Sacrificing cash in your twenties could make a sizeable difference to your retirement nest egg, new research highlights.
Many factors can alter the amount of super you’ll end up retiring on, such as fees and investment strategies, but findings from Canstar suggest putting a little extra aside early can make a big impact in the long run.
Its annual superannuation report analysed 74 public-offer funds across Australia.
It shows a 25-year-old with $10,000 in super and earning $55,000 who injects an extra $200 per month into their fund over just five years, $12,000 in total, will see their retirement savings jump $168,700 from $1,930,086 to $2,098,793.
On the flipside, if that person waited until they were 50 to make additional payments, they would need to contribute $79,000 or $1316 each month to reach the same balance.
Canstar research manager Mitchell Watson says the discrepancy reflects the need to think long-term and how even modest amounts can pay off.
“Most people in their mid-20s will feel under enough financial pressure, so the thought of making extra contributions to their superannuation fund probably won’t have even entered most minds,” Mr Watson says.
“It’s a challenging thing to prioritise, with obtaining career qualifications, saving for a house and affording a family all likely to take precedence.
“Nevertheless, if people can find some spare dolllars, even just for a few years, their retirement nest egg could be that much bigger.”
Canstar also analysed super fees and found higher costs can mean a difference of tens of thousands of dollars to members.
The report compared two 35-year-old’s earning $65,000 a year and with a starting super balance of $80,000, one paying 0.7 per cent in administration fees and the other 0.45 per cent.
The employee paying lower fees would end up with $1,211,051 at the retirement age of 65, while the other would be left with $1,146,746, a difference of $64,305.
According to the report, superannuation assets totalled $1.85 trillion dollars at the end of June, 2014, a 15.3 per cent increase from the past year.
About $95 billion in total contributions were made.
There are 350 super funds across the entire market including personal, corporate, and public sector super, and industry funds.
Industry Super Australia chief executive Dave Whiteley says the report highlights how money can grow.
“Contributions and compound interest over a working life, along with low fees and strong returns, are the key to superannuation enabling the most comfortable retirement possible,” Mr Whiteley says.
Industry super funds have a history of strong returns and low fees, he added.
Mr Whiteley warned consumers to do their homework when researching funds.
“Consumers need to be aware that financial planners can be paid inducements to recommend a low performing or high fee fund. Industry super funds don’t pay commissions or sales incentives to financial planners.
“Being in the wrong fund could mean tens of thousands of dollars less at retirement.”