Team Spirit profile: Asta
Prior to becoming Spirit Super, Asta worked for MTAA Super, first as a Business Development Manager, before moving to an advice role. When she’s not helping members achieve their retirement goals, Asta loves trail running through national parks, participating in triathlons, and travelling overseas with her friends.
You have a long history working in super. When did your industry journey begin?
I started working for MTAA Super 15 years ago and before that, I worked for their outsourced administration team. I’m now a Super Adviser looking after Spirit Super members in South Australia and the Northern Territory.
What do you enjoy about working for Spirit Super?
One of the best things is that it’s allowed me to continue my strong connection to the motor trades which began during my time with MTAA Super. In the motor trades, I often meet apprentices who are only 17 or 18 years old. A workplace presentation or one-on-one appointment with me is often their first exposure to super. It's a real privilege to be educating people who are just starting out in the workforce. Through sharing my knowledge with them, I have the potential to genuinely make a positive difference in their lives, and that’s an incredible feeling.
For example, I’m currently writing up a plan for a 21-year-old who’s considering contributing $20 a fortnight to his super. With around 40 years of working life ahead of him, this small but consistent contribution, combined with the power of compounding returns, could make a significant impact on his balance at retirement.
What can younger people do with their super to set themselves up for a better future?
It’s important that they have visibility over their super, so downloading our app is a great start.
Also, logging in regularly to check their super is going into their account as it should. Currently, an employer has to make super guarantee payments once every three months1.
And really importantly, making sure their details are up to date. This allows us to get in touch with them with important information. And now that two-factor authentication has been introduced, it’s even more important that we have their mobile numbers in our system or they won’t be able to log into Member Online.
How do you help members, particularly those in the motor trades, who are approaching retirement age?
One of the issues that a lot of people in the motor trades face is wear and tear on their bodies. They’re often on their knees or under cars and that’s not something you necessarily want to or can do forever.
A lot of mechanics who are struggling physically think they have to continue working until they’re 67. They confuse the age they can access their super with the age they can access the Age Pension, which is 67 for a lot of people. They often don’t realise they can access their super from their preservation age, which is often 60 years old. In those cases, it’s a nice feeling to be able to inform them about their choices. Letting them know they can access their super when they reach preservation age could mean they can reduce their work hours or retire earlier than they ever thought was possible.
Insurance can play a vital role in safeguarding the income security of all members, but is it even more important for those in physically demanding roles?
A big risk for people in physically demanding jobs is injuries sustained outside of the workplace. When I meet with members in those environments, I always make it a priority to review the insurance they have within their super. We look at different scenarios, such as if they broke their leg and couldn’t stand in order to service a car. That’s where income protection could really help them.
During your career in super, is there a particular interaction with a member that’s left a lasting impression?
A few years back, I offered to help a member consolidate his super accounts with various funds. Every job he’d ever had lasted only six months and he’d always just gone with his employers’ default super fund.
One day I received a parcel from this member. Inside was a collection of unopened statements tied together with string. I went through them all and found that his super was spread across 21 different super funds! It’s common to discover that members have two, three, maybe four or five, but 21… that was a record!
He was paying multiple insurance and admin fees, so had lost a lot of money along the way. He was so happy when he consolidated them all and reduced his fees significantly.
Back to your love of travel, do you have any trips coming up?
In August and September this year I spent six weeks travelling with my friends. We had two weeks in Turkey, two weeks on the Greek islands of Naxos, Cos and Rhodes, and two weeks kayaking and hiking the Amalfi coast. It was amazing! When I eventually retire, I’m keen to unleash my wanderlust and devote my days to exploring the globe. But that’s a long way off yet!
Get in touch today
At Spirit Super, it’s our job to know everything there is to know about super. We understand that everyone’s situation is different and that what’s right for one person isn’t necessarily right for the next.
So, if you’d like to speak with a Super Adviser like Asta who can make you feel more confident about the decisions you’re making about your super, give us a call on 1800 005 166.
1 As at 29 September 2023