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What risks are there if I invest all my savings into retail superannuation? I'm still working part time, in my 60s, but would like to get a regular (pension type) income tax free, from investing in a big retail super scheme through a managed investment company.

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The main risks will depend on where your funds are invested. If you select a more aggressive allocation like shares and property your investment funds will be more susceptible to short term market risks, if however you select a more conservative allocation like fixed interest and bonds you will be exposed to less short term market risk.

However, if you want to save on fees you might look into an industry fund rather than a retail fund. Industry funds are generally non-for profit, have lower fees and many have better medium and long term returns than most retail funds.

Being over 60 and still working you may qualify for a Transition to Retirement Pension. Here you can start a pension and receive the income tax free from your super, whilst salary sacrificing part of your pay to reduce tax outside of super.

EDIT

With regard to the fund manager going bankrupt your funds are actually held on trust for you and held entirely separately from the fund manager's capital. Your funds are also protected by strict regulations. What happens to the financial status of your fund manager has little or no direct impact on your funds. So if your fund manager collapses, then largely your funds remain intact but a new fund manager might become the new administrator of your super fund.

As I said previously the main risks to your funds would be primarily the asset allocation you chose and the level of fees you are paying. If you are ever unhappy with your current fund you can fairly easily roll over your super to a different fund.

  • What about risk w.r.t. the fund institution selected? How would investor assets be protected in the event the fund manager were to fail? – Chris W. Rea Nov 10 '14 at 13:26
  • See my edit Chris. – Victor Nov 10 '14 at 20:22
  • Thanks to Chris and Victor for answer and edit. A bank have offered me the Transition to Retirement Pension via a large MIS and is my mistrust of banks that has introduced my concern about the managed investment company that they are promoting. When you hear about other managed investment schemes going bankrupt it's concerning, for example in SMH this weekend "T" and a few years back, "S". What I need to find out more about is how my super pension is protected from a company collapse? Rosie – Rosie Nov 11 '14 at 3:25
  • @Rosie - you can refer to APRA who supervises regulated superannuation funds and ASIC who is responsible for investor and consumer protection in financial services, including super and investments. ASIC regulates super and investments. – Victor Nov 11 '14 at 10:56

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