makes sense and excites you.

2. Join the new super fund

Getting started with your new fund is straightforward. Visit the fund's website, complete the online application form, and familiarise yourself with the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for all the essential details. If you're unsure, consider seeking independent financial advice before making the switch.

3. Explore insurance options

Now that you're a member, explore insurance options. You may have default cover or the option to customise insurance that suits your needs. Some super funds may even allow you to transfer your existing cover. If you can transfer your existing cover, make sure this is confirmed by the new fund before consolidating.

4. Notify your employer

Inform your employer of your new super fund to ensure a smooth flow of super contributions into your fresh account. Provide your employer with the necessary details to facilitate this process. Most funds have fund nomination forms with all the necessary information that you can provide your new employer to make notifying your employer simple.

5. Transfer existing super to your new account

Once your new account is active, consolidate your super balances from old funds. The ATO service on your MyGov account or your new super fund's transfer mechanism can make this process seamless, simplifying your financial affairs.

Choose UniSuper for a reliable and rewarding superannuation experience.

At UniSuper, we are committed to securing a better retirement for our members through strong long-term performance and competitive fees.* Over 70% of our funds are managed by our in-house team, helping us keep costs low. We are proud to have received multiple awards from top Australian ratings and research agencies. Additionally, our top-rated app offers 24/7 access to monitor your super and make contributions. Plus, our highly qualified financial advisors are dedicated to your financial well-being.

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*Past performance is not an indicator of future performance. Consider UniSuper Limited’s PDS and TMD on its website and your circumstances before making decisions.

The information is of a general nature and doesn't consider your personal circumstances. Before making decisions, you should consider whether the information is appropriate for your circumstances otherwise seek financial advice.

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