How to read your super statement


Your annual super statement shows more than how much you have put away for retirement. It shows how much you pay in fees, your insurance cover and more - and it's on its way.

In the next few months, your annual super statement will arrive by mail or email. And it's definitely worth a read.

Here's how to make sense of the most important parts of your statement.

how to read your super statement

1. Your personal details

Your super is your money, so be sure all personal details are up to date including your home address.

Confirm the fund has your tax file number (TFN). It should be noted as 'supplied'. If not, you could pay extra tax on contributions.

2. Your account balance

This is the part we've all been waiting for.

Your statement's 'account snapshot' shows your account balance at June 30, 2024. How does it compare to others in your age group? The table below shows the median balances by age and gender as at 2020-21 (the most recent data available).

3. Money paid into your account

Head to the 'account summary' section of your statement.  It shows the ingoings and outgoings for your account throughout the year.

Employer super contributions - listed as SG (Super Guarantee) contributions - will likely make up the bulk of inflows.

These only have to be paid quarterly on January 28, April 28, July 28 and October 28. So, there can be a timing mismatch compared to contributions listed on your payslips.

If the contributions seem wildly amiss, talk to your employer or HR leader immediately.

Investment earnings are another inflow to your account, and typically shown net of fees. More on this shortly.

4. Money that flowed out of your account

You'll see two main outgoings from your account - tax on contributions (at 15%) and fund fees.

Administration and account-keeping fees are deducted directly from your super balance.

Fees can also be deducted from investment returns, and will be explained in detail in the section that addresses fees.

If your super balance is below $6000, admin and investment fees are capped, by law, at 3%.

5. Insurance cover

This shows the insurance payout you'd receive if a claim was made (if you have cover in place). Contact your fund if you'd like to increase the level of cover.

6. Investments and returns

Your statement will show how your super is invested - MySuper accounts, for example, are usually in a 'balanced' option.

What's especially interesting is the investment returns your fund has earned.

Returns will be listed for every investment option the fund offers, and should cover the past three, five and 10 years in addition to the past financial year.

Use this to check if your fund is a consistently strong performer or an also-ran.

The table below shows broad index returns for different options to March 31, 2024. As super is a very long term investment, it makes sense to focus on five-, seven- and 10-year returns (these are unlikely to differ much from June 30 returns).

If your fund's returns are considerably lower, you could be with a dud.

7. Your beneficiaries

If there are no beneficiaries listed on your statement, consider making a binding nomination. Otherwise, it's left to the fund trustees to decide who inherits your super.

You'll find a binding nomination form on your fund's website.

8. Your estimated balance at retirement

Plenty of super funds now include an estimate of how much super you'll have by retirement, plus your likely retirement income.

It can be a real eye-opener.

Of course, estimates are not certainties. But this could be the part of your statement that spurs you into growing your retirement savings.

If you have any queries about your statement, contact your super fund.

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A former Chartered Accountant, Nicola Field has been a regular contributor to Money for 20 years, and writes on personal finance issues for some of Australia's largest financial institutions. She is the author of Investing in Your Child's Future and Baby or Bust, and has collaborated with Paul Clitheroe on a variety of projects including radio scripts, newspaper columns, and several books.