Think your Superannuation is Safe? Think Again…

By ,

‘Around 24 years ago Australians started receiving compulsory super.’

News.com.au wrote that almost a month ago now.

Notice how they say receiving super? That’s the mainstream take on it folks. Almost every mainstream publication likes to tell you that superannuation is somehow gifted to you.

It’s not. It’s stolen from your wages, and dumped into an account so others can play with it (sorry, I mean, invest it) on your behalf.

But wait, there’s more.

‘Our combined superannuation savings has jumped from less than $250 billion in the mid-1990s to more than $1600 billion ($1.6 trillion) today and is projected to quadruple in size over the next 20 years.

That’s a big bucket of cash, but what’s in it for you? Plenty, if you compare us with other countries’ retirement savings systems.’

Apparently, this big bucket of cash makes retiring Australians the envy of the world.

But there are a couple of problems with our big bucket of cash. News.com.au points out that super is
‘Open to everyone and the money belongs to you, not an employer who may eventually go bust.’
And that ‘it’s portable, and we can freely move it from one fund to another.’

That may sound great, but let’s clear something up. Super can be moved to different funds, including a self-managed super fund (SMSF). But under no circumstances can you touch your superannuation prior to retirement age. I find it odd that they call superannuation portable. The thing you need to remember with your super is that you can only shuffle it around the superannuation system. Getting access to your money before retirement age is almost impossible.

The point is, the bucket of money waiting for you at the end of your working life rests in the hands of politicians and investment bankers. Are these the people you want making financial decisions about your future?

Cheers,
Kris Sayce
Editor, Money Morning

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