Jargon unplugged

There’s such a lot of jargon kicking around when we talk about superannuation. So we’ve tried to cut through all the confusing super terms and make it super simple.

A-Z of all things super in Australia

We’ve tried our best to keep our information straightforward for you, but some superannuation terms are hard to define. We hope this glossary will help you with any super jargon you’re not sure about.

  • A

    Accumulation
    Sometimes called defined contribution—this is a fund where the benefit you receive is the total of your employer’s contributions to the fund plus earnings on those contributions, minus tax, fees and other charges. Most new superannuation funds are accumulation funds. You carry the investment risk.

    Active manager
    This type of investment manager will try to achieve a better return than the market by actively researching investments. They use sophisticated research processes and tools to achieve this.

    Additional employer contributions
    Your employer must contribute 9.5% of your pre-tax earnings to your super fund. If they're really nice, they might contribute even more, usually fixed as a percentage.

    Administration fee
    The fee charged by a superannuation fund to cover their administration costs.

    After-tax contributions
    Super contributions that you make yourself from your take-home or net salary such as voluntary contributions. There are limits (or caps) on how much you can contribute in a year.

    Age pension
    This is the government payment for seniors who can’t support themselves in their retirement, or who qualify for a Government payment based on their assets and income.

    Allocated pension
    An investment that delivers regular payments, within legal limits. The payments continue until all the money is gone or the person receiving the money dies.

    Annual income
    Not just your salary, but all your income each year. It includes pretty much anything capable of bringing you an income, such as: annual salary, bonuses, commissions, interest and dividends, rent money, divorce settlement and lottery winnings (but not your two-up winnings on Anzac Day).

    APRA
    Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) oversees banks, credit unions, building societies, general insurance and reinsurance companies, life insurance, private health insurance, friendly societies and most members of the superannuation industry. APRA is funded largely by the industries that it supervises. It was established on 1 July 1998.

    ATO
    The Australian Taxation Office. A very helpful bunch who know an awful lot about tax.

    ASFA
    The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia is a national, not for profit, non-party political organisation that represents the interests of Australia's Superannuation Funds, their trustees and their members.

    ASIC
    The Australian Securities and Investments Commission - a Commonwealth government department that looks after the laws and the Corporations Act. This protects consumers in banking, investments, insurance and Superannuation.

    or

    These people are the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Their reason for existing is to protect you, the consumer, from dodgy practices by financial service companies.

    Asset Class
    A broad group of financial categories you can invest in. Examples include: Cash, Fixed Interest, Property and Shares.

    Assets
    Maybe Mum said your smile was your best asset, but in the world of money an asset is anything you can own that might turn into a future economic benefit. This is where funds invest their financial resources for their members. Traditionally these include Cash, Property, International shares, Australian shares and Bonds.

    Asset allocation
    Asset allocation is an investment strategy that attempts to balance risk versus reward by adjusting the percentage of each asset in an investment portfolio according to the investors risk tolerance, goals and investment time frame.

    Automatic acceptance
    This is insurance cover that provides a level of cover within your super fund. Members don’t need to provide medical details to obtain this cover.

    Australian Stock Exchange (ASX)
    The Australian Stock Exchange is the marketplace for shares, bonds, and other securities in Australia. ASX also sets the exchange rate, regulates the brokers and provides fair rules for trade. They monitor irregularities in trading prices and volumes, and have the power to suspend companies from being traded.

  • B

    Balanced fund
    An investment portfolio that includes a range of high and low risk investments that are spread across different asset classes to reduce the risk of these investments.

    Basis point
    Another way of measuring a performance return or a fee. For example, fifteen basis points equals 0.15%

    Bear market
    People talk about a bear market when there's a fall in prices with no expectation of recovery any time soon. It's the opposite of a bull market. Trivia - the phrase comes from an old European proverb used by bearskin sellers: 'Don't sell the bear-skin before you have killed the bear'

    Before-tax contributions
    Super contributions that are subtracted from your total or gross income, such as Salary Sacrifice contributions.

    Benchmark
    This is the measure that a superannuation fund uses to compare and see their investment performance.

    Beneficiary
    The person(s) that a member nominates to receive their superannuation investment and/or death benefits in the event of their death. To receive this benefit, the receiver must be related, financially dependent, or be a legal representative of the person insured.

    Binding death nomination
    A legally binding document that outlines the person(s) who will receive the member’s death benefit. It is worth noting that the nomination has to be valid, or the Trustee of the Superannuation Fund may not follow through with the member’s request. To be valid your nomination must be updated every 3 years.

    Binding Nomination
    When you make a valid binding nomination, your super fund will pay the benefit to the recipients you nominated. Unlike the non-binding nomination, they can’t use their discretion to pay anyone else. The Trustee of your fund must pay the benefit according to your wishes. The binding nomination expires every three years so you must renew it.

    Blue chip share
    Shares in a large company that consistently performs well over time. Great phrase to throw around in a loud voice at barbeques – "I'm looking mostly at blue chips", most people will nod wisely and others will think "someone's got to eat them".

    Bond
    A debt asset. You (the lender) lend a borrower some money in exchange for a bond (proof of the loan). The borrower uses your money and (subject to terms) pays you back the original amount and interest.

    Borrower
    An individual, company or government that borrows money from lenders.

    Bottom up manager
    Easy tiger! Despite all sorts of possibilities this simply refers to a manager who researches individual companies in comparative isolation to the global picture.

    Bull market
    Not a place for buying and selling big daddy cows. It's a phrase used to describe a consistent upward trend over an extended period of time.

    Bullish
    The belief that the market will go up, many speculative punters will talk bullish, quite a lot of bullish, often the sort of bullish you should probably ignore.

    Business day
    If it's not a national public holiday or a weekend day, it's a business day.

  • C

    Cash investments
    Cash investments take many forms, including cash deposits held at a bank, term deposits or short-term securities like bank bills that are traded between investors on the money market. Cash investments such as bank bills carry a low level of investment risk and generally achieve stable, although relatively low, returns.

    Centrelink
    Run under the very broad umbrella of the Department of Social Security, these guys set rules for means tests and pension thresholds. They regulate all pensions apart from Department of Veteran Affairs pensions.

    Choice of Fund
    Since July 2005, most workers have been able to choose their own superannuation fund when they start a new job. You don’t have to go with your employer’s fund like the old days. This means whenever you change job, you don’t have to change super fund; you just tell your new employer to send your SG contributions to your choice of fund. When you start a new job, your employer must give you the ATO’s Choice of fund form to complete and tell them where you want your SG to go. It is not compulsory to choose your own fund, but if you don’t, your employer will pay your Superannuation to their own default fund.

    Cohort
    This is when a group of people are placed into an investment group whose funds are managed collectively over time. This approach involves creating a range of investment funds that are managed appropriately for members of broadly the same age. Rather than switching funds over time, members remain within the same cohort fund and the underlying strategy evolves as a member ages.

    Co-contribution
    If you are eligible, the Federal Government will make a contribution known as a co-contribution to your super. This only happens under certain conditions based on personal after-tax contributions.

    Complying Super fund
    A regulated super fund qualifying for concession tax rates by meeting certain legal requirements.

    Concessional contribution
    This is a contribution made from pre-tax income for which a tax deduction can be claimed. Any contributions made before tax such as employer Super Guarantee or salary sacrifice contributions. Taxable contributions that you’ve claimed as a tax deduction are concessional contributions. They are subject to 15% tax because a tax deduction has already been claimed.

    Conservative fund
    Sometimes known as a defensive fund, conservative investing is mostly in cash and fixed interest. There may be a minor dabble in more aggressive options but it will be very minor.

    Consolidation
    When you combine your superannuation from many funds into one.

    Constitution
    A document that states how a managed investment should be run. It defines procedures for investing, applying and withdrawing investments. It can be known as a trust deed.

    Consumer price index (CPI)
    The Australian Bureau of Statistics monitors the price of various defined consumer goods such as food, healthcare and fuel. It's coyly referred to as a 'basket of goods". The "basket" is used to track inflation, so if lots of these go up, so does the inflation figure.

    Contribution
    A contribution is money paid into your super to a superannuation fund to increase retirement savings. Another way to put the money into your Super account is with a rollover.

    Contribution splitting
    This allows you to split your super contributions with your spouse. You could do this to raise their account balance, or if you want to access the super earlier by splitting with the older spouse. You can only transfer up to 85% of your Super in a year as 15% is paid to the ATO as a contributions tax. This is not a Family Law payment split.

    Contributions cap
    A contributions cap is the maximum amount a person can pay into superannuation each year without having to pay a contributions tax. A rollover of benefit from one Super fund to another is not classed as a contribution. There are two types of contributions caps – Concessional and Non-concessional contributions caps. If you go over the caps, you’ll have to pay an excess contributions tax.

    Contributions surcharge tax
    An additional tax for higher income earners on all employer and salary sacrifice contributions. Not applicable to contributions made after 30 June 2005.

    Contributions tax
    A Federal Government tax on employer and salary sacrifice contributions. The taxable amounts paid into a superannuation fund, generally 15%. Your super fund usually reduces your superannuation account by your share of this tax.

    Customer
    For the purpose of Virgin, we refer to all members with a Virgin Money Super account as customers.

  • D

    Default fund
    Employers must nominate their own super fund for their employees and this fund is called the employer default fund. If you don’t choose your own fund, your employer will pay SG to their default fund. The benefit of going with the employer’s default fund is that you’ll receive an automatic age based insurance cover without applying for it.

    Default insurance
    The employer’s default fund must offer a minimum level of insurance cover (Death & TPD) to any employees who do not choose their own fund. The amount of cover depends on your age – the younger you are, the higher sum you are insured which decreases each year as get you get older. The default insurance is automatically activated for you by the super fund when they receive your SG contributions from your employer. If you don’t want this insurance, you can opt-out by advising the fund.

    Defensive assets
    This is an asset to invest in – usually low risk but low return investment. Examples include cash or assets with a fixed interest.

    Dependant
    This is a person who is dependent or interdependent with you. It includes your spouse (or former spouse or de facto, including same-sex spouse), a child under 18 (including an adopted, step or ex-nuptial child), or any person who is financially dependent on you.

    Or

    Your spouse (legal or de-facto, which may include a same sex partner), your children, your spouse's children or adopted and ex-nuptial children or someone you have an interdependent relationship with.

    Diversification
    This investment approach involves investing across a range of asset classes, rather than investing in only one type of asset. The idea behind it is that the positive performance of one asset class may help lessen the negative performance of another.

    Or

    Diversification is dividing your investments among different types of asset class you may reduce your overall investment risk. Otherwise known as not putting all your eggs in one basket.

    Defensive asset
    Generally, defensive assets have lower returns - but the returns are more stable due to lower risk. Cash is a good example of a defensive asset.

    Diversified fund
    A fund made up of a mix of asset classes.

    Dollar-cost averaging
    A strategy where you pay no attention to market prices and instead buy a set dollar value of an investment at regular intervals (e.g. with a direct debit). It’s a strategy designed to eliminate losses from attempting to second guess the market, and results in the purchase of more share units when prices are down and less share units when prices are up. It has been shown to reduce the average price of investments over a long period.

    Dow Jones Industrial Average (also known as the Dow)
    The Dow is a share price index measuring the market prices of 30 major companies on the New York Stock Exchange.

  • E-G

    E

    Eligible Rollover Fund (ERF)
    A super fund which can receive automatically transferred benefits from other super funds. They’re usually used when a member can’t be located, has a very low account balance or has been inactive for a long time (inactive with their super).

    Entry price
    The price of a unit given to an investor when they want to buy into a super fund.

    Entry fee option
    It’s a fee deducted from each contribution made into an investment.

    Exit fee
    When you leave your investment (exit), you sometimes have to pay some money (fee). Thus exit fee.

    Exit price
    The price of a unit given to an investor when they want to take their money out of an investment.

    Equity
    It’s how much of an asset you own.

    F

    Fees
    Money you are charged for services provided as part of the management of your fund, such as to conduct a transaction or for personal financial advice.

    Financial advisor
    Financial advisors are people who are licensed to give you advice on financial matters. They are usually people who know a bit about money and what to do with it. A licence means a financial advisor is obliged to act solely in your interests. If you think a financial advisor is being a bit shifty, that's where ASIC comes in.

    Fixed interest security
    An investment that pays the same rate of interest every year for a set timeframe. Examples of fixed interest securities are bonds, annuities, bank bills and notes.

    Fund manager
    A species often referred to as investment managers, usually operating as an organisation. These investing specialists like nothing better than investing in a portfolio of assets for someone else.

    Forgotten Super
    It’s simply super in an account somewhere, but you can’t remember where. It’s different to lost super, which has a very specific meaning.

    FSG (Financial Services Guide)
    This is a document we are required by the law to give to a client when they are provided a financial service by a holder of an AFSL. The document describes the financial service and provides details of who is giving the service.

    G

    Gearing
    The ratio of your own loan amount to the value of your security.

    Government Super Co-contribution
    This is a Commonwealth Government initiative, designed to increase the retirement savings of Australians by matching your personal after-tax contributions. If your annual salary is less than $51,021 for 2016–17, and you make after-tax contributions to your Super the Government will co-contribute $0.50 per dollar up to a maximum $500 if you’re eligible.

    Growth asset classes
    Includes higher risk assets, such as Shares and Property. Growth asset classes typically generate high returns with higher levels of instability.

    Gross domestic product (GDP)
    It is a measurement, in dollar terms, of the aggregate goods produced and services provided within an economy over a year. It doesn't include income earned outside the country. GDP is published in Australia by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and is seen as a very important economic measure.

  • H-J

    H

    Happy people
    Our Customer Care team are especially chosen for their happiness skills. Nothing makes them happier than hearing from you.

     

    I

    Income Protection Cover
    If you can't work because of certain defined events, this type of insurance will pay you a percentage of your income for a certain period of time.

    Index
    An index measures the performance or change in value of a group of assets such as shares. There are indexes for pretty much any major group of assets. The ASX 100 is an index of the top 100 companies in Australia.

    Index manager
    An investment manager who aims to perform as well as the investment markets. If the Australian share market returns 10 per cent so should your index manager.

    Index Tracking
    One of the smart ways to look after your superannuation investment is to be part of an index tracking fund, like Virgin Money Super. Why? Well super’s a long-term investment and, put simply, index tracking is a long-term strategy. It’s designed to work with the markets over time to grow your investment as much as possible.

    An index fund tracks the performance of a particular market. This is different to an active fund where investors try to outperform the market.

    To give you a bit more of an insight, here’s why we choose to track the index instead of using an active fund management approach.

    1. Less fees
      As we’re not an actively managed fund, you’re not paying for managers to do their guesswork routine. So it means less fees eating into your account over time.
    2. Less risky business for you
      So members can benefit from diversification, index funds invest in a number of stocks that represent the index (like the S&P/ASX 300 Accumulation Index). Because all those eggs aren’t in the one or two big baskets, you end up reducing risk while expecting to achieve returns similar to the market.

    Industry fund

    If you work in a certain industry or under a certain industrial award, you could have an Industry fund available to you. Some are available for the public to join.

    Initial investment
    The first wad of cash you whack into an investment.

    Initial public offering (IPO)
    When a company floats on the stock market it means you can buy shares in the company. The first time a company sells its shares is known as the IPO.

    Insurance
    Buying financial protection against a possible future event. If the specific event happens, the company you’ve purchased your policy from will help you out.

    Interest
    Interest is the price paid by a borrower for the use of a lender's money. So, when you put your money into cash or a fixed interest the borrower (person/company) who has your money has to pay you for the privilege of borrowing your money.

    Interdependency relationship
    Two people have an interdependency relationship if they have a close personal relationship, they live together, one or each of them provides the other with financial support, and one or each of them provides the other with domestic support and personal care.

    Investment
    Using your money to make it grow, for example, by buying property or shares. An asset you buy with the hope it’s going to give you an income or increase in value over time.

    Investment bond
    An investment requiring you to invest money for a minimum term.

    Investment choice
    Often you get to select the investment options you want from within a fund.

    Investment option
    Your choice of investment options determines how your super is invested. Have a look in more detail at what we can offer you by way of choice. Virgin Money Super investment options.

    Investment returns
    The 'return' is the gain or loss in the value of your investment.

    Investment strategy
    This is sometimes called an investment style. Basically, it’s a method of managing your asset choices within your investment portfolio showing the ‘risk profile’ of the investor. For example, a “balanced” investment technique aims to balance the risk and return of the investment. This type of strategy is good for investors with a longer time horizon.

    Investment switch
    This is where you switch investment or portfolio options. Some examples of investment options are share, property, fix interest, balanced, diversified, high growth etc. When you join a super fund, you’ll be asked to choose an investment option. If you don’t choose one, your super fund will invest your money in their default option. You can switch to a different option(s) at any time by completing a switch request form or from your online account.

    Investment manager
    This is an individual or a firm responsible for making decisions about portfolio investments in line with the investment objectives of the fund.

     

    J

    Joy
    Is what our Customer Care team feel when they get to answer your questions about super.

  • K-M

    K

    Knowledge
    Of super is what our super Customer Care team has.

    L

    Life insurance
    When you talk about life insurance in the context of super it means insurance against premature death.

    Listed property
    Listed property is an asset class made up of property investments listed through a listed company.

    Lost Super
    It’s if there’s a super account in your name that hasn’t had any deposits made in five consecutive years, or if your super fund gets a couple of return-to-sender notices after they’ve tried to reach you. When this happens, the ATO is informed, and your ‘lost’ record is added to their register.

    Lump sum
    A superannuation benefit taken as a lump sum payment rather than being rolled into a pension or allowance and taken as an income stream.

    M

    Managed fund
    A professionally managed investment where you pool your money with other people's money. Your get units for your money and a cut of the returns, be they positive or negative.

    Management fee
    The fee you pay your fund manager for managing your super account.

    Marginal tax rate
    The marginal tax rate is the tax scale in relation to your income. To find out what yours is, check out the Australian Tax Office website.

    Member
    Someone who has contributions or who receives a benefit from a fund. In retirement, a member has the option of receiving either a lump-sum payment or a pension, or a combination of both.

    Member contributions
    Personal contributions to a superannuation fund, which can be claimed as a tax deduction under certain circumstances.

    MySuper
    Starting 1 January 2014, employers must pay contributions into a superannuation fund that has a MySuper authorised product, which is a low cost product for employees who haven’t made a Super fund choice. Virgin Money Super LifeStage Tracker® is Virgin Money Super’s MySuper offer.

    A MySuper product must be authorised by APRA and include:

    • a single diversified investment option
    • same fees for all
    • automatic Death and Total & Permanent Disablement Insurance.

    MySuper Authorised
    MySuper is part of the Government’s Stronger Super reforms, and aims to make super easier and more transparent so people can compare default Super products through a standardised MySuper Dashboard. The ATO has full details on MySuper.

  • N-Q

    N

    Nice
    The people we employ in our Customer Care team. They really are very nice, we test them for niceness and they're just soooo nice!

    Non-concessional contributions
    This is a contribution made from your after-tax income or salary (as opposed to your employer's contributions, which are made before-tax is deducted). It is also known as a personal contribution. This is a contribution made with money that you have already paid tax on such as from your after tax salary.

     

    O

    Old
    Not what you want to be when you start planning your retirement. The younger the better - even though it might seem like a very, very long way off.

    Ordinary Times Earnings (OTE)
    OTE is generally what your employees earn for their ordinary hours of work. It includes things like commissions, shift loadings and allowances, but not overtime payments.

     

    P

    Pension
    A stream of income you might receive when you retire, either from your super fund or the Government.

    Pension age

    If you were born between you qualify for Age Pension at age
    1 July 1952 to 31 December 1953 65 years and 6 months
    1 January 1954 to 30 June 1955 66 years
    1 July 1955 to 31 December 1956 66 years and 6 months
    From 1 January 1957 67 years

    Performance
    What we call the measurement of how each investment has been performing over a period of time.

    Performance benchmark
    To give an effective measure of how a fund manager has performed there needs to be a benchmark. This determines whether they’ve done well or not. Your fund might return 10%, but if every other investment of the same style returns 45% it doesn’t look so good. The selection of the appropriate benchmark will depend on the manager's investment style of and what they are investing in.

    Permanent incapacity
    Permanent incapacity is important for various claims and is a specifically defined state. It's best to have a look at the detail in our Virgin Super PDS for the nitty gritty on this one.

    Personal after-tax contributions
    These are the contributions you make after tax, such as with your take-home pay. It includes Member Contributions and Spouse Contributions. These are also called "non-concessional" contributions.

    Personal contributions
    Contributions that you can make to your Super that are over and above the compulsory superannuation Guarantee contributions that your employer makes on your behalf, if you’re eligible.

    Essentially it is the amount that you voluntarily contribute to your superannuation fund from your take home pay. This is in addition to your compulsory contributions. It is sometimes called private superannuation.

    Preservation Age
    Is the age you must reach before you’re able to access your super benefits. Go to the ATO website to find out what your preservation age is.

    Preservation rules
    The rules that stop you getting your hands on all that sweet, sweet super money until certain events occur such as reaching your preservation age.

    Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)
    A very, very, very important, (usually very long), document for you to read when you're looking at a particular investment. It's where you'll find all the detailed information about the investment. Have a look at the Virgin Super PDS if you like!

    Property
    Not the lost property office of your local train station but real estate, including land and buildings, which can be bought, sold, or rented out.

     

    Q

    Questions
    Questions, we all have them. Why is the earth flat? What rhymes with orange? Is there life on Mars? Our Customer Care team may not be able to help with those sorts of questions but they sure know their super. Give them a call if you feel the need - 1300 855 040.

  • R-S

    Restricted non-preserved benefits
    Undeducted contributions, made after 1 July 1994 and before 1 July 1999. These may be released when you leave your employer.

    Retail Fund
    Retail funds are run by financial institutions and are open to investment by the general public. Within retail super the most popular fund option is a Master Trust. Master Trusts typically offer a wide range of investment options and are managed by leading Fund Managers.

    RSA (Retirement Savings Account)
    This is an alternative type of superannuation offered by banks, building societies, credit unions, life insurance companies and prescribed financial institutions (RSA providers). RSAs are capital guaranteed which means they guarantee to give you a certain amount of money upon retirement.

    Return
    Simply put, this is the amount of money your investment earns.

    Risk
    Risk is the likelihood of investment returns. When you invest, there is typically a trade-off between risk and return. Generally, the higher the potential return, the higher the potential risk. By the same token, investments that offer lower returns tend to have a lower level of risk. Diversification is a way to reduce your risk. There is the possibility that your investment may fall in value or earn less than expected.

    And/or

    Some assets carry a higher form of investment risk than others. These are known as growth assets (e.g. shares). Those that are more stable are called defensive assets (e.g. cash and fixed interest). If your super investment option carries a higher level of risk, it means you have the potential to nab juicy returns over the long term. In the short term, it’s important to note that high risk investors may experience negative returns - generally between one and five years.

    Risk profile
    This is about your tolerance to investment risk. Your risk profile is a description of you, based on how much risk you are willing to take when you invest your money. Investors willing to take on a lot of risk, or 'growth' investors, typically look to maximise their longer-term investment and are less worried about a negative return. On the other hand, conservative investors seek more stable returns. Investments with low risk (lower levels of volatility or uncertainty) are usually associated with lower returns, whereas investments with higher risk are associated with potentially higher returns.

    Rollover
    This is when you transfer your super from one fund to another. It is sometimes referred to as 'consolidation'. Rollover is not a contribution. Rolling over your super benefit isn’t hard. You simply complete your new super fund’s transfer form and send it to your new fund, or your existing super fund’s ‘application for payment’ form and send to your existing fund. Alternatively, you can complete the ATO’s generic transfer form and send it to your existing fund. You’ll need to provide a certified proof of identity document such as a Driver’s licence or passport.

     

    S

    Salary Continuance Insurance
    This provides a percentage of your pre-disability monthly income (subject to a maximum amount) for up to two years, if you become disabled due to sickness or injury.

    Salary sacrifice
    This is a way to make before-tax (concessional) contributions to your super. The money you 'sacrifice' is paid directly from your salary into your super account before you pay income tax. Sacrificed contributions are subject to 15% tax in the fund.

    Salary sacrifice contributions
    If your employer offers salary sacrifice it means you can ask to pay more of your pre-tax salary into your super. These contributions are taxed at 15% but by reducing the income you receive you may push yourself into a lower tax bracket.

    Securities
    A type of transferable interest representing financial value. Common examples include notes, bonds, stocks, futures, contracts or options.

    Self Managed Superannuation Fund
    This is a fund that is controlled and managed by its own members. All members are Trustees and make decisions about how the fund is run, what investments it holds and the type of benefits it can pay. The level of control and flexibility that SMSF's allow are seen as some of their main advantages.

    Share
    When you buy a share or shares, you become a partial owner of a company. If you bought shares in a company and they gave you poor customer service you can start shouting "do you know who I am, I own you, I own you". It might not get you what you want but how often do you get the chance to do that?

    SISAct
    Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993. Funds must comply with the act in order to be taxed concessionally at a maximum rate of 15%.

    Sole Purpose Test
    This is a test to make sure a superannuation fund operates for the purpose of providing benefits to its members upon their retirement (or reaching a certain age), or for beneficiaries if a member dies. The Trustee of a regulated superannuation fund must comply with the Sole Purpose Test to be eligible for the taxation concessions available to a complying superannuation fund.

    Spouse contributions
    This is a contribution to one spouse's super fund made by the other spouse. Tax offsets may be claimed for making spouse contributions.

    As part of the government’s incentives to encourage people to save for their retirement, you can make a contribution on behalf of your non-working or low-income-earning spouse. The benefit of doing this is you receive a tax benefit in return. If your spouse is eligible and you make a maximum $3000 spouse contribution, you’ll be eligible to claim up to 18% of the contribution as a tax offset giving a maximum of $540 tax back.

    Standard Super Choice Form
    A form you give to your employer telling them which super fund you have chosen so they can put those contributions where you want them to go.

    Superannuation
    This is an investment that works by putting aside money during your working life so you have a payment or income stream in retirement. Superannuation funds that meet prescribed Government standards are eligible for tax concessions.

    Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT)
    An independent tribunal set up by the Commonwealth Government to deal with complaints about superannuation funds, annuities and deferred annuities and RSAs. For more information, visit www.sct.gov.au.

    Superannuation Guarantee (SG)
    The compulsory rate (defined by the Commonwealth Government) of contributions your employer must make to your super.

    Super Guarantee (SG) Contributions
    By law, your employer must invest money for you into a complying super fund unless you're earning less than $450 a week. There are also some exceptions around casual work.

    SuperStream
    SuperStream is part of a broader range of government initiatives aimed at improving the superannuation system in Australia. The broader reforms are known as Stronger Super.

    SuperStream aims to improve the efficiency of Australia’s superannuation system, and requires employers to send contributions electronically in a standard format with linked data and payments.

  • T-U

    T

    Time horizon
    The length of time it takes to reach your investment goals. It's very important for working out your investment goals and what you need to invest in to meet those goals. In Super, it’s the length of time before you plan to use your super.

    Trustee
    This is a person/s or company appointed under the terms to make sure that a plan is operated in accordance with the trust deed and in the interest of the beneficiaries. For example, a superannuation trustee. superannuation trustees must work in their beneficiaries’ best interest.

    The Trustees 
    People responsible for ensuring the Fund is run properly and honestly. Virgin Money Super is a plan in the Mercer Super Trust ABN 19 905 422 981. Virgin Money Super is issued by Mercer Superannuation (Australia) Limited (MSAL) ABN 79 004 717 533 AFSL 235906 as trustee of the Mercer Super Trust.

     

    U

    Undeducted contributions
    Contributions to your super made from your after tax earnings.

    Unit
    When you invest in a managed fund, you are buying units of that fund.

    Unit pricing

    Unit Price =  the total value of assets in the investment option less fees, costs & taxes / the number of units issued in the investment option.

    Units are what we use to work out how much your superannuation is worth. When you invest in Virgin Money Super, you don’t buy actual assets - instead, the Trustee allocates you a number of units in the asset class or investment option.

    Your account balance is calculated by multiplying the number of units you have by the unit price (at any particular time). Your account balance may vary from day to day as unit prices change.

    Each investment option has a different unit price, because they grow at different rates. It’s normal for them to raise and fall.

    Unit prices are calculated daily, based on the latest available market price.

    Don't forget that super offers you the potential to grow your money over longer periods of time. So while share prices will rise and fall in the short term - sometimes in one day - over time you should see a positive return.

    Unit trust
    Where a group of investors put their money together into a managed fund. They all have units and share the returns of the fund be they positive or negative.

    Unrestricted non-preserved benefits
    These are benefits you are allowed to get your hands on. How you get your hands on them is determined by the rules of the fund.

  • V-Z

    V

    Voluntary contributions
    These are additional contributions you can make that are over and above the compulsory 9.25% SG. You can make contributions after-tax (non-concessional contributions) or before-tax (concessional contributions), also known as salary sacrificing. They can also be regular or lump-sum payments.

    Virgin Money
    Virgin Money is an Australian financial services business, operated under the global Virgin brand. Virgin Money was launched in Australia to provide simple, great value and transparent financial services products, backed up by our world-famous Virgin customer service.

    We're straightforward, challenging and passionate, and deliver our customers great value for money. We take a stand against jargon, hidden charges and broken promises. Today, we offer a range of award-winning products spanning credit cards, Superannuation, life insurance, income protection, car insurance, home & contents insurance and travel insurance.

    Like all Virgin companies, Virgin Money was launched to give customers a better deal. We aim to offer great value products designed around what customers really want. We're moving forward to provide a wide range of great value financial products that are easy to understand and sort out and be a compelling alternative to the big 4.

    Go on, give us a call on 1300 855 040, 9am - 5pm (AEST), Monday-Friday.

     

    W

    Work test
    If you’re aged between 65 and 75 you are not able to contribute to a superannuation fund unless you work for at least 40 hours in a period, and no more than 30 consecutive days in a financial year. This is called the work test. You can’t make a personal contribution once you’re over 75.

  • More about understanding super

    Virgin Money Superannuation - Making Super Contributions

    Making super contributions

    Find out more

    Virgin Money Superannuation - Consolidating your Super

    Consolidating your super

    Find out more

    Virgin Money Superannuation - Building your Super

    Building your super

    Find out more

    Virgin Money Superannuation - Choosing a Super Fund

    Choosing a super fund

    Find out more

    Any questions?
    We're here to help

    Online enquiry form

    Send us your super enquiry today. We'll respond within 1 business day.

    Customer Care team

    Talk to our customer care team on 1300 652 770
    Mon-Fri 8am-6pm (AEST) apart from public holidays.

    Business Specialists

    Talk to one of our business specialists on 1300 855 040
    Mon-Fri 9am-5pm (AEST) apart from public holidays.