How to turn $100 into $1600 now.

Sandra* is a self-funded retiree, with just a small part-pension from Centrelink. Sandra keeps an eye on her investments but she thinks she could be doing better.

For her cash management and SMSF savings account, Sandra has an account from the same big four bank she has been using for most of her banking business, for more than fifty years.

Sandra's current SMSF savings account is currently paying her a maximum rate of 0.10 per cent pa. Sandra's current cash balance in her SMSF savings account is approximately $100,000. Last year she earned approximately $100 in total interest payments on her account, according to the InfoChoice Savings Calculator.

So Sandra gets online and looks around at what the other three big banks are offering in SMSF savings accounts and is not impressed. None of the big four banks now have any savings accounts or term deposits that are paying above the inflation rate of 1.7%.

SMSF savings accounts (Big Four banks, InfoChoice November 2019)

Sandra's new SMSF cash savings account

Sandra looks a bit further afield, outside the major bank brands she is familiar with from childhood.

She knows that the federal government guarantees deposits (up to $250,000) in all authorised deposit taking institutions, so she feels relaxed about moving her life savings to a smaller bank.

Sandra also knows that Centrelink's deeming rate is much higher than the rate she is getting on her cash savings. Currently, Centrelink's deeming rate for singles is set at 1% for the first $51,800 of assets, then 3%.

Sandra also knows that the inflation rate of 1.7% pa is higher than her current rate so she is motivated to find a better place to park her cash.

Sandra finds a market leading SMSF savings account paying 2.50 per cent pa for the first four months. Then the account reverts to a base rate of 1.15 per cent pa. Sandra decides to move her $100K to the new institution.

Top SMSF savings accounts (InfoChoice November 2019)

Sandra earns $833 in interest in the first four months, then another $773 in interest over the remainder of the year. Sandra's new SMSF savings account has delivered $1,606 in interest payments in the first year, up from $100 the previous year. By comparing rates and being prepared to move her cash, Sandra has generated an extra $1,506 for herself in interest payments on her cash.

Sandra has benefited because she did not feel locked in to one bank. Sandra compared rates and fees from a range of institutions and found the best account for her own needs.

All the big banks and many regional and smaller banking institutions offer savings accounts and cash management accounts for pensioners and self-funded retirees. Compare SMSF savings accounts at InfoChoice.

*Not real name

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