Newly retired Jim and Fiona Mulholland have industry and self-managed super funds and keep a careful eye on fees. Picture: Aaron Francis
Jim and Fiona Mulholland, a Ballarat couple in their mid-50s, have recently retired and moved for a tree change, having spent more than two decades paying up to 9.5 per cent over every pay check into the nation’s $2.6 trillion superannuation pool.
But with the absence of a regular pay packet, the former banker and his wife are now keeping a very close eye on their super — and all the associated fees, charges and levies — which they say are so high for some funds that they completely cancel out any benefit.
“Yes, the fees are way too high … some of the funds in Australia have fees so high that they really outweigh of the benefits they may have,” Mr Mulholland said.
“And we all know how they’re performing. The stockmarket goes down but the fees remain the same. It’s ridiculous.”
The couple, visiting St Kilda Beach on holiday, are among the latest generation of retirees keeping a close eye on their super in the hope it will be enough to support them in their golden years.
Mrs Mulholland said many funds would prey on the lack of interest most younger workers pay to their superannuation fund — but that people her age were watching closely.
“Some people just don’t look at their super for a really long time so no wonder the big funds feel they can charge anything,” she said. “But I think people our age are taking a closer look at their fees, we’re a bit more educated about it. You have to be really.”
Mr and Mrs Mulholland both have money in industry super funds and they have one self-managed superannuation fund.
Overall, the nation’s biggest industry funds, usually comprised of boards of employee and union representatives, have performed vastly better than those super funds with the major banks.
The couple, who retired only in the past few months, are closely monitoring their fund fees for when they finally start withdrawing from them.
“I’m very careful to keep an eye on how high they are,” Mr Mulholland said, “and not just that but a range of factors around the funds.
“You have to be careful.”
By Richard Ferguson
17 July 2018