AustralianSuper vs HESTA: Which super fund is right for you?
Tossing up between AustralianSuper and HESTA? We've compared their fees, investment options and performance side by side to help you choose.
AustralianSuper and HESTA are two of the biggest super funds in Australia. Both are industry super funds which are open to all Australians to join. HESTA is the dedicated industry super fund for the healthcare and community services sector. AustralianSuper isn't associated with one particular industry, but is the largest super fund in Australia.
AustralianSuper vs HESTA
Let's dive in and compare the two super funds side by side, so you can see which one might be right for you.
|Type of fund||Industry super fund and Australia's largest super fund||Industry super fund with a focus on the healthcare sector|
|Number of members||2.3 million members||860,000 members|
|Funds under management||$181 billion||$52.7 billion|
|Default investment option||AustralianSuper Balanced|
This is a pre-mixed, diversified fund that invests your super in a range of assets with a strong allocation towards Australian and international shares, direct property and infrastructure. Investment allocation is the same for all members in the Balanced fund, regardless of age. It's an authorised MySuper product.
|HESTA Balanced Growth|
Similar to AustralianSuper Balanced, this is a ready-made investment portfolio with a strong focus on shares, private equity and infrastructure. Investment allocation is the same for all members in the Balanced fund, regardless of age. It's an authorised MySuper product.
|Performance||Past performance of AustralianSuper Balanced:||Past performance of HESTA Balanced Growth:|
|Fees||Here's how much you'd pay in fees for one year if you had the following amounts invested in AustralianSuper Balanced:|
|Here's how much you'd pay in fees for one year if you had the following amounts invested in HESTA Balanced Growth:|
|Additional diversified investment options||If you don't want to invest in the default option (AustralianSuper Balanced), you can choose to invest your super in one of the following pre-made investment options instead:||If you don't want to invest in the default option (HESTA Balanced Growth), you can choose to invest your super in one of the following pre-made investment options instead:|
|Single asset class investment options||If you want to design your own investment mix, you can invest your super in one or more of the following individual asset classes:||If you want to design your own investment mix, you can invest your super in one or more of the following individual asset classes:|
|Mobile app||The AustralianSuper app has a 3.6-star rating from users in the Google Play Store and a 3-star rating in the Apple App Store.||The HESTA mobile app has a 1.5-star rating from users in the Google Play Store and a 1.3-star rating in the Apple App Store.|
How do the default MySuper products compare?
Both funds are popular industry super funds, though AustralianSuper has significantly more members and more funds under management than HESTA.
The two default MySuper options are AustralianSuper Balanced and HESTA Balanced Growth. These two products are very similar; both are authorised MySuper products, both are pre-mixed, diversified funds and both have a similar risk level.
Looking at their investment allocation, AustralianSuper Balanced has more exposure to international shares than HESTA Balanced Growth. Overall, AustralianSuper Balanced has a bit more exposure to high-risk, growth assets, but the difference is only minor.
How do their fees and performance figures compare?
Looking at the default options, AustralianSuper has lower annual fees than HESTA. AustralianSuper Balanced has also delivered higher returns than HESTA Balanced Growth over the short, medium and long term.
If your interested in knowing how both AustralianSuper and Hesta compare to other funds, have a look at our top Australian super funds guide.
How do the ethical investment options compare?
Both AustralianSuper Socially Aware and HESTA Sustainable Growth avoid investments in fossil fuels, tobacco and gambling among many other harmful industries. However, AustralianSuper is more transparent with its investments; it has a full list of its fund holdings on its website for you to see exactly which companies it invests in, while HESTA only lists its top holdings.
HESTA Sustainable Growth has achieved better returns than AustralianSuper Socially Aware over the short, medium and long term. It even achieved a positive return of 9.94% p.a. for the year ending in June 2020, which is impressive given the big falls in global share markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic (AustralianSuper Socially Aware achieved a negative return of 7.44% p.a. in comparison). However, HESTA's fees are slightly higher.
If you're interested in investing your super ethically, you can compare these funds with range of additional ethical super funds in our guide.
How do the additional investment options compare?
AustralianSuper and HESTA offer very similar additional investment options. AustralianSuper offers one extra pre-mixed portfolio option than HESTA, but both funds offer five single asset class options each. Again, HESTA charges slightly higher fees for its additional investment options compared to AustralianSuper.
If you're unsure how these different options work with your super fund, here's a guide on superannuation investment options and how to choose between them.
Want to keep comparing?
If you're not yet convinced that either AustralianSuper or HESTA is right for you, or you simply want to see how they compare to others in the market, you can compare super funds with our guide.
More guides on Finder
Use our free superannuation calculator to see your projected retirement balance, and how this could change by switching funds.
Spouse super contributions
Spouse super contributions allow you to grow your partner’s super balance and also save money on tax. Here’s how spouse super contributions work.
Superannuation changes 2023
Here are all the changes that are happening to super this year, and how they’ll affect your superannuation balance.
What is superannuation?
Superannuation is the main way of saving for your retirement in Australia. Your superannuation is one big investment portfolio in your name that's managed for you by your super fund.
AustralianSuper vs Australian Retirement Trust (formerly Sunsuper)
Trying to decide between AustralianSuper and Sunsuper? We've compared their fees, investment options, performance and extras side by side to help you choose.
How to change super funds in 4 steps
Here’s what you need to know about changing super funds including how to do it, the fees that apply, how long it takes and the pros and cons of switching.
HESTA superannuation | Performance, features and fees
An industry super fund with all the profits benefitting members, several investment options to choose from and low fees.
Super co-contribution: What is the government co-contribution? (2023)
Find out if you're eligible for the government's co-contribution scheme, potentially receiving up to $500 for making personal after-tax contributions.
When can I access my super?
There are 3 ways you can access your super. The age you need to be to access your super will depend on when you were born.
How to find lost super
If you've held a super fund for a while, you may have lost super that you don't even know about. Read on to find out how to recover your lost super.
Ask an Expert