Imagine purchasing everyday items and giving your super a boost all at the same time. Well, a few companies have now succeeded in making it a reality for dedicated super-savers across the country.
Two companies, Super-Rewards and Boost Your Super, have developed commission-based systems that partner with online retailers to provide a ‘cash-back’ incentive paid straight into a nominated super account. Customers buy online from one of the retailers that work in partnership with Super-Rewards or Boost Your Super, and a percentage of the purchase price is effectively returned to the customer as a direct deposit their super account.
Ngoya Pepela, the founder of Boost Your Super, says the percentage of the total sale that’s contributed to super ranges from 1 per cent to 10 per cent but typically sits around 3 per cent on boostyoursuper.com.au, adding that customers don’t have to worry about paying extra for their purchase to get the super boost via his site.
“Ultimately it is the shops listed on the Boost Your Super website that pay [for the super contribution],” Pepela says. “They pay Boost Your Super a commission to say thank you for sending us someone who made a purchase. It comes out of the company’s marketing budget so Boost Your Super members do not pay any more than the regular price. The shops pay more than the commission displayed on Boost Your Super and the extra amount is what Boost Your Super use to provide the service.”
So far, Boost Your Super includes 480 participating stores, including Dan Murphy’s, eBay, Amazon, booking.com, BWS, Bed Bath N’ Table, Origin and Sheridan. But the super contribution is only available on boostyoursuper.com.au site that users have to sign up to, not the retailer’s own site.
When you sign up, you hand over the BPAY details of super account, which you can get directly from your super fund. Boost Your Super then collates all the contributions you’ve received from various retailers and deposits the money into your super account every three months. Pepela says, though, that payment dates will become more frequent in the future.
The payments are treated by the super fund as after-tax payments, or non-concessional. Australians aged up to 67 are permitted to make up to $100,000 in non-concessional contributions to super each year, according to the ATO. After the age of 67, there are limits to the type of contributions you can make to super.
“The service is completely free so there are no additional fees to pay,” Pepela explains. “Only super to collect. Once a user signs up they can click straight through to any of our [participating] stores before purchasing. If they use Google Chrome on desktop they can install the Boost Your Super Notifier extension which makes it even more mindless as they can then activate a boost directly on the participating store’s website which appears in the form of a pop-up window.”
The offer is exclusively available for purchases made online, just as digital confidence is growing among older Australians. According to a report by the Global Centre for Modern Ageing, 34 per cent of over-60s say they’re more confident with technology than before the pandemic breakout.
The survey also found that almost a quarter of Australians aged over 60 have tried out an entirely technology since the pandemic started.
Alison Banney, the banking and investments editor at finder.com.au, says this kind of super-boosting scheme is beneficial simply because it’s putting money into a user’s super savings that they otherwise wouldn’t have had.
“Unlike other programs that round up your day-to-day transactions to the closest $1 amount and add your loose change to your super or savings account, these initiatives are actually giving extra cash back on top of your purchases,” she says. “It really is like free money.”
A potential risk of the program is that users could find themselves spending more they would’ve in the first place, with the mentality that they’re ‘saving money’ because a portion of it is going into their retirement savings pot. That’s why Banney suggests it’s wise to limit purchases to those that would’ve been made regardless of the super offer, rather than shopping just for the sake of reaping cash-back offers.
“Also, knowing that you’re making these small, regular contributions shouldn’t be an excuse to neglect your super or become complacent,” she adds. “It’s still important to regularly check in on your super to make sure you’re not getting stung with high fees and poor returns.
“Earning extra cash for your super is a great way to grow your balance. But at the end of the day, you’ll see the biggest benefit to your retirement balance by comparing super funds and making sure you’re in a low-fee, high performing fund and you don’t have multiple funds.”
You can check how your super fund stacks up when it comes to fees and returns by reading the recent Stockspot 2020 Fat Cat report that names and shames the funds raking in fees for poor returns.
IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your financial or legal situation, objectives or needs. That means it’s not financial product or legal advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a financial or legal decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get independent, licensed financial services or legal advice.
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