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AustralianSuper vs QSuper: How do these super funds compare?

Trying to decide between AustralianSuper and QSuper? We've compared their fees, investment options, performance and extras side by side to help you choose.

AustralianSuper vs QSuper

Let's dive in and compare the two super fund products side by side, so you can see which one might be right for you.

AustralianSuperQSuper
Type of fundIndustry super fundIndustry super fund (QSuper is part of Australian Retirement Trust)
Eligibility requirementsAustralianSuper is an open fund with no eligibility conditions to meet before joining.Eligibility criteria and conditions apply to open a QSuper account. You must:

• Be employed by the Queensland Government or QSuper default employer
• Be a spouse of an existing QSuper member
• Be a child (under the age of 25) of an existing QSuper member.
• Retired and aged from 60 up to your 80th birthday for a QSuper Lifetime Pension.

More information can be found on QSuper's page.

Number of members2.3 million members2 million Australian Retirement Trust members
Default investment optionAustralianSuper Balanced

This is a pre-mixed, diversified fund that invests your super in a range of assets with a strong allocation towards Australian and international shares, direct property and infrastructure. Investment allocation is the same for all members in the Balanced fund, regardless of age. It's an authorised MySuper product.

QSuper Lifetime

This is a pre-mixed, diversified investment option that also invests in a range of different asset classes. It's an authorised MySuper product.

Unlike AustralianSuper Balanced, QSuper Lifetime is a lifecycle investment product which adjusts your investment mix in line with your age. This product will gradually decrease your exposure to high-risk, high-growth assets as you get closer to retirement. The Lifetime product is split into four different life stages.

 

PerformancePast performance of AustralianSuper Balanced

  • 5 years: 8.05% p.a.
  • 3 years: 6.07% p.a.
  • 1 year: 8.96% p.a.
Past performance of QSuper Lifetime - Aspire 1

  • 5 years: 6.2% p.a.
  • 3 years: 4.37% p.a.
  • 1 year: 7.12% p.a.
FeesHere's how much you'd pay in fees for one year if you had the following amounts invested in AustralianSuper Balanced:

  • $5,000 balance: $85 in fees
  • $50,000 balance: $382 in fees
  • $100,000 balance: $712 in fees

 

Here's how much you'd pay in fees for one year if you had the following amounts invested in QSuper Lifetime:

  • $5,000 balance: $45 in fees
  • $50,000 balance: $450 in fees
  • $100,000 balance: $900 in fees

 

Additional diversified investment optionsIf you don't want to invest in the default option (AustralianSuper Balanced), you can choose to invest your super in one of the following pre-made investment options instead:

  • High Growth
  • Socially Aware
  • Indexed Diversified
  • Conservative Balanced
  • Stable
If you don't want to invest in the default option (QSuper Lifetime), you can choose to invest your super in one of the following pre-made investment options instead:

  • Aggressive
  • Socially Responsible
  • Balanced
  • Moderate
Single asset class investment optionsIf you want to design your own investment mix, you can invest your super in one or more of the following individual asset classes:

  • Australian Shares
  • International Shares
  • Property
  • Diversified Fixed Interest
  • Cash
If you want to design your own investment mix, you can invest your super in one or more of the following individual asset classes:

  • Australian Shares
  • International Shares
  • Diversified Bonds
  • Cash
Mobile appThe AustralianSuper app has a 3.6-star rating from users in the Google Play Store and a 3-star rating in the Apple App Store.The QSuper app has a 4.5-star rating from users in the Google Play Store and a 4.6-star rating in the Apple App Store.
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AustralianSuper

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QSuper

How do the default MySuper products compare?

The two default MySuper options are AustralianSuper Balanced and QSuper Lifetime. Both these funds are pre-mixed, diversified investment portfolios and both are certified MySuper products. The main difference between the two is that QSuper Lifetime is a lifestage investment product, while AustralianSuper Balanced is not. The other difference is that you need to meet eligibility conditions to open a QSuper account, however anyone can join AustralianSuper.

Both funds invest in a mix of both growth assets (like shares and property) and defensive assets (like bonds and cash). With AustralianSuper Balanced, the investment mix is the same for all members invested in this option, regardless of your age.

However with QSuper Lifetime, it does change your investment mix according to your age. The QSuper Lifetime product is split into four different lifestages: aged under 40, aged 40–49, aged 50–59 and aged 60+. As you move through the different stages, QSuper will gradually reduce your exposure to high-risk assets to protect your money as you get closer to retirement. It's all managed for you behind the scenes, you don't need to change your investments as you get older.

How do their fees and performance figures compare?

Looking at the default options, AustralianSuper has higher annual fees than the QSuper accumulation account. That being said, AustralianSuper is still a relatively low-fee option compared to many others in the market. Annual fees that are less than 1% of your balance are considered to be reasonable, and both these products charge fees less than this.

Looking at performance, AustralianSuper Balanced has delivered slightly higher returns than QSuper over the short, medium and longer term.

How do the ethical investment options compare?

Both AustrailanSuper Socially Aware and QSuper Socially Responsible avoid investments in fossil fuels, tobacco and gambling among many other harmful industries. However, QSuper says it also actively invests in things like clean energy, green buildings, waste reduction and recycling, education and healthcare. Both companies lists their investments on their website for you to see exactly which companies they invests in.

The QSuper Socially Responsible investment option has much lower fees than AustralianSuper's ethical option. In fact, the fees charged by the QSuper product are half that of AustralianSuper's Socially Aware.

If you're interested in investing your super ethically, you can compare these options with a range of additional ethical super funds in our guide.

How do the additional investment options compare?

The additional superannuation investment options offered by AustralianSuper and the QSuper Accumulation account are quite similar. If you want to invest in an indexed option, AustralianSuper offers a pre-mixed indexed option while QSuper does not. Indexed investment options are attractive to many people as they're often much cheaper to invest in than actively managed options, while delivering similar (or even better) returns.

If you're opting for the single asset class investment options to build your own portfolio, AustralianSuper allows you to invest in property as a single asset class option while the QSuper Accumulation account does not.

Again, the fees charged on the investment options with a Qsuper Accumulation account are generally less than those charged on AustralianSuper's additional investment options.

Want to keep comparing?

If you're not yet convinced that either option is right for you, or you simply want to see how they compare to others in the market, you can compare super funds with our guide.

More guides on Finder

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    EdwardFebruary 18, 2023

    I have been retired for 10 years, and in the last 12 months I have watched my super go into free fall. Which would be the best fund to be in. One that is actually making a positive return?

      AvatarFinder
      AlisonFebruary 21, 2023Finder

      Hi Edward,

      I am sorry to hear about your super fund experience over the past 12 months. A lot of funds (the vast majority!) have made a negative return over the past year due to falls in global markets, so you’re definitely not alone. You can compare super fund returns via our comparison here: https://www.finder.com.au/super-funds

      Keep in mind that super is a long term investment, and while most funds have had a bad 12 months, most have delivered strong returns over the past 10 years.

      Thanks and all the best,
      Alison

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