How often do you check your superannuation?
Peter Ridgeon found out the hard way what can happen if you don’t keep your eye on it.
Over the course of just three years, the self-employed plasterer and painter had his meagre super nest egg all but smashed, bled dry by insurance premiums.
Mr Ridgeon was never sitting on a fortune. The little he had accumulated (just over $26,000) was all he had. And now it’s just about gone. And it’s just not right.
In just the most recent financial year ending June 30, 2018, almost $11,000 had been devoured from the fund by insurance charges. You might think he was insured for millions. In fact, it was less than $350,000.
Mr Ridgeon admits he took his eye off the ball in regards to the super fund. Many of us are guilty of that, and this case should serve as a wake-up call to all. But when you are being charged a fee by a financial manager to look after your money, surely you are entitled to a belief that your money is in fact being managed – and not decimated while you are looking the other way.
Mr Ridgeon takes responsibility for his lack of attention. But what he is really guilty of is trusting that the organisation that charged him a fee to “manage his money” was doing so with his best interests at heart. If it did not have those best interests at heart, what right did it have to charge him a fee for “service”?
Any sane and rational person would have quickly acted to stop the insurance premiums devouring the superannuation savings, if they had only known. All it would have taken to stop the financial haemorrhage was a simple phone call.
We are all busy, particularly self-employed people like Mr Ridgeon. We are working to support ourselves and our families, which is why we have to trust our superannuation savings in the hands of those who manage such funds for a living. And we are entitled to believe that they might protect us from losing the lot.
To the likes of a financial behemoth like AMP, Mr Ridgeon’s money was a paltry amount indeed. To him, it was all he had. People like Mr Ridgeon just should not be done over by financial giants. It’s just wrong.
I hope you have a terrific Sunday.