June 22 2023

Taking a career break? Take care of your super

Career breaks come in all shapes and sizes — from starting families to new callings, planned pauses to unexpected interruptions. Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to understand how a career break could impact your superannuation and what you can do to keep building your super balance.
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Why is this important?

Super is all about putting yourself in the best possible financial position for your future. Time out of work could mean less super contributions, which generally means less money for when you finally hang up your working boots. This is particularly important for women who are statistically likely to retire with less super than their male counterparts*.

4 ways you can keep your super working even when you’re not.

1. Find and combine

It might be a good idea to get all your super in one place before (or during) your career break. Consolidating your super into one account means you pay one set of fees which could potentially affect your super balance in the long run. Also, life comes with enough admin. Reducing the number of super accounts means less paperwork (like annual statements and reports) and less upkeep (like updating your address).

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Things to consider

Before combining your super, consider if Rest is right for you. Check out the fees and costs of your other funds plus any benefits that would be lost, such as insurance cover. Make sure your other fund knows about any contributions you intend to claim a tax deduction for, before combining with Rest. If you have any questions, speak to a licensed financial adviser, or visit the MoneySmart ASIC website for more information.

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2. Top up before you tap out

If your career break is planned, you might want to consider topping up your super while you’re still working. This could help ease the impact of receiving zero or reduced super contributions for a period of time. We recommend speaking with a financial adviser first before making a decision around additional contributions. You may also want to talk to your employer about making extra contributions to your super through salary sacrifice.  

3. Say “I do” to spousal contributions

If you’re married or in a de facto relationship, your partner could choose to make spousal contributions for you. These after-tax contributions from your partner could help grow your super balance during a career break. Even better, it means that they could be eligible for a tax rebate of up to $540 per year if they meet a set of conditions.


Did you know

You can find BPAY® details for your super account in the Rest App for your partner to use to make a contribution on your behalf. This can be found in the ‘Make a contribution’ section of the Rest App.

® Registered to BPAY Pty Ltd ABN 69 079 137 518

4. Share the love with split contributions

Your partner also has the option to add money to your super by giving a portion of their contributions recently made to their super account to your super account — also known as contribution splitting. Generally, this means that they can pay up to 85% of their pre-tax super into your account. If your partner is willing to split their super contributions for you, they should contact their super fund for further details as not all contributions can be split and there may be fees involved.

*The median super balance for men aged 60-64 years is $204,107 whereas for women in the same age group it is $146,900, a gap of 28 per cent. The Gender Superannuation Gap, Addressing the options KPMG, 2021.

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