Get the Finder app 🥳

Connect your accounts & save

Industry super funds

Find out what industry super funds are and how they compare to the rest.


Fact checked

An industry super fund is a fund that is designed to cater for members of a specific industry. For example, Cbus is an industry super fund that caters for members of the construction and building industry. However, deregulation and the evolution of the industry has meant most people can join most industry funds.

Compare industry super funds in Australia

Name Product Past Performance - 1 Year Past Performance - 3 Years Past performance - 5 Years Calculated fees p.a. on $50,000 balance
AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced option
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.
Sunsuper Lifecycle Balanced
Sunsuper is an award-winning super fund with more than 1.4 million members. Its Lifecycle Balanced option invests your super in a mix of growth assets, and reduces your risk when you're near retirement.
Australian Catholic Super Lifetime - Grow
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.
HESTA - Core Pool
HESTA is an industry super fund for the health and community services sector and open to all Australians. The Core Pool invests in a mix of asset classes without taking on too much, or too little, risk.

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 . 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 data is for the period ending December 2019.

Features of an industry super fund

While there are different types of industry super funds available in Australia, they are generally characterised by the following features:

  • A wide range of investment options which cater to different people's needs.
  • The majority of funds are accumulation funds, which means the balance will depend on the contributions you make.
  • They generally have competitive fees, so if your industry super fund has high fees, it could be the time to switch.
  • Some industry super funds offer MySuper accounts, which is the no-frills version of a super fund.
  • They are considered not for profit, so the profits are put back into super fund balances rather than shareholders.

From 1 July 2005, changes to regulation meant that Aussies could choose the super fund they wanted their employees to send contributions to. In Australia, over 75% of employees stick with the default fund their employer chooses. In most cases, it's the industry super fund.

How do industry super funds work?

Under superannuation laws in Australia, your employer must make superannuation contributions in your name (also known as the Superannuation Guarantee). Your employer contributions are managed by your super fund. Generally, super funds pool members' contributions together and invest them into different assets, aiming to earn members a solid rate of return. At the moment, the compulsory contribution rate is 9.5% of your annual income. This includes casual loading, bonuses and any commission you may receive.

The industry super fund you’re with will manage your account and invest in a mix of investments.

The pros and cons of industry funds


  • Cheap, no-frills options.
  • Reasonable results, especially over the past 12 months.


  • Limited or no advice.
  • Limited investment choice.

Industry super funds can be beneficial for a large number of Australians who don’t have the time to manage their super. When people get closer to the retirement age, the lack of advice may motivate people to seek alternatives for their retirement savings.

Some of the most well known industry super funds include:

Industry vs. Retail super funds: Which is the right option for you?

Industry funds are run only to benefit members. They are often characterised by low fees and they don't pay commissions to financial advisers. There is an industry fund for every type of worker and many funds accept workers from any industry.

Retail funds are “for-profit” super funds mostly owned and operated by large financial service providers such as banks, insurance companies and investment houses. Retail funds seek to make a profit for themselves and their customers from their activity and may pay commissions to financial advisers. Read this guide to find out more about retail super funds.

Compare different types of super funds

If an industry super fund doesn't seem like the right option for you, compare different types of super funds below to find out whether they might suit your needs.

Super fund typeDescription
MySuperUnder Australian law, most employers are required to offer a MySuper-type 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, and is characterised by:

  • Low fees
  • Opt-out life insurance
  • Straightforward investment options
  • All-around simplicity
Retail fundsWidely-available commercial products, operated by financial institutions to turn a profit for themselves and their customers. These will typically be nominated, rather than selected as a default.
Retail funds can vary widely, but are often characterised by:

  • Offers of competitive returns
  • A wide range of options
  • May be integrated with other financial products
  • May give customers more in-depth control of investments
  • Are often owned by banks
Industry fundsThese superannuation funds are generally designed for workers in a specific industry, and may be especially beneficial. Some industry funds are restricted to workers in a specific industry, while others are open to everyone.
Industry super funds will often be available as a default, or might be nominated. Sometimes a super fund will be both an industry fund, as well as a MySuper fund. The key difference between these funds and retail funds is that they are owned by members not shareholders.
They can vary widely, but are often characterised by:

  • Lower fees
  • A range of insurance options
  • Differing investment options
  • Varying degrees of simplicity
Corporate fundsThese are super funds a business offers to its employees. They might be exceptionally competitive, such as in the case of defined benefit funds. Naturally these will typically be found as default funds with various advantages and features.
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.

Traps and pitfalls of industry super funds

A common trap with super funds comes when people swap funds. This is a common insurance trap. Check whether your existing insurance cover is obtainable with the new fund for similar premiums.

Don’t put up with poor administration. There are multiple stories about super fund administration gone completely wrong. So don’t put up with poor management. If you don’t like how the fund is managed, you might want to consider changing funds.

Read more on this topic

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • 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
    MikeOctober 23, 2018

    What super fund will accept KiwiSaver?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezOctober 23, 2018Staff

      Hello Mike,

      Thank you for your comment.

      According to the super guide, there are only 3 Australian super funds that accept transfers from KiwiSaver accounts to Australian super accounts. These are WA Super, FIRST Super and Energy Super.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.


  2. Default Gravatar
    kevinApril 21, 2018

    what retail or industry funds accept QROPS 55 from the UK new members KC?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniApril 22, 2018Staff

      Hi Kevin,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Please see this link for the full list of retail and industry funds in Australia that accept QROPS.

      Please note that you’ll need to check that the scheme you’re transferring to on or after that date meets the new requirements.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!


Ask a question
Go to site