⚡️⚡️⚡️
With energy prices rising, switch to a cheaper plan
💡
Compare Prices Now
⚡️⚡️⚡️

How to choose a super fund

When choosing a super fund look for one with low fees, high past performance figures and an investment strategy you're comfortable with.

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!

Look for these features when choosing a super fund:

  • High past performance figures, particular 5 and 10-year figures
  • Low fees compared to other funds (preferably annual fees less than 1.5% of your balance)
  • An investment strategy that suits your risk tolerance and preferences

Performance, fees, and strategy are 3 key features to look for when choosing a super fund. However there are other features as well, which we'll go into these points in more detail later in this guide, or if you're ready to choose a super fund you can use our comparison table below right now.

Promoted
Virgin Money Super Lifestage Tracker invests in a mix of assets in line with your age, investing in more growth assets while you’re young and reducing your risk as you near retirement. It has achieved a return of 10.07%p.a. over the last 5 years, with annual fees of $392.99 for a $50k balance.
Promoted
Green Company
Certified by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia.

This fund invests in renewable energy, innovative technology and sustainable products while avoiding coal, oil, tobacco and live animal exports.

Choose a super fund

1 - 16 of 36
Name Product Last 1 year performance (p.a.) Last 3 year performance (p.a.) Last 5 year performance (p.a.) Last 10 year performance (p.a.) Fees on $50k balance (p.a.)

Virgin Money Super - LifeStage Tracker

Virgin Money Super - LifeStage Tracker
+17.29%
+13.78%
+10.07%
New Fund
$392
This is a high-risk investment option that aims to deliver higher returns over the long term.

Virgin Money Super LifeStage Tracker is a lifestage super product, so your mix of investments will be continually readjusted in line with your age. This means you'll be invested in more growth assets while you're young.

Australian Retirement Trust (formerly Sunsuper for Life) - Lifecycle Balanced Pool

Finder Award
Australian Retirement Trust (formerly Sunsuper for Life) -  Lifecycle Balanced Pool
+16.31%
+11.45%
+9.58%
+10.14%
$628
Sunsuper and QSuper have merged to create Australian Retirement Trust, one of Australia's largest super funds with more than 2 million members. Its Lifecycle Balanced product invests your super in a mix of growth assets, and reduces your risk when you're near retirement.

AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced option

Finder Award
AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced option
+15.02%
+12.42%
+10.31%
+10.66%
$472
AustralianSuper is an award-winning industry super fund and the largest super fund in Australia. The Balanced fund invests in a mix of different assets like shares, property and cash.

Spaceship GrowthX

Spaceship GrowthX
+12.31%
+19.14%
New Fund
New Fund
$536
This is a high-risk investment option that aims to deliver higher returns over the long term.
Spaceship's GrowthX fund invests heavily in technology ETFs with high exposures to Australian and international shares. Performance figures and fees supplied by Spaceship, not Chant West.

Australian Ethical Super Balanced

Green Company
Australian Ethical Super Balanced
+13.19%
+12.82%
+9.71%
+9.78%
$622
Certified by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia.
Australian Ethical seeks to invest in companies that have a positive impact on the planet, people and animals, such as renewable energy and healthcare while avoiding investments in coal, oil, tobacco and gambling.

QSuper Lifetime - Aspire 1

QSuper Lifetime - Aspire 1
+12.67%
+10.33%
+9.03%
New Fund
$360
QSuper is part of Australian Retirement Trust. QSuper Lifetime automatically adjusts your investment mix in line with your age and your Lifetime account balance. Eligibility criteria and conditions apply to open a QSuper account (refer to 'More Info').

Aware Super High Growth

Aware Super High Growth
+18.15%
+14.45%
+11.63%
+11.83%
$694
This is a high-risk investment option that aims to deliver higher returns over the long term.
If you join Aware Super's default MySuper Lifecycle option your super will be invested in the High Growth option while you're under 55, giving more exposure to local and international shares.

Australian Catholic Super Lifetime - Grow

Australian Catholic Super Lifetime - Grow
+13.2%
+10.02%
New Fund
New Fund
$488
A Catholic super fund open to all Australians and designed for people working in Catholic education, healthcare or aged care.The Lifetime One fund option changes your investment mix as you get older.

AustralianSuper - Socially Aware

AustralianSuper - Socially Aware
+14.97%
+10.9%
+9.05%
+10.1%
$501
The 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.

Bendigo SmartStart Super - Growth Index

Bendigo SmartStart Super - Growth Index
+14.46%
+12.38%
+9.08%
+10.4%
$338
Bendigo SmartStart is a retail super fund. The Growth Index Fund is the default MySuper option for members under 55.

Kogan Super - Enhanced Indexed Growth

Kogan Super - Enhanced Indexed Growth
+14.81%
New Fund
New Fund
New Fund
$332
Kogan Super offers low-fee, high-performing indexed investment options that are managed by Mercer, Australia's largest super administrator. The Enhanced Indexed Growth product invests around two thirds of your balance into Australian and global shares.

Australian Catholic Super Bonds

Australian Catholic Super Bonds
-1.66%
+3.98%
+3.87%
+3.83%
$278

Australian Catholic Super Conservative

Australian Catholic Super Conservative
+6.86%
+6.56%
+5.55%
+6.17%
$463

Australian Catholic Super Conservative Balanced

Australian Catholic Super Conservative Balanced
+10.43%
+8.31%
+6.77%
+7.47%
$478

Australian Catholic Super Growth

Australian Catholic Super Growth
+15.54%
+11.3%
New Fund
New Fund
$488
This is a high-risk investment option that aims to deliver higher returns over the long term.

Australian Ethical Super Australian Shares

Green Company
Australian Ethical Super Australian Shares
+14.35%
+20.21%
+13.81%
+15.36%
$842
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

The information in the table is based on data provided by Chant West Pty Ltd (AFSL 255320) which is itself supplied by third parties. While such information is believed to be accurate, Chant West does not accept responsibility for any inaccuracy in such information. Chant West’s Financial Services Guide is available at https://www.chantwest.com.au/financial-services-guide . Finder offers no guarantees or warranties about the data and we recommend that users make their own enquiries before relying on this information. Performance, fees and insurance data is based on each fund's default MySuper product. Where the performance, fees and insurance data for the MySuper fund vary according to the member's age, results for individuals between 40-49 years of age have been shown. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

*Past performance and fee data is for the period ending December 2021.

How do I choose a super fund?

Need a bit more help choosing? No worries! Let’s take a look at the features you want in a super fund in more detail.

Investment options and strong past performance

Super funds are basically big investment portfolios, with professionals who invest members’ money on their behalf. Historical performance of the fund, typically expressed as a percentage, is generally a measure of the return on investment the fund has achieved previously. You’ll mostly want to look at the fund’s performance for the last 5-10 years, as long-term performance is a better indicator than short-term performance.

While historical performance isn’t everything and past performance is not an indication of future performance, it's definitely an important factor to look at when choosing a super fund.

As well as performance make sure you take a look at:

  • Investment options available. If you're looking for a particular type of investment option, such as a high growth option, check if the fund offers this before joining.
  • How much control you have. Some people might want a managed super fund that still lets them do some of their own investing. Others might be particularly keen on the forex market, share trading, property or other investment types, and want a super fund that lets them put their money where they want it most.
  • Ethical investing. If you'd prefer your savings to be invested ethically, such as in renewable energy rather than coal mining, you might want to consider an ethical super fund.

The super fund fees

As with most fees generally, the lower the better. Consider:

  • Whether they’re worth it. You might come out ahead paying more fees for better investment returns, rather than choosing a low-fee fund that has consistently underperformed.
  • Exactly how much you’re paying: Superannuation fees can be extremely confusing. Ideally you’ll want to understand exactly how much you’re paying in fees, and consider this as a percentage of your super balance. As a loose rule of thumb, ty to aim for annual fees that are less than 1.5% of your balance.
  • Why the fees are higher or lower. A lot of super funds offer passive, index-based investment options which are much cheaper than actively managed options.

The insurance options

Most super funds offer insurance policies within your account, which are often slightly discounted. Generally, you can get a basic level of insurance cover for:

To compare the insurance cover offered by two different super funds you may want to look at:

  • The types of cover: Do they both offer life, TPD and income protection insurance, or does one of them offer fewer cover types? Do they even offer any insurance at all?
  • The payout: How much is paid out for each of the three cover types?
  • The premiums: How much is it costing you? The cost of insurance will be taken out of your investment returns.
  • Can you increase your cover? If you want more insurance cover, check how much you can increase your level of cover by.

All three insurance types can be found through super funds, or outside of superannuation instead. However, they work a bit differently in each case. In very basic terms, you might think of super insurance as the cheap “no-brand” option, and insurance outside of super as the “deluxe brand name” option. Depending on your situation, you might want to have it all inside super, all of it outside super, or a combination of both.

How to choose between the different types of super funds

There are various types of super funds which can be put under two different categories – profit for member funds and retail superannuation funds. Although there are still debates going on which category is better, understanding them is much better since their advantages and disadvantages are relative to the needs that you have. Compare the different types of super funds available using our table below.

Super fund typeFeatures
MySuperMost employers are required to offer a MySuper fund as a default option for people who cannot (or don’t wish to) select their own fund. These are generally found as defaults, but you may also nominate a MySuper fund. It’s designed to be a safe option for most Australians.
  • Low fees
  • Opt-out life insurance
  • Straightforward investment options
  • All-around simplicity
  • Balanced or Growth investment option
Retail fundsRetail funds are widely-available commercial products, operated by financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies.
  • A wide range of investment options and more complex investment products
  • May be integrated with other financial products
  • May give customers more in-depth control of investments
  • Are often owned by banks
  • Opportunity to gain financial advice
Industry fundsThese superannuation funds are generally designed for workers in a specific industry, however most are open to everyone to join. They're not-for-profit funds that exist for the benefit of super members only, and aren't part of a wider financial institution. They are owned by members not shareholders.
  • Lower fees
  • A range of insurance options
  • Simple range of investment options
  • Aligned to a particular industry or sector
Self-managed super fund (SMSF)The do-it-yourself super fund. You are responsible for investing your superannuation, as well as looking after the tax and legal obligations that go along with it. These are explained in more detail in this guide, however it's not recommended that you start an SMSF unless you're a confident investor with a large balance of at least $250,000.
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    SupawanDecember 27, 2018

    The amount of my superannuation has been decreasing. I didn’t notice before so I change my super fund and I found that it is decreasing as well. What should I do?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniDecember 28, 2018Staff

      Hi Supawan,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      I suggest that you seek financial advice on how your super could increase.

      I hope this helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  2. Default Gravatar
    IsabelleFebruary 18, 2018

    Hello

    My partner is self-employed, 50 years old and never have had a superannuation. Now I try to figure out what he will need.
    He works in the computer industry and has not a huge income. Do you have any tipps where he can look for a super or what we have to think about to choose clever the super?

    Thank you so much for your help!
    Isabelle

    • Default Gravatar
      JoelMarch 9, 2018

      Hi Isabelle,

      Thanks for leaving a question on Finder.

      Your partner who is self-employed can avail of his own choice of the super fund since anyone who is in the workforce can choose any superannuation fund to undertake. You can check which form of contribution and the super fund will work for him. You can also consider speaking to a financial adviser for professional, personalized advice.

      Cheers,
      Joel

Go to site