Switching to a low-fee, high-performing super fund early on in your life could help increase your super balance by more than $100,000 by retirement. And despite what you might think, switching is an easy process that can be done online in less than 30 minutes. Once you've chosen your new fund, they'll do most of the work for you.
You can compare super funds in Australia in the table below by comparing the past one, three and five year performance returns and annual fees. In terms of fees, the lower the better. And for the performance, the higher the better. You can also learn more about how to compare super funds and what to look for when choosing a fund in this guide.
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Compare super funds below
Use our comparison table to compare super funds based on performance, fees and insurance options.
*Past performance data is for the period ending December 2019.
Superannuation: What is it and why should you compare?
Superannuation is a way of saving for your retirement in Australia. Employers are legally required to pay a certain percentage of your annual salary or earnings into your super fund each year. This money is then invested into a range of different assets like shares, commodities, property and cash on your behalf. Your super benefits from compounded investment returns over your working life, and then when you're retired you can start withdrawing the money to fund your retirement.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Investment strategy. 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.
- Ethical investing. Some funds also offer a sustainable or ethical investment option, if this is something you're passionate about.
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.
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.Back to top
The first step to choosing the right super fund for your needs and having adequate funding for your retirement is understanding what super is, how it works and how much of your income should be contributed towards it.
Consolidating your super
If you have multiple super funds open in your name, you'll also be paying multiple sets of fees. Paying multiple sets of fees will quickly eat into your super balance and leave you with a lot less at retirement. To solve this, it's important to consolidate your super.
Changing super funds
Over the course of your working life, staying faithful to an underperforming fund could cost you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Once you've compared super funds and made the decision to switch, arm yourself with an understanding of the steps involved in making it happen.
Different types of super funds
There are two main types of super funds: accumulation funds and defined benefit funds. Defined benefit funds are very rare, so this guide discusses accumulation funds in detail. There are various types of accumulation funds available to Australians, which are outlined below. Click on the guides below to find out more about specific types of super funds.
MySuper accounts have basic features and fee structures allowing members to compare funds easily based on cost, investment performance and insurance. Read this guide to find out more.
Industry Super Funds
Industry funds are designed for workers in a specific industry and often offer lower fees and a variety of insurance and investment options. Read this guide to compare industry super funds in Australia.
Corporate Super Funds
Corporate funds are offered by businesses to their employees. These are generally default funds but are not openly available to the public.
Ethical Super Funds
An ethical fund chooses investment options based on a set of social, environmental and ethical criteria. Read this guide to find out which super funds offer ethical investment options.
What is lost super, and how can you find it?
Losing some of your superannuation is easier than you think. If you’ve changed jobs or moved house, you may have some lost super. But don’t worry, you can find your lost super and claim it back! If you suspect you may have some lost funds, you can create a myGov online account to search for any missing super.
Find out more about what lost and unclaimed super is and the steps you need to take in order to find it. Once you're able to find your lost super, you can easily claim it back and consolidate it to your current fund. Read this guide to find out how and compare super funds for consolidation.
Accessing your super
Because superannuation is designed to fund your senior years, you generally can only access it once you reach retirement. The earliest opportunity you have to access your super is when you reach your preservation age, which is determined by the year you were born as shown in the table here.
There are some situations where you may be eligible to access your super before your preservation age. These include if you have a total and permanent disability, a terminal illness or are experiencing extreme financial hardship. Read our comprehensive guide to find out more.
Pocket Money podcast: The superannuation gap
Frequently asked questions
Got it! What now?
Now that you understand how superannuation works and how to choose the best fund for you, it's time to do just that. 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.Back to top
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