What is Superannuation and Why Should You Care?


Many younger people feel as though retirement is a long way off, but this shouldn’t mean that it is out of sight and out of mind. In order to be able to retire at a reasonable age and continue to live comfortably into your golden years, some foresight and preparation is essential. Whilst it may be tempting to spend every penny you earn just living for the moment, this is surely a decision you’ll live to regret later down the line. This is why it is important to consider contributing to a retirement fund, which is where superannuation comes in.

What is Superannuation?

You may have heard the term superannuation, or ‘super’, thrown around but not understand exactly what it refers to. Superannuation refers to money which your employer sets aside throughout your working years, resulting in a retirement fund. The amount is set by the government and is subject to rises as the years go by. Employers are legally obligated to make these contributions on top of your salary if you are eighteen years of age or older and earn above the threshold of four-hundred-and-fifty dollars per month, or under eighteen years earning the same amount but working more than thirty hours per week. It is advisable to also contribute your own money to your superannuation savings, as this will give you more to live on during retirement.

When Can You Claim Your Savings?

Generally speaking, the savings which are placed into your superannuation fund are strictly for retirement and will not be possible to access until you are over sixty-five years old. However, there are some cases in which you may be able to claim them earlier. The majority of superannuation funds come with disability benefits. Therefore, in the event of a debilitating illness or injury, you may be able to call upon your superannuation fund for an early access insurance pay-out. If you wish to make a claim in order to access your fund early, you will need to seek the advice of qualified superannuation lawyers who will be able to advise on whether your claim is valid and how best to go about it. The most common cases are TPD claims, which stands for ‘total and permanent disability’. In such cases, you will need to prove that you are unable to continue working in the job for which you were trained or qualified. Although you may still be capable of working in a different field, if an accident or illness renders you incapable of gaining employment in the area where your skills lie then your claim is likely to be upheld. If the issue is temporary, then you may be able to claim for monthly TPD payments until you are better. Alternatively, you may receive a lump sum payment.

Making an Early Claim

If you believe that you are entitled to make an early claim on your superannuation fund, then time is usually of the essence. By finding an understanding and experienced legal team to help you with your claim, you can not only expediate the process but also gain the greatest chance of winning your case.