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Career breaks and your super

What’s the cost of a career break?

There are all sorts of reasons for taking a break from your job. Whether you’re in your 30s, 40s or 50s, raising a family, caring for a loved one or just taking unpaid leave for your own wellbeing, a career gap – and loss of regular income – can affect your super.

Our career break calculator can give you a good estimate of what that cost might be.

Taking a career break?

See how this will affect your super

Assumptions

You're missing out on ,XXX super contributions

But don’t worry, there are ways to keep your super on track while you’re not working

Salary sacrifice into your super before you take your break (saves tax too)

Salary sacrifice extra $ into your super while you are working and then you’ll have more money to enjoy in retirement.

Learn more

Get your partner to add to your super

If your partner adds to your super they can get a tax offset while also helping to keep your super growing.

Learn more

If you have multiple super accounts, roll them into one so you can save on fees

Extra accounts can cost $50,000 by the time you retire*. Now is the right time to roll your other accounts into one super account.

Learn more

Check again Assumptions

Assumptions

  • The calculator assumes you do not receive any super contributions during your career break
  • Full time is considered to be five days or more per week
  • Superannuation Guarantee Contribution is based on the current 9.5%
  • The calculation assumes no change to superannuation guarantee or wage rates
  • The dollars shown are not discounted for inflation
  • The 'missing out' figure is calculated according to the time you will be away from work plus any period thereafter where you are working less days than before you took your career break

Disclaimer

This tool is not intended to be relied upon for the purposes of making a financial decision. Consider a fund's PDS and your objectives, financial situation and needs, which are not accounted for in this information before making an investment decision. You are responsible for your own investment decisions and should obtain specific, individual advice from a financial services licensee before making any financial decisions.

Super tips for taking a career break

For many people, career breaks are a fact of life, but there are things you can do to minimise the negative effects.

  • If you have a partner who is working, discuss getting them to make spouse contributions to your super while you’re on your break.
  • While you’re still working, salary sacrifice or make voluntary contributions to your super to help reduce any superannuation shortfall as a result of not earning an income.
  • If it’s feasible, pick up some part-time, casual or freelance work while you’re on a break. If your work hours are not enough to attract employer super contributions, invest some of the money you earn in your super account and hence, your future retirement income.

Making the most of a lower income

If you are on a lower income, you may be eligible for a Government Co-contribution to your super. Under this scheme, for every dollar that you contribute voluntarily to your super, the Australian Government will contribute 50 cents to your account up to a maximum of $500 per year.

If you are earning during your career break, but less than $53,564 per year, it is worth checking whether you are eligible.

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