Compare super funds

Your superannuation will fund your retirement. Taking a few minutes to compare super funds now could help you retire with tens of thousands more later.

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Your superannuation is your money. Unlike the money that goes into your bank account when you're paid, your super is paid into your chosen super fund for safe keeping until your retire. Your super fund will invest your money in a range of different things, like shares and property, to help it grow throughout your working life.

Just as there are many different banks, there are many different super funds to choose between too. All super funds charge different fees and achieve different investment returns, so you can save a lot of money by comparing. Choosing a low-fee, high-performing super fund early on in your life could help increase your balance by tens of thousands by retirement.

AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced Super Fund

AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced Super Fund

Choose from an extensive range of investment options and enjoy discounted rates on select banking products when you join AustralianSuper.

  • 2019 Finder Awards Winner: Best Super Fund - Balanced
  • Join and consolidate your super with the easy-to-use mobile app
  • Australia's largest industry super fund
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Compare super funds below

Use our comparison table to compare super funds based on performance, fees and insurance options.

Name Product Past Performance - 1 Year Past Performance - 3 Years Performance - 5 Years Calculated fees p.a. on $50,000 balance
AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced option
0.56%
6.67%
7.37%
$411.18
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.
Virgin Money Super - Lifestage Tracker
-0.86%
6.46%
$358
Virgin Money Super's Lifestage Tracker invests in a range of different assets in line with your age, reducing your risk as you get older, and has some of the lowest fees in the market.
Sunsuper Lifecycle Balanced
-1.69%
5.7%
6.45%
$453
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.
QSuper Lifetime - Aspire 1
-0.35%
5.97%
6.91%
$315
QSuper is one of the largest member-owned funds in Australia. The QSuper Lifetime fund adjusts your investments each 7-10 years as you get older, so you're not taking on too much risk.
HESTA Balanced Growth
N/A
5.84%
6.27%
$538.53
HESTA is an industry super fund for the health and community services sector and open to all Australians. The Balanced Growth fund invests in a mix of asset classes without taking on too much, or too little, risk.
Spaceship GrowthX
11.93%
14.45%
$573
Spaceship's Growth X fund invests heavily in Australian and international shares, with a focus on technology stocks. This is a high-risk investment option that aims to deliver high returns over the long term. Performance figures and fees supplied by Spaceship, not Chant West.
Australian Catholic Super Lifetime - Grow
-0.39%
N/A
$588
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.
Australian Ethical Super Balanced
2.77%
6.88%
6.88%
$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.
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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 data is for the period ending June 2020.

Superannuation: What is it and how does it work?

Superannuation is likely to be your most-valuable financial asset when you retire. If you're not exactly sure what it is, don't worry, you're certainly not alone.

Finder data shows that 40% of Australians have little or no understanding of what superannuation is and how it works. Less than one quarter of us say we understand it perfectly.

In fact, the terms 'superannuation' and 'what is superannuation' are searched in Google 60,000 times a month by Australians looking for clear, helpful information on getting their super sorted (perhaps that's how you got here yourself!). We've put together this guide to help you do just that; get your super sorted.

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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.

What is superannuation?

Have you ever thought about how you'll fund your lifestyle when you're no longer working? Superannuation is the main way of saving for your retirement in Australia. Superannuation was made compulsory as a way of forced retirement savings in 1991, to ensure Australians weren't all relying on the aged pension after finishing work.

The idea is by putting aside a small chunk of your earnings throughout your working life from the day you start your first job, you should have enough money to live on when you retire without needing government assistance. Without superannuation, you'll need to rely on your personal savings and investments as well as the aged pension when you retire, which may not be enough money to live on.

However, this isn't to say that everyone will retire with the same amount of super. A number of factors will impact how much super you have including the fund you're with, if you make extra contributions or not, how much money you earn and whether or not you take extended time out of the workforce.

How does superannuation work?

Employers are legally required to pay a certain percentage of your annual salary or earnings into your super fund each year. Currently it's set at 9.5% of your annual earnings. So for example if you earn $100,000 a year at your job your employer must contribute $9,500 to your chosen super fund. This money in your super fund is then invested into a range of different assets like shares, commodities, property and cash on your behalf by the super fund investment team.

Your super benefits from compounded investment returns over your working life to help it grow. When you're retired you can start withdrawing the money to fund your lifestyle and expenses when you're no longer earning an income from work.

There are a few situations where employees are not legally required to pay you any superannuation, including:

  • If you earn less than $450 a month
  • If you're under 18 and work less than 30 hours per week
  • If you're not an Australian resident and complete the work outside of Australia

Types of super funds and the different investment options available

You have two main choices to make with your super; which fund to go with and what investment option to choose within that fund. Let's take a look at the types of funds available, and then the different investment options within them.

Types of super funds

The main types of super funds you can choose between are:

  • Industry super funds: Industry super funds are not-for-profit funds that may focus on a particular industry but are open to all Australians. Popular examples include AustralianSuper and HostPlus. As they're not-for-profit, profits go back into the fund to benefit new and existing members.
  • Retail super funds: Retail funds are for-profit funds owned by a bank, insurance provider or another type of large financial institution. Some examples are BT Super (owned by Westpac) and Colonial First State (owned by CommBank). Profits are split between members, shareholders and the financial advisers who sell the product to clients. Because they're owned by large financial institutions, retail funds often offer financial advice services to members.
  • Member-owned funds. These are also not-for-profit funds with profits going back into the fund to benefit members, however they're not part of the official Industry Super Funds group. Some of these funds might be reserved for people in a particular state.

Once you've chosen the type of fund you want, you need to consider how you want your money invested by that fund.

Your superannuation investment options

There are two main options available for how your super is managed. The option you choose will depend on the level of day-to-day control you want to have over your super, and how hands on you wish to be.

Option 1: Pre-made investment portfolio

This option requires the least amount of work to manage. It's also the option where the majority of Australians have their super invested, and all the funds in our comparison table above are pre-made super investment portfolios.

Super funds offer a range of pre-made investment portfolios to members that are completely managed for you by their investment teams. These portfolios will invest in a mix of different assets including local and international shares, property, unlisted assets, fixed interest and cash. All you need to do is select which pre-made option to go with and your fund will do the rest.

The different super investment options are usually based around risk level, for example 'balanced', 'growth', 'high growth' or 'conservative'. Some funds also offer a pre-made ethical investment option too. Most funds even offer a default pre-made investment option (often called a MySuper option), so you don't even need to choose between the different options if you don't want to.

Option 2: Build-your-own investment portfolio

If you want to be more hands-on with your super (but don't want to go so far as opening a self managed super fund), this is a good option. Many super funds will allow you to build your own investment portfolio by selecting a range of single asset classes to invest in.

For example, instead of a pre-made portfolio which usually invests in 6-7 asset classes, you might just want to invest in shares and property. So, you'd select the individual asset classes for shares and property, and the investment manages would do the rest (that is, they'd still pick the actual stocks to buy, not you). Or, you could even opt for 100% of your super to be invested in one asset class if you wanted to with this option.

Why you should compare super funds

There are lots reasons to compare super funds. Basically, a better super fund will help you retire with more money. The more money you have in your super, the more comfortable retirement you'll be able to live.

You need to compare super funds as they all charge different fees, and they all invest your super in different ways. This is why some super funds have better long-term performance than others. Comparing super funds early on in your working life can save you thousands of dollars in fees and help you retire with a lot more money.

How to compare super funds

Consider the following when you're comparing super funds in the comparison table above:

  • Look for low fees. The last column in the comparison table shows the total annual fees charged on a $50,000 super balance. To put it simply: the lower the fees the better. A general rule of thumb is to make sure you're not paying much more than 1% of the value of your super balance in fees per year (so for a $50,000 balance, funds with annual fees around $500 or less are relatively low). However, you should look at more than fees alone when comparing super funds.
  • Look for high past performance figures. Unlike the fees, you want to look for a fund with high performance figures. When looking at past performance, make sure to look at the three and five year performance instead of only looking at the past one year's performance. This is because you want to look for a fund that has high performance over the medium to long term.
  • An investment strategy you understand and agree with. Some funds offer life stage investment options, meaning they'll adjust your investments for you as you get older so you're not taking on too much risk. Similarly, a balanced fund will invest your money in a range of different things to ensure you're not 'putting all your eggs in one basket'. These aim to provide good returns while still protecting your super from big market crashes. Choose whichever strategy you think is right for you and your super.
  • Consider ethical investing (if it's important to you). Some funds also offer a sustainable or ethical investment option. If this is something you're passionate about, consider choosing a fund that has an ethical investment option available.

Or for a little bit more help, take a look at our picks of the best super funds to see if one of these is right for you.

Almost ready to switch? Here's what to do before switching super funds.

Do you already have a super fund and you're looking to switch to a new fund? Here's a few things to do first.

  • Check your super balance. When you're switching funds it's a great time to check your super balance and make sure all your recent super contributions have been made successfully. Take a look at your contributions over the last 12 months and make sure you've received all the payments you're entitled to from your employer (you should receive contributions from your employer at least four times a year).
  • Check your insurance cover. Check the insurance cover you're currently receiving, and make sure the new fund you're switching to has a similar level of cover. Or, if you don't think you need any cover, you can opt out of insurance all together when switching to the new fund.
  • Check for any lost super. Now's a perfect time to look for any lost super you might have. You could have some missing super if you've worked at several different jobs. You can look for any lost super via myGov online, and bring it over into your new fund.
  • Let your employer know. Lastly, once you've you've switched super funds make sure you let your employer know right away so they can pay your next super guarantee payment to the correct fund.

Comparing super funds and switching is a quick, easy process (we promise!).

The table above can help you compare super funds and find one that's right for you. Once you've decided on a new fund, you'll be pleased to know that switching is quick and easy to do.

You can apply to join a new fund by completing the online application form. You'll need to fill in your personal details, select your investment option (you only have to do this if you want to, most Australians are in the default option) and the insurance cover you want. you'll also need to give the details of your employer and your old super fund, if you want to bring your super over into the new fund. This shouldn't take you any longer than 30 minutes to do.

Once you've submitted the form, the super fund will take it from there and do all the work for you. They'll set up your new fund and even contact your old fund to make sure all your super is transferred over as soon as possible. You don't even need to contact your old fund. If you need a bit more help, see our how to change super funds guide for a detailed step-by-step process.

Got it! What now?

Now that you understand how superannuation works and the different types of funds available, it's time to compare. Head to our comparison table at the top of this page to compare super funds, and click "Go to Site" if you'd like to open an account or learn more about the fund.

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20 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    PhilSeptember 3, 2019

    Where does Equip rank with the other super funds?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniSeptember 4, 2019Staff

      Hi Phil,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      As of this writing, we do not have a review page about Equip Super. In one of their blogs in 2016, they were ranked 2nd in Australia for super transparency. Some of the most well known industry super funds include, AustralianSuper, HESTA, Sunsuper and Hostplus.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  2. Default Gravatar
    GaryMay 20, 2019

    My daughter is a member of 2 super funds. Both have insurance for death and TPD. Are both funds obliged to pay out in the case of death? She is looking at consolidation into one super fund as well in the future to save on fees and insurance costs.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniMay 21, 2019Staff

      Hi Gary,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      Yes, she can receive payment from both policies if your daughter satisfy the conditions of both policies.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  3. Default Gravatar
    WAYNENovember 29, 2018

    I am 80 yo and not satisfied with the fees and retuins from my current super and am looking to change to an Inddustry fund and am looking at Hostplus , Aust super and Virgin . What do you suggest.

    • Default Gravatar
      NikkiNovember 29, 2018

      Hi Wayne.

      Thanks for getting in touch! As each person has unique situations, we are not able to suggest one industry fund for you. Our page above shows a list of superfunds and as you have chosen your top 3, the next step you can take is review what they offer as well as their terms and conditions to make sure it fits your needs. To read about the brand, click their name and it will direct you to our review page about them and if you want to go directly to their page, you may search their brand name on any web browser. Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Nikki

  4. Default Gravatar
    GrahameJuly 31, 2018

    I will be retiring in 3 months, and my superannuation is with a major bank. Can I move to an industry fund at the same time as I change from accumulation to pension phase?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniAugust 9, 2018Staff

      Hi Grahame,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Pension phase or retirement phase is the period during which a super fund pays a superannuation income stream or pension, and the earnings (including capital gains) on those pension assets are exempt from tax. The alternative to a retirement phase is the accumulation phase (and earnings are subject to 15% earnings tax in accumulation phase).

      You can move your superannuation to an industry fund and just verify with them if you can have it to a pension phase.

      You may want to go through this page to learn more on how to choose a super fund that suits you most.

      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

  5. Default Gravatar
    RebeccaMay 18, 2018

    I am with legal super, they have taken close to $100,000 out of my account since I stopped working 4 years ago. This seems to be excessive considering I know I selected low risk investments. How should I approach this issue?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayMay 18, 2018Staff

      Hi Rebecca,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you think you’re paying high fees and costs, it would be best to contact and confirm with Legal Super directly to find out what they are charging you. You can also check with them other important factors like returns, risk and the services the fund provides.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

  6. Default Gravatar
    sonnyFebruary 16, 2018

    Do all super funds have transition to retirement and if not is there anything that can be done about it?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezFebruary 24, 2018Staff

      Hi Sonny,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Not all super funds has transition to retirement feature. You may check this page to see more details about this.

      Types of accumulation funds are listed above.

      If you currently have defined benefit fund and wish to get an accumulated one, you can change fund. Please seek professional advise before switching because once you get out, you can’t switch back to defined benefit fund. I hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  7. Default Gravatar
    VanessaNovember 23, 2017

    Hi, I am going through a little bit of research about finding a good super fund for my son who is just starting in the workforce, and have already realized we need advise. He is a BC as he is working in landscaping and I was wondering if anyone could help us with this complicated decision. Is there a super that looks after young investors with low fees and low insurance premiums allowing their money to grow? Who could help us out? Kindly appreciate any response.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      HaroldNovember 23, 2017Staff

      Hi Vanessa,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      If you are currently unsure about Super Fund you may need to read our guide here for your further reference.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

  8. Default Gravatar
    GlennJune 27, 2017

    Hi I’m wondering if you could help me out I’m in a bad position for a long time now and I’m not having any luck in being able to get out of it I’ve got a crappy credit rating and at the moment well for about 3 1/2 years I’ve been unable to secure work so my hole just keeps getting bigger I’ve got 2 super funds both with the same sort of amount in them
    So I’m wanting to have about $8,000 released from one of them but Centerlink is more concerned with putting me further in debt and on the street with my daughters who are 11 years old and 14 years old and in doing this we would loose everything we have to our names and truthfully we can not go through that again as we lost every thing we had and we also have had to Come to terms with loosing my baby boy who was 3 years old this all happened in a house fire and now since the break down of my marriage and my ex wife leaving and abandoning my daughters we are on the verge of being homeless and with out any thing I’ve had to sell my tools of my trade my vehicle has given up andblue
    Thanks for your time I
    And I’m hoping for mine and my daughters sake I hope that you are able to help us with this

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayJune 30, 2017Staff

      Hi Glen,

      Thanks for reaching out and I’m sorry to hear about your difficult situation right now.

      Basically, your super fund cannot be accessed early if you have not reached the preservation age, not unless your reason for access is one of the following:

      – Certain compassionate grounds, like to prevent the foreclosure of your home, paying medical bills, disability expenses or covering funeral costs
      – Serious financial hardship, including to cover reasonable immediate living expenses for your family, such as loan repayments, rent arrears, car repairs, medical costs and overdue bills
      – In the event of you being temporarily or permanently incapacitated
      – If you are diagnosed with a terminal disease or injury

      In the meantime, in case you may want to reconsider looking for a lender who might offer you a loan, please check this page. Though the amount you can borrow and your approval would be on a case by case basis depending on the lender, so best to get in touch with them before you submit your application to discuss your options/eligibility.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

  9. Default Gravatar
    DavidOctober 21, 2016

    Hi – are you able to send me a list of all Brisbane based super funds? I can see all fund but can narrow the search to Brisbane based only. I am interested in funds that have a head office in Brisbane only.

    Thanks very much for your help.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      HaroldOctober 21, 2016Staff

      Hello David,

      Thank you for your question.

      Unfortunately, listings can’t be filtered by state. But rest-assured the ones we provided on the website can be opened by anyone in Australia.

      I hope that helps.

      Cheers,
      Harold

  10. Default Gravatar
    EllyJune 22, 2015

    Hi i ‘ve got a problem that i transfer my money error to my superannuation when i’m doing online transfer. Could you please help me to find out any solution? If you need more detail, i can provide you.
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Thanks

    Regard,
    Elly

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      BelindaJune 23, 2015Staff

      Hi Elly,

      Thanks for your enquiry.

      I’ve sent you an email to gain further clarification regarding this transfer.

      Thanks,
      Belinda

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