Bendigo Bank SmartStart Super account review

SmartStart Super offers several investment options with low fees, including an authorised MySuper product.

Bendigo Bank’s SmartStart Super product offers two main investment options; one that puts you in control of investment decisions, and one that is managed for you. It offers low fees that are competitive with other super products in the market, and has shown strong performance over the past five years. It also provides an authorised MySuper product that complies with government regulations. Read on to learn more about the two investment options available.

Investment options

Bendigo SmartStart Super offers two investment options, depending on how "hands-on" you wish to be with your fund. These two options are detailed below.

Option 1: Bendigo MySuper

This option is the default investment option when opening the fund, if you do not wish to choose your investment strategy. This option is a no-frills, authorised MySuper product, enabling employers to make compulsory superannuation guarantee contributions to employees who don’t select their own fund.

Your investments are completely managed for you and follow a lifestage investment strategy, as described below:

Under 55 years Aged 55 - 59Aged 60+
Investment option Bendigo Growth Index FundBendigo Balanced Index FundBendigo Conservative Index Fund
Risk Level High Risk (bank 6)Medium to High Risk (band 5)Medium Risk (band 4)
Past 5 year performance*11.31% p.a9.49% p.a7.63% p.a
Target asset allocation
  • Max 50% Australian shares
  • Max 50% International shares
  • Max 22% property
  • Max 25% fixed interest
  • Max 25% cash
  • Max 40% Australian shares
  • Max 40% International shares
  • Max 20% property
  • Max 50% fixed interest
  • Max 30% cash
  • Max 30% Australian shares
  • Max 30% International shares
  • Max 20% property
  • Max 65% fixed interest
  • Max 40% cash

Option 2: Choose your own investment

If you want to choose your own investments and prefer a "hands-on" approach, this option allows you to choose between up to 14 investment types. These include a variety of managed funds and a cash product, and a newly launched socially responsible investment option.

You can choose from the investment options below as well as the three investment options listed above in the MySuper fund.

Past 5 year performance* Asset allocation
Bendigo Defensive Wholesale Fund 5.77% p.a
  • Cash 24.59%
  • Australian shares 5.67%
  • Australian fixed interest 21.16%
  • Australian listed property 2.15%
  • International shares 9.05%
  • International fixed interest 31.83%
  • International property 1.55%
Bendigo Conservative Wholesale Fund7.52% p.a
  • Cash 18.10%
  • Australian shares 12.20%
  • Australian fixed interest 18.50%
  • Australian listed property 3.90%
  • International shares 16.10%
  • International fixed interest 23.60%
  • International property 2.06%
Bendigo Balanced Wholesale Fund9.40% p.a
  • Cash 12.02%
  • Australian shares 19.60%
  • Australian fixed interest 12.30%
  • Australian listed property 4.20%
  • International shares 24.70%
  • International fixed interest 15.40%
  • International property 3.68%
Bendigo Growth Wholesale Fund 10.89% p.a
  • Cash 19.60%
  • Australian shares 30.00%
  • Australian fixed interest 7.70%
  • Australian listed property 4.89%
  • International shares 33.90%
  • International fixed interest 7.10%
  • International property 2.87%
Bendigo Socially Responsible Growth FundN/A as it’s a new productN/A
Bendigo High Growth Wholesale Fund12.60%
  • Cash 3.99%
  • Australian shares 36.86%
  • Australian listed property 5.39%
  • International shares 43.22%
  • International property 2.20%
Bendigo Defensive Index Fund 5.77%
  • Cash 26.30%
  • Australian shares 7.40%
  • Australian fixed interest 33.40%
  • Australian listed property 3.80%
  • International shares 8.90%
  • International fixed interest 20.20%
Bendigo High Growth Index Fund 13.07%
  • Cash 2.50%
  • Australian shares 44.70%
  • Australian listed property 7.20%
  • International shares 45.60%
Sandhurst Strategic Income Fund (available through linked pension account)3.82%
  • Cash 23.31%
  • Australian fixed interest 76.69%

*The investment performance was correct as of 31 July 2017. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.


The Bendigo SmartStart super product has an annual admin fee of $98 which is deducted from your account in monthly installments.

The Bendigo MySuper product (as detailed above in option one) applies an indirect cost charged to your account as a percentage of the account balance, as follows:

  • Bendigo Growth Index Fund: 0.457% p.a
  • Bendigo Balanced Index Fund: 0.430% p.a
  • Bendigo Conservative Index Fund: 0.411% p.a

There is also fees charged by the individual managed funds as part of the buy-sell spread, which is 0.11% for this product.

For investment option two where you select your own investment mix, each managed fund has its own buy-sell spread and investment manager fee. This investment manager fee is listed below for each strategy:

  • Bendigo Defensive Wholesale Fund: 0.60%
  • Bendigo Conservative Wholesale Fund: 0.72%
  • Bendigo Balanced Wholesale Fund: 0.82%
  • Bendigo Growth Wholesale Fund: 0.92%
  • Bendigo High Growth Wholesale Fund: 0.99%
  • Bendigo Defensive Index Fund: 0.39%
  • Bendigo High Growth Index Fund: 0.46%
  • Sandhurst Strategic Income Fund: 0.45%

There are no setup or exit fees, or fees for switching investment options. For a more detailed breakdown of fees and charges always read the PDS available on the provider's website.


Automatic Death and Total Permanent Disablement (TPD) insurance is applied to your account when joining. You can opt of of this if you wish after the account is opened, or tailor it to better suit your needs. You can also apply for Income Protection cover if needed, or transfer cover over from your previous policy. All insurance premiums are deducted from your super account directly.

Pros and Cons


  • Authorised MySuper product available
  • Strong past performance for some investment options
  • Choose to opt out of or tailor your insurance
  • Roll over existing super online


  • Must be over 18 years old to apply online
  • No mobile app available

How do I apply?

If you’ve decided this is the super fund for you, you can apply online in less than 10 minutes by clicking the green "Go to Site" button at the top of this page. You’ll be securely redirected to Bendigo Bank’s site where you can complete your application. Please note you must be over 18 years old to apply online.

You will need to supply:

  • Personal details. You’ll need to provide you personal contact details including your Australian residential address.
  • Previous super fund details. If you’d like to roll over your existing fund into the new fund online, you will need your current fund details.

You will need to select:

  • Investment option. You’ll be asked to select your investment option out of the two options detailed about, so have a think about this before beginning your application.
  • Insurance instructions. You’ll be asked if you’d like to opt out of or tailor the default insurance policies.
DISCLAIMER: This article may contain general advice. You should consider your own personal circumstances before deciding if a superannuation product is right for you. Superannuation is a long term investment and past performance is not indicative of future performance.
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