Australian Superannuation Key Terms Dictionary


  • Accumulation Account: A type of super account where your contributions and investment earnings grow over time until you access your super benefits.
  • Additional Employer Contribution (AEC): An employer contribution on top of the Super Guarantee (SG) contribution (may not be applicable to all funds).
  • Annual Review Day: The day each year when your super fund reviews your contribution rate and entitlement to additional units.
  • Annual Adjustment Day: The day each year when any adjustments to your contribution rate take effect.


  • Benefit: The money you receive from your superannuation when you retire or meet a condition of release.
  • Benefit Type: How you choose to receive your super benefit, such as a lump sum, income stream (pension), or both.
  • Before-tax Contribution (Concessional Contribution): Contributions made to your super from your pre-tax salary, attracting a 15% tax concession.
  • Contribution: Money paid into your super account by your employer and/or yourself.
  • Consolidation: Combining multiple super accounts into one account to reduce fees and simplify management.


  • Death Benefit: A benefit paid to your nominated beneficiary upon your death.
  • Defined Benefit Fund: A superannuation fund where the benefit amount is predetermined based on your salary and years of service (less common nowadays).
  • Defined Contribution Fund: The most common type of super fund, where the benefit amount depends on your account balance at retirement.


  • Employer Super Guarantee (SG): The minimum amount your employer is required to contribute to your super each year (currently 10.5%, rising to 12% by 2025).


  • Financial Advisor: A qualified professional who can provide personalized advice on managing your superannuation.


  • Insurance: Optional insurance cover (e.g., death and disability insurance) offered by some super funds.
  • Investment Option: The way your super savings are invested (e.g., shares, bonds, cash).


  • Member: An individual with a superannuation account in a super fund.


  • Preservation Age: The earliest age you can access your super benefits (currently between 55 and 67 depending on your date of birth).
  • Preserved Benefit: Superannuation money that is locked away until you reach your preservation age and meet a condition of release.


  • Rollover: Transferring your super balance from one fund to another.


  • Salary Sacrifice: An arrangement where you agree to reduce your pre-tax salary in exchange for your employer making a larger contribution to your super (reducing your taxable income).
  • Superannuation Fund (Super Fund): A financial institution that holds and invests superannuation contributions on behalf of members.
  • Superannuation Guarantee Charge (SGC): A tax penalty imposed on employers who don’t meet their SG obligations.


  • Tax Deductible Contribution: Voluntary contributions you make to your super that you can claim a tax deduction for (capped annually).


  • Unit Pricing: The price per unit in a defined contribution super fund. The value of your account reflects the number of units you hold multiplied by the unit price.