39% of Australians have more than one super account and it costs us $2.6b every year. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making sure you’re not paying more than you need in super fees.
Should you consolidate your Super?
The vast majority of Australians who have more than one Super account would benefit from combining them. In total, multiple accounts cost $2.6b in additional fees every year. Consolidating Super to one account also reduces paperwork and makes it easier to manage, so for most of us consolidating is a no-brainer.
The one big exception is if you are in a defined benefit fund (one where your retirement benefits are calculated using your average salary over the last few years before you retire). Also, if you have medical conditions, your insurance premiums may be impacted. If these are relevant to you, research carefully and get advice before leaving.
Before you get started on this guide
- Know which fund you want to consolidate your accounts into
- Confirm employer contributions are going into the consolidation account
- Confirm the insurance option in the consolidation account is appropriate
Step 1: Login or create a myGov account.
myGov is a secure way to access government services online with one login and one password, run by the Australian Government.
You can link lots of your online services to your myGov account, including your ATO account, which is where you go to consolidate your Super.
There are other tools run by super funds but we suggest this one as they don’t try to sell you anything. To open an account just follow the usual process. If you’ve created a Facebook, eBay or Gmail you’ll figure this one out 😉
Step 2: then link the ATO to your account.
Your ATO account is where consolidate your Super, so now we need to link that to your myGov account.
Once you have logged in, on your myGov dashboard click ‘Link another service’.
Then click ‘Australian Tax Office’ under the ‘Link a service’ section.
Then enter your 9-digit Tax File Number and agree to the T’s & C’s.
Then select ‘Superannuation account details’ as a verification method and enter your superannuation account details from your current super fund (you can select other methods too).
Find your Super details on any of your statements.
The super fund ABN is an 11-digit number usually found in the small print at the bottom of any of your statements. Your member account number is usually in the ‘Your Details’ section.
Then select ‘Bank account details’ as a second verification method (or select an alternative method).
Enter your 6-digit BSB (black rectangle) and 6- to 9-digit Account Number (purple rectangle) and click ‘Next’.
You should see the ‘You have successfully linked…’ banner below the ‘Services’ title.
Step 3: Consolidate your Super using the ATO’s consolidation tool
Last step! Let’s make the magic happen… 💸
Click ‘Australian Taxation Office’.
You’ll then be taken to the ATO’s website and your ATO online account.
p.s. don’t forget to lodge your tax return! 😂
Click on the ‘Super’ tab, then choose ‘Manage’, then choose ‘Transfer Super’.
This is the money page, here you can:
see details of all your super accounts, including any you have forgotten about
see details of all your super, including super the ATO is holding on your behalf
see the ATO’s resources and suggestions for Super consolidation
As you can see, I have three Superannuation accounts (I opened two accounts to write this article)
Choose the fund(s) you want to transfer your money from (called the ‘transferring fund’) and the fund you want to transfer your money to (called the ‘receiving fund’) from the funds listed.
* note that I am not endorsing these Super funds, I just know that Unisuper is the best one for me, right now (I tutor casually at UNSW to pay the bills while getting Pearler ready for launch and my Super must be paid into this account). All three of these funds do have a good reputation in the industry though.
Then confirm your personal details and authorise. Click ‘Submit’ once you have finished the review to consolidate your Super!
You will then see this confirmation page. Your multiple accounts should be moved into one account within three days.
To be absolutely certain it worked, log back into your account after 3 days and it should have only one balance remaining.
Congratulations! 👏 🎉 You’ve just saved thousands of dollars in less than 15 minutes, that’s a pretty good hourly rate…Are there other personal finance ‘How-To’s’ that you would like step-by-step guides for? Let me know by commenting below and subscribe for updates when they come out. Cheers! 🥂🍻 At Pearler, we pride ourselves on the quality of the financial advice we give. Please note though, that this advice has not been tailored for you. You have unique financial goals, circumstances and needs which may make this advice inappropriate, and it is important that you know whether it applies to you. If you are unsure we urge you to speak to someone you trust who is competent with money and understands your individual needs, whether they be a trusted friend or professional.