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Super engaged & well-informed: Annual statements

Written and accurate as at: Aug 12, 2020 Current Stats & Facts

For many of us, our super will play a vital part in our financial lifecycle journey—helping us with our move (over time) from financial dependence to independence, in terms of wealth accumulation and income-generation.

Although, the extent our super is optimally leveraged, and the beneficial result of doing so, can often be affected by our level of active engagement with, and appropriate understanding of, our super.



In a previous article, we provided research* about this. Using a ‘people in a car’ analogy, the research categorised super fund members into four groups—the driver, the passenger, the backseat, and the boot.

A recent paper^ expands on this analogy with more group description, as well as the inclusion of an additional group and the percentage of super fund members categorised into each group:

  1. The driver = 7% of members. Actively engaged and well-informed:
    1. Sets the destination and makes decisions.
    2. In control of the gears.
    3. Full vision and comprehends the dashboard.
    4. Has good financial and super literacy.
  2. The front passenger = 26% of members. Currently not actively engaged but well-informed:
    1. They could take over driving if and when they needed to.
    2. Has good financial and super literacy.
  3. The backseat driver = 8% of members. Actively engaged but either moderately or poorly informed:
    1. Sets the destination and makes decisions.
    2. Sees the dashboard but doesn’t understand it.
    3. Has modest or poor financial and super literacy.
  4. The backseat passenger = 47% of members. Disengaged and moderately informed:
    1. Always been in the backseat.
    2. Doesn’t know where to start.
    3. Has modest financial and super literacy.
  5. In the boot = 13% of members. Disengaged and poorly informed:
    1. Head in the sand.
    2. Has poor financial and super literacy.

Notably, the research suggests that disengaged and ill-informed members often:

If you feel that you could be more actively engaged with, and well-informed on, your super, consider:

  • reading through the super learning module, and completing its accompanying super quiz.
  • reviewing the details of your annual super statement.

When reviewing your annual super statement using the points in the below checklist, it’s worth considering their meaning and relevance to you. This is important if there is a disconnect between your annual super statement details and your financial situation, goals and objectives. For example, if you’ve had a recent change in circumstances that needs addressing.


Annual super statement review checklist

When reviewing your personal details summary, consider:

  • What is your eligible service date?
  • Have you supplied your tax file number (TFN) to your super fund?
  • Are your residential/email address and phone number details correct?
  • Are your date of birth, salary, occupation, and smoker status details correct?

When reviewing your account balance summary, consider:

When reviewing your beneficiaries summary, consider:

When reviewing your insurances summary, consider:

  • Do you have insurances in place?
  • Are your insurances linked to your employer (employer-sponsored)?
  • What types of insurances are in place (life, TPD, income protection and trauma)?
  • What are the sum insured amounts for your types of insurances?

When reviewing your investment summary, consider:

When reviewing your transaction summary, consider:


Moving forward

It’s important to be actively engaged with, and well-informed on, your super throughout your financial lifecycle—as you progress from wealth accumulator to pre-retiree, and finally retiree. The receipt of your annual super statement can be an opportune time to review and make changes (where appropriate).

If you have any questions regarding your annual super statement, please contact us.

*Choice. (2016). Project Superpower. Informing a strategy to engage people with their superannuation.

^Australian Government, Productivity Commission. (2018). Superannuation: Assessing Efficiency and Competitiveness. Inquiry Report.


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