Starting your first job: your first ‘to do’ list

Starting your first ‘proper’ job is always exciting. With the exhilaration and new-found independence that comes from earning your own money, now you can start planning: planning your dream holiday, planning your first ‘adult’ purchase, planning your social activities. But what about planning your future? 

In the excitement of starting your first job, super is often overlooked. And that’s perfectly understandable. After all, it’s like a million years before you can get your hands on it, right? Well, failing to add super to your ‘to do’ list can cost you down the track. And we don’t mean to sound dramatic, but your future self depends on it.

Why is super so important?

In a nutshell, super is your money for life after work. We can’t put it any more simply than that. As a new full-time worker, the great news is that you’ll be receiving employer super contributions for a long time (currently 10% of salary and expected to gradually increase to 12% by 2025). 

And speaking of time, when you’re young you have time on your side …

... time to accrue the most in contributions to grow your account balance
… time to ride out the highs and lows of a higher-risk investment strategy
… time to benefit from compounding investment returns on a steadily growing account balance.

To help you get going, we’ve put together a ‘to do’ list for your super …

Job 1: choose a super fund

If you’re working in the maritime industry, Maritime Super will most likely be your employer’s default fund. However if you’ve had other part time jobs you may have a super fund that is ‘stapled’ to you, meaning that your employer would need to pay super contributions to your stapled fund unless you complete a choice of fund form to elect Maritime Super as the fund into which your super contributions are paid.

There are a lot of good reasons why it’s worth entrusting Maritime Super with your money:

  • Members retire with more – on average, Maritime Super members retire with double that of the average super balance.
  • Leading investment outcomes – we’re invested in the Hostplus Pooled Superannuation Trust (PST), which gives you access to a wide range of investments. Better still, you have access to investment options whose returns are ranked as some of the top-performing options over 5, 7, 10, 15 and 20 year periods. 
  • Tailored insurance cover - the maritime industry is like no other, so we provide insurance that covers the various maritime occupations and associated risks. Premiums come out of your account - not your wallet - plus you may be able to vary your cover at any time to suit your ever-changing needs and circumstances.

Learn more about the benefits of Maritime Super membership.

Job 2: make an investment choice

This is an important one, because how you invest your super now will have a huge impact on your account balance in the future. If you don’t make an investment choice, you’ll automatically be invested in the default option.

When you’re young and just starting out, you can afford to take a long-term view and invest your super in higher-growth options that will see your account balance grow the most over the long run. And while there will be negative years here and there, overall you’ll benefit from greater long term returns. 

If you’re unsure about your investment strategy, you can get advice about investing your super from one of our financial planners free of charge, over the phone. Simply call Member Services on 1800 757 607 to book a call with a financial planner. 

Learn more about investing your super here.

Job 3: make small but regular voluntary contributions

If you want to make a real difference to your future lifestyle, make some voluntary contributions on top of your employer’s contributions – they don’t even have to be large amounts. 

By starting early but small, your hip pocket won’t notice the difference, but your super balance WILL notice it down the track! 

Many young people make the mistake of thinking that you can’t afford to put anything away or that you have plenty of time to save later. Thinking things like: ‘I’m not earning enough – I’ll start to salary sacrifice when I’m making more’ or ‘I’ve got a few expenses and can’t afford to contribute a little extra right now’ will get you nowhere come retirement. 

Remember, small but regular contributions make a huge difference - see for yourself how much it could change your financial position at retirement – try our Retirement Income calculator.  

Job 4: Combine your super accounts

As a teenager or student, you may have worked several casual or part-time jobs, so there’s a good chance that you already have a super account. 

From 1 November 2021, super accounts are ‘stapled’ to members to reduce multiple accounts. This means when you change jobs, your super fund goes with you (unless you elect a new super fund). If you’ve recently joined the Maritime Super having worked outside the maritime industry, it’s possible your stapled fund is another super fund. For your new employer to contribute to your Maritime Super account, you will need to complete a Choice of Fund form nominating Maritime Super and give your Maritime Super membership details to your employer. They will be able to start paying your super into your account. 

Having several super accounts means that you’re paying several sets of fees, which could cost you over time. Make your super work efficiently and keep it all together. Worse still, you run the risk of losing track of your super and it becoming ‘lost’.

You can combine all your super accounts into your Maritime Super account online here.


The information on this page has been issued by Maritime Financial Services Pty Limited (MFS). It contains general information that doesn’t take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. It’s important to consider how appropriate this general information is in relation to your situation before making an investment decision. We recommend that you seek financial advice before making any decisions regarding your super or investments. The information on this page is current at the time of publishing.