Main region

10 ways to grow your super balance

It’s never too early or too late to improve your financial future. There are several different ways you can add extra money to your super, and if you're on a lower income, you may be able to receive a bonus from the government.

Reading icon

5 minute read

1. Check your employer is paying your super

Your employer needs to pay super at least 4 times a year, so check your super account transactions or myGov regularly.

If you’re with Australian Retirement Trust, you can forward your account details to your boss or payroll with our online form.

2. Give your TFN

Give your tax file number (TFN) to your super fund. This means you won't pay more tax than you need to, and you can make extra contributions to your super if you want to.

If you're with Australian Retirement Trust, check your profile in Member Online to see if we have your TFN.

3. Find any lost super

Find any lost super in myGov and make sure your super fund has your up-to-date contact details so you won't lose any super in the future. If you're with Australian Retirement Trust, you can give us your latest details in Member Online.

4. Combine your super

If you’ve had more than one job, there’s a good chance you could have multiple super accounts. It’s worth combining your super accounts because:

  • You'll only be paying one set of fees, potentially saving you money over your working life
  • You can take control of growing your super by having your contributions go into one fund
  • It's easier to keep track of your and your employer's contributions and your yearly contribution limit
  • You'll have less paperwork, and fewer member numbers and passwords to remember.

If you're with Australian Retirement Trust, you can easily combine any other super accounts into your Super Savings account in Member Online.

Before you switch super funds, make sure you check your insurance arrangements and any tax implications for leaving your current super fund. Consider if the timing is right and whether you’ll be missing out on pension options.

5. Salary sacrifice

When you set up a salary sacrifice arrangement with your employer, you pay or ‘sacrifice’ some of your before-tax salary into your super account. It can be an easy way to grow your super, as well as reduce your taxable income, since the money goes into your super before it gets a chance to be taxed at your marginal rate.

Use our Superannuation Contributions Calculator to see how it can work for you.

6. Make a voluntary after-tax contribution

You can make after-tax contributions (also known as personal contributions) on a regular or one-off basis, whatever suits. This can be a good way to add more money to your super when you have spare cash, potentially from a bonus or your tax return.

If you do make voluntary after-tax contributions to your super, you may be able to either claim a tax deduction for it or get the government co-contribution when you receive your tax return.

7. Get the government co-contribution or LISTO/LISC

If you earn below a certain amount, there are two types of government benefits for your super.

If you make an after-tax contribution to your super, the government will make a co-contribution to your super. You can either claim a tax deduction on your contributions or receive the government co-contribution – not both.

If you or your employer make before-tax contributions to your super, you'll receive the low income super tax offset (LISTO) when you do your yearly tax return.

8. Make a spouse contribution

You can make spouse contributions to your spouse's super account to help grow their retirement savings. This can be helpful if your partner hasn't been able to work or earn as much as you, perhaps because they were raising children, being a carer for other family members, studying, or something else.

If your partner is a low income earner and you make a spouse contribution, you may also receive a tax offset of up to $540 per year.

9. Choose the best investment option for you

It's important to make sure that your investment options are right for your goals and your life stage. In general, when members are young or have a low balance, they can focus on growth, because having plenty of time until retirement means plenty of time to ride out the market's ups and downs. Once members are ready to retire, we find they often want investment options that offer less growth but protect their existing balance.

10. Check your insurance rating

If you have insurance through your super, it's also worth occupationally rating your cover if you can, because this can usually get you cheaper premiums, unless you're in a high risk occupation.

Bonus: Make sure you're with a good super fund

It's never too late to compare super funds and choose one with high performance, low fees, investment options that suit your goals, and insurance if you need it. Once you know what you're looking for, you can decide whether it's time to change.

Before joining Australian Retirement Trust, consider the potential loss of insurance and other benefits that you may have in your other funds. The information contained on this website is general information only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial circumstances or needs. You should consider your own objectives, financial circumstances and needs, before making a decision about the financial product. Also, think about where your future employer contributions will be paid. You should consider the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination before deciding whether to acquire, or continue to hold the product. For more information or financial advice from Australian Retirement Trust, call us on 13 11 84.

Join Australian Retirement Trust online in just a few minutes.