Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Is Superannuation Super?

I've never been a big fan of Super. Not because it isn't important to plan for retirement, but because I don't trust a government imposed superannuation system.

It is brought in under the guise of good intentions. The government get to spruik their care and forward thinking for our future - what a good little government they are! It's all warm and fuzzy so far.

But the pressure being applied to make this happen comes from the financial district - the people who are going to get your money and the money of every other wage and salary earner through these funds and they get to invest these billions to make you more money! Yippeeee!

Unless they don't. Bummer. Nothing can be done about that. It was the perfect storm. A financial tsunami of events. In my life these one in a lifetime unforeseen tsunamis have occurred in 1987, 2000 and 2007. SWIM!

So your fund may sometimes lose you money, like recently when my super lost 20%. Again - bummer. But look on the bright side - think of how big the bonuses will be for the managers of the funds when they make that loss up!

A fund manager of billions gets a bonus every time the fund increases. So maybe he didn't make a bonus in 2008, maybe his bonus was down a little in 2009 - but he made up for it in 2011 and 12! He's currently adrift in bonus money. I made $5000+ on my fund last year. It's almost back to where it once was. True - I can't touch until I am 65 - but the guy managing it - he's literally drowning in money.

And who's to say the government won't change the laws and make what I have in my account less tomorrow or increase the tax I have to pay or move the due date to 70 instead of 65.

Don't get me wrong - I'm happy to have it, I just can't help feeling my hard earned money in my fund is making someone else a whole lot richer than it will ever make me.

So - here's an experiment. I got hit so hard by the last tsunami - and then lost my writing job - that I ran out of money and started selling assets.

It was tough to take and finally I said enough's enough. I went and grabbed a part time job over summer - a crappy job after hours serving in a bottle shop. I have since left the job after being shocked by the treatment of staff by the VERY large company - but...I was forced to open up a super account for my shitty $17 an hour job!

When I say forced - I have just recently opened up a self managed super account to manage my own fund and had I wanted the money to go into that account I could have spent the 10 hours chasing, copying, getting certified, mailing, emailing and filing all the paper work required - or just signed their one form and be on board their chosen fund. I signed.

I am now, after 3 months working for them, the proud owner of a super fund worth $113!

Wait - what just happened?
Ohhhhhhh - They've taken out money for Tax - $16.98
                                                 And Member Fee $13.50
                                                 And insurance premium $27
                                                 And member protection rebate $12.42 making a total deduction of $45.42

So I get $69.20 in my super account after working in a shitty job for three months. It's money I can't touch until I'm 65 - but somehow insurance, broker, fund and whatever protection rebate is - have all made money off of me today!

I sometimes feel cynical - then I examine something like this and think - it's really not me. This is just so wrong and goes against plain common sense. 

The sort of job I've just endured over Christmas - is usually worked by our kids as they study or those who are living on subsistence levels - and yet big rich hands are scooping up truckloads of cash out of their pockets - and we're talking millions of people it's being done to. Can any one say bend over and touch your ankles - because there's a super fund administrator inching up behind you. 

I will post as each account notice comes in and we'll see just how long it takes them to reduce my "retirement fund" to zero! 

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