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- 05 February 2016
Superannuation & retirement
About 20 years ago, less than half of all workers had superannuation. As a result of union activity, employees have made substantial gains and today that figure is closer to 97%.
Superannuation is rightly considered a major issue given that for many people it has become their second biggest asset after the family home. Super is a crucial ingredient in our plans for retirement and will determine for many people whether they have a decent standard of living when they cease working.
The ASU has fought for superannuation for our members and was directly involved in test cases that extended it to casual workers. You can read about some of super's history here.
Today, we continue to fight for adequate levels of super as it is widely acknowledged that the Government's Superannuation Guarantee of 9% is not sufficient for a comfortable retirement.
ASU members are continuing to campaign to win better superannuation entitlements through enterprise bargaining. From the middle of 2008, enterprise bargaining will be the only way employees will be able to win improvements in their superannuation.
In October 2015 the ASU began a major project investigating women, super and retirement in great detail. Initially it was to write a submission for a Senate Inquiry into women's financial security in retirement, but as we delved further it became apparent that this area is in great need to work.
Women and low paid workers, many despite a lifetime of work, are retiring with minimal super and facing an uncertain future.
We are continuing our work to formulate the best policy responses to deal with this glaring injustice. Browse our newsfeed (in the right hand sidebar) for updates on our progress.
The ASU Public Sector industry division has produced a bargaining support resource called "We need more super". This summarises what currently exists for the Union's public sector employees and also looks at the key question of how much super is needed to fund a decent retirement. This applies to workers in all industry sectors.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has a free super calculator. A number of industry super funds also provide super calculators.
Superannuation Choice legislation came in on July 1, 2005.
Under certain circumstances employers are required to offer employees a choice of super funds. Whether employees should exercise that choice or not depends on a range of factors, including their own personal circumstances as well as the nature, fee structure and investment returns delivered by particular funds.
Choice will affect many of our members, so we encourage you to seek licensed financial advice to help you make a decision on where to invest your super. The ASU is not able to provide such advice.
If you are planning for your financial future or retirement, we can recommend the ACTU's directory of endorsed financial advisors.
For a copy phone 1300 362 223 or visit the ACTU Member Connect super website
Member Connect has links to a range of superannuation and other financial services websites and advice.
ASU members are members of a wide range of superannuation funds, depending on where they work. Some of the most popular funds are:
- CARE Super: particularly for private sector clerical employees
- Australian Super: a general industry fund
- HESTA: health and community services
- legalsuper: legal industry workers
- Vision Super: Victorian local government employees
- Local Government Superannuation Scheme: NSW local government employees
- WA Local Government Superannuation Plan: Western Australian local government employees
- LG Super: Queensland local government employees
- Local Super: South Australian and Northern Territory local government employees
- Energy Superannuation: Energy industry employees
- Electricity Industry Superannuation Scheme: energy industry employees
- Tasplan Super: available for all ASU members in Tasmania, including local government employees
- Quadrant Super: Tasmanian local government employees
A number of these funds have links to super calculators and other key super resources available to their members.
We encourage you to use both SuperSeeker and AUSfund tools to look for any missing earnings you might have.
SuperSeeker is a tool provided by the Australian Taxation Office that will look for your lost super in real time and instantly provide you with possible matches. It is free to use and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To use SuperSeeker you will need to supply your tax file number.
AUSfund is another valuable tool for locating lost super.
The information contained on this website should not be relied upon for financial or commercial advice. The ASU is not a licensed financial advisor nor are the officials of the Union who prepared this website.
The purpose of the superannuation campaign webpages is to encourage Branches, ASU representatives and members to realise that they need to bargain and campaign for increased superannuation to at least the levels advised by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).
Branches, union officials and members are always advised to seek independent financial advice from a licensed provider based on their individual circumstances before making any major financial planning decisions, including those related to superannuation and retirement planning.