Superannuation Advice Australia: Maximise Your Retirement Savings

  • Gareth LaneGareth Lane Ashwin RamdasAshwin Ramdas
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    This information has been reviewed by our SMSF Mates before it was published as part of our review process.

Superannuation is a cornerstone of Australia’s financial framework, underpinning numerous retirement plans. For many Australians, effectively managing their superannuation is pivotal to ensuring a financially secure retirement. Expert superannuation advice can be invaluable, particularly when deciphering individual financial situations.

Options like Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) exemplify the evolving superannuation landscape, presenting personalised investment avenues for those keen to be proactive. Alongside SMSFs, examining the best performing super funds can provide additional insights into optimising retirement savings.

This guide delves into the nuances of superannuation, providing key strategies and insights to boost your savings and ensure a prosperous financial future.

1. Contribute More Than The Mandatory Amount

Understanding the Super Guarantee

While the Super Guarantee (SG) mandates employers to contribute a set percentage of an employee’s ordinary time earnings into their superannuation account, there’s potential for growth beyond this foundational contribution. Making voluntary contributions, even in small amounts, can significantly boost your superannuation balance over time.

The Impact of Voluntary Contributions

For instance, consider Jane, a 30-year-old professional earning AUD$70,000 annually. If she contributes an additional AUD$100 per month to her super, by the time she retires at 65, the compounded growth could potentially add tens of thousands to her super balance. By assessing her financial situation, Jane recognised the advantages of making these additional contributions and the profound impact they can have on retirement savings.

The power of consistent, additional contributions should not be underestimated. Not only do they bolster your retirement savings, but they also offer tax advantages and foster a proactive approach to personal finance.

2. Understanding Contribution Caps for Your Super Fund

In Australia, superannuation has set contribution thresholds, often referred to as ‘caps’. Annually, these dictate the amount one can deposit into their super. Typically, these caps are grouped into two distinct categories: concessional and non-concessional.

Concessional Caps

These cover contributions made from your pre-tax income, such as employer contributions and salary-sacrificed amounts. Going beyond these caps can result in additional tax obligations.

Non-Concessional Caps

These encompass contributions made from your post-tax income, meaning they have already been subjected to tax. Exceeding these caps may result in additional taxes or penalties.

Actively monitoring these caps is crucial. By regularly conducting a superannuation review with the help of superannuation advice, you can strategise your contributions to get the most out of your super without incurring unexpected tax implications. This proactive approach ensures you capitalise on your potential savings, while sidestepping financial pitfalls.

3. Seek Personal Financial Advice

Superannuation can often be a complex area for many Australians. Seeking good advice is pivotal to navigating this landscape effectively. A financial planner provides not just generic guidance but tailored superannuation advice to ensure your funds work best for you.

Their insights can help protect and nurture your superannuation balance, offering strategies you might not be aware of or free services that could be beneficial. The value of such expertise becomes evident as one seeks to maximise their financial potential for retirement. Thus, engaging with a financial professional should be considered a crucial step in shaping a prosperous superannuation journey.

4. Consolidate Multiple Super Accounts

Many Australians, sometimes inadvertently, juggle several super funds throughout their working lives. This can stem from changing jobs, opting for different financial product offerings, or simply from acquiring a new super account with each career move. Consolidating these accounts is a wise strategy to streamline financial management and pare down unnecessary expenses.

Consolidating your super accounts offers numerous advantages:

Reduced Fees:

Every account typically incurs its own set of administrative charges. By merging them, you can minimise these overheads, allowing a more significant portion of your funds to be channelled into productive investments.

Streamlined Financial Management:

Juggling multiple accounts can be confusing. Consolidation provides clarity, enabling you to have a better grasp on your financial standing.

Enhanced SMSF Benefits:

With the increasing popularity of SMSFs, a consolidated account offers a clearer overview of your assets. This transparency simplifies making informed investment decisions with the aid of your financial adviser.

Engaging with a financial planner during this process ensures that consolidation is done in your best interest, considering factors like existing insurance coverages, investment options, and fees across your various accounts.

5. Benefit from Government Co-contributions

A Rewarding Initiative for Active Savers

The government co-contribution scheme is a prime example of the rewards of an active superannuation strategy. This scheme is aimed at enhancing the super savings of low to middle-income earners, offering a boost for those who make personal contributions to their super.

Yearly Changes and Their Implications

For every eligible non-concessional contribution you make, the government may match it up to a specified limit. However, these exact matches and the qualifying income thresholds can change annually. It’s crucial to stay informed, especially if you’re nearing the age pension bracket.

Take the case of Sam, a part-time worker earning AUD$38,000 per year. If Sam decides to contribute an extra AUD$1,000 to his superannuation from his after-tax income, depending on that year’s co-contribution scheme, the government might add, for example, up to AUD$500 to his super. This effectively amplifies his contribution by 50%, representing a significant boost to his retirement savings.

6. Stay Informed and Active with the Help of Financial Advisers

The dynamic world of superannuation continually shifts, influenced by market trends, legislative changes, and global economic events. Staying updated can be a task in itself. Financial advisers play a pivotal role in this context, offering both personal financial advice and broader guidance. They possess the expertise to interpret these changes, ensuring you make informed decisions to harness optimal benefits from your super.

Having regular reviews with an adviser can offer insights into potential investment opportunities, tweaks to your current strategies, or precautionary measures against looming market downturns. More than just guidance, advisers provide a holistic view, bridging gaps in one’s knowledge and ensuring consistent alignment with financial goals.

7. Consider an SMSF for a Hands-on Approach

An SMSF, or Self-Managed Super Fund, is a distinct option for those seeking superannuation advice in Australia. It offers Australians an opportunity to take direct control over their superannuation investments. For a comprehensive understanding, you can refer to our SMSF guide.

Unlike traditional super funds, where decisions are usually made on behalf of a large pool of members, an SMSF empowers individuals to tailor investment choices based on their personal financial objectives and risk tolerance.

SMSF Responsibilities and Rewards

Managing your super directly presents both challenges and benefits. As trustees, individuals must ensure their fund adheres to regulations, remains sustainable, and meets its core goal: providing retirement benefits. This direct involvement allows access to diverse investments, from property and shares to unique collectibles.

However, SMSFs aren’t for everyone. They suit those well-versed in finance or those seeking professional guidance. For the right person, the advantages of an SMSF can be significant, offering a tailored approach to retirement planning.

Superannuation Advice: Key Takeaways

Superannuation is pivotal for retirement planning in Australia. With a variety of options available, collaborating with financial advisers ensures a proactive and informed approach to securing a comfortable retirement. Remember, as with all financial undertakings, the choices you make today will directly shape your future.

Ensuring you’re well-informed and leveraging expert guidance can be the difference between merely managing and thriving in your golden years. Taking charge of your super today is investing in a future of financial security and peace of mind.


General Advice Warning

Gareth Lane

Concise Digital

Gareth Lane is a successful entrepreneur, businessman, and owner of the digital marketing and web agency Concise Digital, based out of Perth, Western Australia. Concise Digital have solved over 60,000 digital / web problems for clients since 2005. Gareth is one of the founders of SMSF Mate.

Gareth is passionate about helping small businesses be more successful online by avoiding the pitfalls of digital marketing. He regularly runs live talks, workshops and meetups discussing Google, social media and all things digital marketing.

Gareth studied Business and Commerce at Curtin University, and has held board positions for a number of organisations, including serving as the President of the Western Suburbs Business Association and as a non-executive member of WA Business Assist. A true entrepreneur at heart, he started his first business at 13 and has created and run multiple successful businesses since.

Gareth enjoys good food, great wine and time in the sun when he’s not at his computer helping other businesses get ahead!

You can find out more about Gareth or connect with him on Linkedin here:

Or visit his websites here: or

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Ashwin Ramdas

Eventum Consulting

Ashwin is an accountant and educator based in Perth, Western Australia. He is passionate about helping family owned businesses and startups. He is one of the founders of SMSF Mate and you’ll regularly see him on our podcast!

Ashwin is a managing owner and director of Eventum Consulting, a multidisciplinary firm helping clients with finance, succession planning and their tax needs. He also served as a lecturer in taxation and small business at the Central Institute of Technology, and has worked as an accountant at a number of well-known tax specialists.

Ashwin studied a Diploma of Business Education and a Bachelor of Commerce in Financial Accounting, Managerial Accounting and Corporate Finance, both at Curtin University, WA.

Ashwin is passionate about technology, and sees it as an enabler for his clients to grow truly sustainable and profitable businesses.

You can find out more about Ashwin or connect with him on Linkedin here:

Or visit his website here:

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Kind words from Aussies managing
their own self funded futures

  • SMSF Mate is a unique website because it has ideas about how to approach SMSFs, insurance and other financial topics that come straight from first hand experience. It's much more useful than what you find on all the other financial websites that just offer generic info that you could easily get on the ATO's website. It's also nice to know there's no financial incentive behind the information, it's legitimately there to help people understand self-managed super funds and how to get the most out of them, not to get an affiliate commission from a broker or other financial services provider. The investment product information is also incredibly useful, I've never seen this kind of functionality on any other website that let's you look at such a wide range of products, sort by what info is most interesting or important to you, and subscribe to updates for different funds and financial products all in one place. Definitely worth checking out if you own or are considering an SMSF!

    David G, Self-Employed, SMSF Owner
  • SMSF Mate provides a unique insight into superannuation and financial topics in a way that is easier to understand than conventional websites. The colloquial nature of the site makes it easy to understand and they often speak about complicated topics in lamens terms so I can wrap my head around them. The investment product information is a great way to research funds that I am interested in investing in with my SMSF and there is a lot of helpful information on the site for better structuring my investment portfolio. In comparison to other websites which offer similar information, SMSF Mate excels as the information is free to access whereas many other sites charge a subscription fee for the same thing. Overall, I think SMSF Mate is a great resource for SMSF trustees and is worth looking at for a variety of super-related topics. Thanks.

    Tim B, Business Owner, SMSF Trustee