With all the pandemonium of the new year, your super is probably the last thing on your mind. However, this is precisely the right time to think about implementing some strategies to increase your super for the coming year. With some simple, no-cost strategies such as finding your lost super, consolidating your super accounts and making sure you’re in a fund that’s performing well, you will be well on your way to a comfortable retirement.

Now is the perfect time to put some resolutions in place to increase your super for 2020. After all, it is what we’ll be relying on in retirement, and even small improvements now could mean extra luxuries later.

Currently, 5.8 million individuals in Australia (36% of the population) have two or more super accounts. Every year the ATO launches its postcode “lost super” campaign to help raise community awareness of lost super. As a consequence of the 2018 campaign, more than 66,000 people consolidated over 105,000 accounts worth over $860 million. For the 2019 campaign, the ATO has created tables of lost and unclaimed super per state and postcode that anyone can access. If you think you’ve got lost super, you can then log into myGov to claim it and have it consolidated with your active account.

Finding and consolidating your lost super with your active account means you’ll pay fewer management fees and other costs, saving you in the long term. Between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2019, 2.6 million accounts to the value of $15 billion have been consolidated by fund members using ATO online services. The figures indicate that more and more people are taking advantage of this no-cost strategy to grow their super in the long term.

Another easy way to grow your super is to make sure the super fund that you’re putting your money into is performing well. Recently, the regulator of super funds, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), released “heatmaps” that provide like-for-like comparisons of MySuper products across three key areas: investment performance, fees and costs, and sustainability of member outcomes. The heatmap uses a graduating colour scheme to provide clear and simple insights that unlike a sea of numbers on a spreadsheet, will send a clear and strong message to users.

For example, MySuper products delivering outcomes below the relevant benchmarks in relation to investment performance and fees and costs will be depicted from pale yellow to dark red. The sustainability measures provide an indication of a trustee’s ability to provide quality member outcomes and address areas of underperformance. While the ultimate purpose of the heatmap is to have trustees with areas of underperformance take action to address it, they can also be an invaluable resource in choosing the right super fund.

Source: www.ato.gov.au/Forms/Searching-for-lost-super; www.apra.gov.au/mysuper-product-heatmap.