FAQs

Can I get personal financial advice from UniSuper?

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Yes. You can get personal financial advice directly from UniSuper through our financial advice business, UniSuper Advice. Our financial advisers are fully qualified and experienced and are solely dedicated to helping UniSuper members and their spouses. They can advise you on a wide range of matters, not just super, such as wealth creation, cash-flow planning and social security strategies.

To find out how they can help you, see UniSuper Advice or speak to our advice team on 1800 UADVICE (1800 823 842).

Can I afford to get personal financial advice?

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There’s a general misconception that financial advice is only for the wealthy. At UniSuper, we understand our members have diverse financial situations, so we provide a range of financial advice options to make it as accessible and affordable as possible for all our members regardless of how much you earn or have saved.

An advantage of being a UniSuper member is that, if the advice we provide to you relates to your UniSuper account, we may be able to directly deduct all or part of our financial advice fees from your UniSuper account. This usually depends on the type of account you have and your account balance. Check out our our services and costs for more information.

When considering whether personal financial advice is right for you, you might want to ask yourself, ‘Can I afford not to get financial advice?’ Given our financial advisers work to help you achieve your financial goals, their advice could help you save money, improve your ability to grow your investments or take advantage of financial opportunities, for example. So, while receiving personal financial advice will cost you money, it also has the potential to save you money in the long term.

Can I make extra contributions to my super before I retire?

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Yes. You can contribute make before- or after-tax contributions as long as you’re under 75. If you’re between 65 and 75, you’ll need to meet the ‘work test’. Before making extra contributions you’ll need to consider the contributions caps.

Before-tax contributions

Before-tax contributions are contributions you make to your super from your before-tax salary. Under tax law, they’re treated as concessional contributions. These contributions may reduce the income tax you pay, while giving your super savings a boost. This is known as ‘salary sacrificing’ and is organised through your employer’s payroll department.

The government, however, imposes limits, known as ‘contributions caps’, on the total contributions you can make each financial year to your super. If you exceed these limits, you’ll need to pay a higher rate of tax.

You can contribute up to $25,000 of concessional contributions in the 2017-18 financial year and incur the 15% contributions tax, provided we have your TFN and the very high income earners tax does not apply to you (see How super is taxed) for details. Any concessional contributions exceeding this limit will be added to your assessable income and taxed at your marginal rate.

From 1 July 2018, if you have a total super balance of less than $500,000 on 30 June of the previous financial year, you can carry forward any unused concessional contributions under your cap on a rolling basis for five years. This means that from 1 July 2019 you may be able to access unused concessional contributions for one or more of the past five financial years on a rolling basis.

If you’re DBD member, your concessional contributions are calculated based on your ‘notional taxed contributions’ rather than the total amount of before-tax contributions you make. For more information, read:

After-tax contributions

You can also make after-tax contributions to your super if you’re under 75. If you’re between 65 and 75, you need to meet the ‘work test'.

After-tax contributions are voluntary contributions you can make from your salary after income tax has been deducted. Your after-tax contributions are treated as ‘non-concessional’ contributions in applying the contributions cap.

If your total super balance at 30 June of the previous financial year is less than the general transfer balance cap (which is currently $1.6 million), you can generally contribute up to the annual non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap of $100,000.

If you’re under 65, you may be able to ‘bring forward’ up to three years of non-concessional contributions if your non-concessional contributions exceed the cap in a financial year. The cap amount you can bring forward, and whether you have a two- or three-year bring forward period, will depend on your total super balance at the end of June of the previous financial year.

For more information about before-tax and after-tax contributions and caps, visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.

Could my money run out while I’m retired?

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How long your money lasts when you’re retired depends on a number of factors including:

  • how much you have in your UniSuper pension account
  • how much you withdraw as income
  • how much you withdraw as lump sums
  • whether you’ve invested your pension in the market (if this applies to you) and how the market performs, and
  • how long you’ll live.

Depending on the type of pension you choose, your pension may not provide you an income for the rest of your life, nor may it provide you with adequate income while you’re retired. And, if you invest your pension in the market (if this applies to you), depending on how your investment options perform, your balance may fluctuate potentially leaving you with less money with which to enjoy your non-working years.

If you need help planning your retirement, we recommend you speak to a qualified financial adviser.

Does UniSuper invest in tobacco?

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No. We’ve always excluded tobacco from our socially responsible investment options. In addition, in 2011, we decided to screen tobacco companies from our mainstream investment portfolio. We made this decision on the basis that:

  • tobacco stocks were a small part of our total portfolio and had delivered minimal outperformance, and
  • the tobacco industry faces an uncertain regulatory future and has potential long-tail liabilities associated with it.

For these reasons, we believe the long-term risks of owning tobacco stocks outweigh the benefits.

Does UniSuper offer personal financial advice to members in all states and regional areas?

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Yes. Our team of financial advisers operates Australia-wide. They can also visit you on campus.

How do I know if I’m eligible for the Government Age Pension?

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To be eligible for the Government Age Pension you need to meet the government’s age and residence requirements. 

Age requirements

You must be 65 to qualify. By 1 July 2023, you’ll need to be 67 to qualify.

Residence requirements

You must be an Australian resident and in Australia on the day you lodge your Age Pension claim. Generally, you must also meet the government’s 10-year residence requirements. 

Centrelink has more information about the Government Age Pension and other government support.

If you need help accessing the Government Age Pension or determining if you’re eligible, we recommend you speak to a qualified financial adviser.

How do I know if UniSuper’s financial advisers are reputable?

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Many of our financial advisers who provide face-to-face personal financial advice have worked in the financial services industry or as financial advisers for over 15 years. They’re experienced and can provide advice on:

  • financial planning strategies 
  • wealth protection for personal risk, income and asset protection 
  • wealth creation strategies 
  • cash-flow management
  • superannuation 
  • social security strategies (Department of Human Services/DVA)
  • redundancy planning 
  • aged care
  • retirement planning 
  • remuneration planning (salary packaging)
  • investments 
  • estate planning considerations

All of our financial advisers are members of the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA). FPA members are committed to a code of ethics and professional conduct. You can see all of our adviser’s details on ASIC’s Financial Advisers Register available on the MoneySmart website.

How do I make a complaint?

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How do UniSuper financial advisers get paid? Do they receive commissions?

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Our advisers are salaried employees and don’t receive any commissions, so you can be confident that their advice is in your best interests.