When was the last time you looked at your superannuation statement? If we were being honest, most people would likely say they couldn't remember. Every year, these reports informing you about the state and performance of your superannuation arrive, and Australians simply file them away with all of the other important documents they don't bother to examine.
Rather than simply opening the envelope and storing the statement away without so much as a glance, make it your New Year's resolution to actually have a good, detailed examination of your super statement. Or even unearth your previous one and blow off the dust that's built up. You'd be surprised what you could learn.
Look at the fees
Among the fees and charges that your super typically sees are those for administration, management and even adviser service. Take a look and decide whether too much of your super savings are being siphoned off. After all, you want as much of your money as possible to stay in there so your savings grow bigger.
In the case that you work out you're not getting a fair deal, it might be time to switch providers for one that offers a more competitive fee structure. You might even decide to go for a self-managed superannuation fund, though that can have costs in itself.
Check out the account balance
In many ways, this is the most obvious feature to examine. You want to know how your fund has performed, and whether it is indeed netting you the returns you need to fund a comfortable retirement. It should be expressed on your statement as a percentage, and will outline the return for each of your investment options.
If the balance is falling short, it might be time to consider switching up how your super is being invested, or even your contribution strategy. You could opt for salary sacrificing or overpayments instead.
Review your insurance
A super fund will typically provide you with life insurance and total permanent disability insurance. Ask yourself: How much are the premiums I'm paying on these? How do they compare to retail prices?
You'll also want to review whether or not your current insurance will adequately take care of you and your family, or whether you might need additional insurance, such as income protection cover.