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AustralianSuper vs Australian Retirement Trust (formerly Sunsuper)

Trying to decide between AustralianSuper and Australian Retirement Trust (Sunsuper)? We've compared their fees, investment options, performance and extras side by side to help you choose.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

Both AustralianSuper and Australian Retirement Trust are among the biggest super funds in Australia, with more than a million members each and billions of dollars in funds under management. If you're stuck choosing between the two funds, this comparison may help you decide.

AustralianSuper vs Australian Retirement Trust

Let's dive in and compare the two super funds side by side, so you can see which one might be right for you.

AustralianSuperAustralian Retirement Trust
Type of fundIndustry super fundPublic-offer industry fund
Number of members2.3 million members2 million+ members
Default investment optionAustralianSuper 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.

Australian Retirement Trust (formerly Sunsuper for Life) - Lifecycle

This fund is a pre-mixed, diversified fund that invests in a range of assets with a strong allocation towards Australian and international shares and is an authorised MySuper product.

This product is also a lifecycle fund that will automatically reduce your exposure to high-risk assets like shares as you get closer to retirement. It's split into three different life stages.

PerformancePast performance of AustralianSuper Balanced as of June 2020:

  • 10 years: 10.66% p.a.
  • 5 years: 10.31% p.a.
Past performance of Australian Retirement Trust (formerly Sunsuper for Life) - Lifecycle Balanced Pool as of June 2020:

  • 10 years: 10.14% p.a.
  • 5 years: 9.58% p.a.
FeesHere's how much you'd pay in fees for one year if you had the following amounts invested in AustralianSuper Balanced:

  • $5,000 balance: $171.15 in fees
  • $50,000 balance: $472.65 in fees
  • $100,000 balance: $807.65 in fees

 

Here's how much you'd pay in fees for one year if you had the following amounts invested in:

  • $5,000 balance: $133 in fees
  • $50,000 balance: $628 in fees
  • $100,000 balance: $1,178 in fees

 

Additional diversified investment optionsIf 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:

  • High Growth
  • Socially Aware
  • Indexed Diversified
  • Conservative Balanced
  • Stable
If you don't want to invest in the default option (Lifecycle), you can choose to invest your super in one of the following pre-made investment options instead:

  • Growth
  • Balanced
  • Balanced - Indexed
  • Socially Conscious Balanced
  • Diversified Alternatives
  • Retirement
  • Conservative
Single asset class investment optionsIf you want to design your own investment mix, you can invest your super in one or more of the following individual asset classes:

  • Australian Shares
  • International Shares
  • Property
  • Diversified Fixed Interest
  • Cash
If you want to design your own investment mix, you can invest your super in one or more of the following individual asset classes:

  • Shares
  • Australian Shares
  • Property
  • Diversified Bonds
  • Cash
  • Australian Shares (Indexed)
  • International Shares (indexed hedged)
  • International Shares (indexed unhedged)
  • Emerging Markets Shares
  • Australian Property (Indexed)
  • Diversified Bonds (Indexed)
Ethical investmentThe AustralianSuper Socially Aware option doesn't invest in Australian or international companies that directly own coal and fossil fuel reserves, produce tobacco or those which have single-gender boards.

This fund is not certified by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia.

Past performance of AustralianSuper Socially Aware as of June 2020:

  • 1 year: 14.97% p.a.
  • 3 years: 10.9% p.a.
  • 5 years: 9.05% p.a.
The Australian Retirement Trust Socially Conscious Balanced investment option avoids investment in companies that generate more than 5% of their revenue from alcohol, tobacco, gambling, pornography, coal or nuclear power manufacturing among other harmful industries.

This fund is certified by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia.

Past past performance as of June 2020:

  • 1 year: 19.6% p.a.
  • 3 years: 8.76% p.a.
  • 5 years: 8.83% p.a.
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How do the default MySuper products compare?

The two default MySuper options are AustralianSuper Balanced and Australian Retirement Trust - Lifecycle. The main difference between the two is that the latter is a lifestage investment product, while AustralianSuper Balanced is not.

Both funds invest in a mix of both growth assets (like shares and property) and defensive assets (like bonds and cash). With AustralianSuper Balanced, the investment mix is the same for all members invested in this option, regardless of your age. However, with Australian Retirement Trust Lifecycle, it will gradually reduce your exposure to growth assets as you get older and closer to retirement to help minimise your investment risk. The idea behind this is that you'll be invested in more high-risk, high-growth assets while you're young and less so as you get older.

We have also provided a comparison guide on top performing Australian super companies which is worth checking out.

How do their fees and performance figures compare?

Looking at the default options, AustralianSuper has slightly lower annual fees.. However, both funds are relatively low-fee options compared to some other MySuper products in the market. Annual fees that are less than 1% of your balance are considered to be reasonable and both of these funds' fees are.

Looking at performance, AustralianSuper Balanced has delivered higher returns over the short, medium and long term. Most of AustralianSuper's additional investment options have also performed better than those offered by Australian Retirement Trust over the past decade.

How do the ethical investment options compare?

Both AustrailanSuper Socially Aware and Australian Retirement Trust Socially Conscious Balanced avoid investments in fossil fuels, tobacco and gambling among many other harmful industries. Both funds lists their fund holdings on their website for you to see exactly which companies they invests in.

Australian Retirement Trust Socially Conscious Balanced is also certified by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia, which is a leading independent investment body for responsible investment in Australia and New Zealand. AustralianSuper Socially Aware does not have this certification. However, AustralianSuper Socially Aware has slightly outperformed Australian Retirement Trust Socially Conscious Balanced over the medium to long term, and it also has lower annual fees.

If you're interested in investing your super ethically, you can compare these funds with a range of additional ethical super funds in our guide.

How do the additional investment options compare?

Australian Retirement Trust offers more investment options to choose between than AustralianSuper (here's a guide on how the different super investment options work and how to choose). As well as the default MySuper product, Australian Retirement Trust offers seven additional pre-mixed investment options for members to choose between. In comparison, AustralianSuper offers five. Both funds offer an indexed portfolio option and an ethical option too.

If you want to build your own portfolio by selecting individual asset classes yourself, Australian Retirement Trust offers a lot more choice. It has 11 single asset classes to choose between, while AustralianSuper only offers 5. The main difference here is that Australian Retirement Trust offers indexed individual asset options, like Australian shares (indexed), international shares (indexed) and property (indexed), while AustralianSuper does not. So if you're looking to build your own investment mix and want to keep investment fees to a minimum by using indexed products, this will be easier to achieve with Australian Retirement Trust.

Want to keep comparing?

If you're not yet convinced that either fund 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

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