Superannuation is money that is set aside over your working life, dedicated to providing for your retirement.
From 1 July 2014, most people are entitled to super guarantee contributions from their employer of at least 9.5% of your standard earnings, and in most cases choose into which super fund you would like to be paid. Personal contributions, along with government contributions and salary sacrifice arrangements are also considerations when wanting to grow your super.
Superannuation is governed by a very specific set of laws and can be accessed when you reach ‘preservation age’ and retire (age 55 and do not intend on returning to work), or turn 65 (regardless of your employment status). There are a limited set of circumstances in which superannuation savings may be accessed earlier than this, such as terminal medical illness.
Depending on the type of superannuation product, different funds typically offer Death Cover, TPD and Income Protection for their members. For policies taken out under super, the premiums are deducted from your super balance.
Taking out insurance under super may be beneficial for individuals and families where expense of cover is an issue, as well as for the ease of management as premiums are deducted from your super balance automatically. It is important to note however that under super, the types of insurance cover available are limited, and in some cases the level of cover also. In the case of distribution of your super, some funds do not offer binding or non-lapsing nomination and it is the super trustee that is responsible for choosing who will receive your benefits when you die, and should the recipient (regardless of whether they are your nominated beneficiary or not) not be your spouse or dependant, for example an independent child over the age of 18, there may be substantial tax implications.