Skip to main content

A quick guide for SASS members

No-one knows exactly when investment markets will rise or fall. But one thing’s for sure - the closer you get to retirement, the bigger the impact of poor investments on your retirement. That’s why it’s crucial to keep some golden rules in mind.

Investment plans that stand the test of time

Investing can feel like an emotional rollercoaster if you don’t have a plan. When investing for the long term, it’s about staying the course and sticking to tried and tested investment fundamentals that work for even the most experienced investors.

1. Diversify and spread the risk

One of the best ways to protect your investments from significant market volatility is to spread your money across different investments and asset classes (such as shares, fixed income and property). This can help reduce the risk of your investments losing value at the same time, increasing your chances of a better overall return.

It’s useful to think of your investments as part of a wider portfolio. If you’re a homeowner for example, you’re already invested in property. Taking this birds-eye view of your investments can help you make better decisions about where to put your money.

Remember - markets keep moving. So it’s just as important to keep adjusting your investments as things change to make sure you’re spreading the risk.

2. FOMO (fear of missing out) is not a valid investment strategy

It can be tempting to follow the herd as markets rise and fall. But as you near retirement, things get complex and the timing and order (or sequence) of your returns becomes more important than ever. Just one year of poor returns at the wrong time can have a significant impact on your retirement savings. The closer you are to retirement, the less time you have to recover any losses, so it’s crucial to have a long-term strategy and stick to it.

Did you know…?

As a contributing SASS member, most of your money is based on a formula and protected from market risk. When you retire and exit the scheme, you’ll need to decide how to invest your super. Getting to know these investment fundamentals now will help you later.

If you’re a deferred member in SASS, your money is invested in a diverse range of assets in line with the investment option that you select, or if you haven’t selected an option, the default one. The earnings in your account reflect the earnings of the underlying investments.

3. What goes up, must come down

Market volatility is challenging for even the most experienced investors. When markets fall, it can be tempting to withdraw your investment or switch to something ‘safer’, such as cash. But this could lock in your losses and take away the opportunity for your investment to bounce back and rise again. While things may feel turbulent in the short term, over the long term, markets tend to go up. That’s why it’s important to keep the long term in mind and stick to your investment strategy.

4. Don’t forget about inflation when looking at returns

Every investor hopes to get a good return on their investment. But returns aren’t always black and white. For a more accurate picture on how an investment is performing, look at the ‘real return’. The real return includes any tax you’ve paid on your investment, and considers the impact of inflation.

Investments that don’t keep pace with inflation drop in value over time, leaving you with less spending power later. When you’re drawing down on your money in retirement, you’ll need to make sure you have enough income for the rest of your life. You can offset the impact of inflation by not being too conservative with your investments and making sure your investment strategy generates returns higher than inflation.

Our top tips

  • Spread your risk by diversifying your investments
  • Stick to your investment strategy and avoid emotional decisions
  • Think long-term performance over short-term volatility
  • Don’t forget about keeping up with inflation

Get help from an expert when you need it

Successfully managing your own investment portfolio takes diligence and skill. When the markets move up and down, it’s easy to let your emotions get the better of you. Working with an expert can help you feel confident you’re making changes to your retirement plan based on your needs, not noise in the market.

Questions? We’ve got answers.

Aware Super financial planners are highly skilled in the SASS scheme. Call us on 1800 841 633, Monday to Friday, 8.15am to 8.15pm (AEST/AEDT), or email us at

Attend a webinar

Join a live webinar hosted by our experienced superannuation experts, where they break down complex super and finance information into easy-to-understand topics.

Book an advice appointment

We’re experienced in your State Super scheme and know the ins-and-outs of planning for a successful retirement.

Book a no-cost, obligation-free appointment with an Aware Super financial planner.

Next steps for SASS deferred members

If you’re a SASS deferred member, knowing your options can help you make sure you have the funds to suit your retirement lifestyle.


The information contained in this article is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. No warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of this information is given and no responsibility is accepted by Aware Super Pty Ltd or its employees for any loss or damage arising from reliance on the information provided.

Personal advice requires the provider to act in the client’s best interests and take into account the client’s circumstances. These rules do not apply to general advice. This communication contains general advice only and no personal advice. We have not taken into consideration any of your objectives, financial situation or needs or any information we hold about you when providing this general advice. Further this communication does not contain, and should not be read as containing, any recommendations to you in relation to our product. Before taking any action, you should consider whether the general advice contained in this communication is appropriate to you having regard to your circumstances and needs, and seek appropriate professional advice if you think you need it. Contact us to make an appointment to see one of our representatives. You should also read our product disclosure statement and Target Market Determination before making a decision about Aware Super. These documents are available on our website at or call us and we’ll send you a copy. Issued by Aware Super Pty Ltd (ABN 11 118 202 672, AFSL 293340), the trustee of Aware Super (ABN 53 226 460 365). Financial advice services are provided by Aware Financial Services Australia Limited (ABN 86 003 742 756, AFSL 238430), wholly owned by Aware Super.