Best super funds Australia
We've analysed 50+ super funds to find you some of the best picks across ethical funds, industry funds and best funds for customer satisfaction.
What's the best-performing super fund in 2023?
In the Best Balanced Super Fund category, Aware Super - Balanced Socially Conscious emerged as the winner, boasting an annual return of 8.4% over the past 10 years and 7.06% over the past 5 years. Meanwhile, in the Best Conservative Super Fund category, HESTA Conservative secured the top spot, offering a steady annual average return of 5.45% over the past 10 years and 4.28% over the past 5 years.
The Best Conservative Balanced Super Fund was awarded to AustralianSuper Conservative Balanced, with a return of 6.74% over the past 10 years and 5.04% over the past 5 years. UniSuper Sustainable High Growth won the Best High Growth Super Fund, delivering an annual average of 10.35% over the past 10 years and 8.48% over the past 5 years.
Hostplus Indexed Balanced won the Best Low Fee Super Fund category with fees at $136 p.a on a $50,000 balance. The fund delivered 7.93% p.a over the past 10 years and 6.49% over the past 5 years.
Lastly, the best Single Asset Classes Super Fund went to Australian Retirement Trust - International Shares Index (unhedged), with an annual return of 12.26% over the past 10 years and 10.13% over the past 5 years.
In addition to the top winners in each category, the Finder Superannuation Awards 2023 also recognised runners-up, showcasing a range of funds excelling in their respective areas:
UniSuper Sustainable Balanced and Vision Super Balanced Growth stood out for their performance and fees in the Balanced category. In the Conservative category, the nod went to Aware Super Conservative Balanced and AustralianSuper Stable for stable, lower-risk returns.
For more detailed insights into these categories and winners, take a look at our Finder Superannuation Awards 2023 page.
How do we pick the best super fund?
At Finder, we understand that there is no one-size-fits-all "best" super fund. The ideal fund for you depends on your life stage, risk tolerance and growth objectives. To guide you effectively, we've selected super funds catering to different life stages and financial goals.
Our methodology involves a comprehensive analysis of various factors including performance, fees and investment options. We scrutinise funds to ensure they meet diverse investor needs, from those just starting their careers to those nearing retirement.
What's the highest-performing super fund in 2023?
The super funds with the highest returns for 2023 are all single sector investment options that invest entirely in shares. These investment options have returned over 20% for members over the 12 months to June 2023.
Mine Super's International Shares option was the top performer over the financial year with a return of 22.77%. Some other high-performing funds include Virgin Money Super Indexed Overseas Shares with a return of 21.49%, Aware Super International Shares with 20.72% and Australian Retirement Trust International Shares Index (unhedged) with 20.37%.
Although these funds have achieved outstanding high returns over the past year, they're all very high-risk investment options as they invest exclusively in international shares. The recent financial year was a good one for the share market, but it's important to remember that when there's a market fall, these options would be likely to instead make a negative return.
Kirby Rappell, executive director of SuperRatings, highlights this aspect in a July 2023 press release.
"Super funds have delivered competitive outcomes amid economic uncertainties, but high-return options are notably riskier, especially in volatile markets"
He also notes the importance of a long-term perspective, stating that "despite market fluctuations, superannuation's long-term performance remains strong, which is crucial for members not nearing retirement."
Over the long term (10 years), these funds have all achieved annual average returns of between 10% and 12% p.a.
Why it's important to make sure you're with a great super fund
Each year the regulator APRA analyses the market and identifies the worst super funds, which are underperforming for members. According to APRA data, in 2022 there were 350,000 fewer people in default super products with worse investment performance compared to 2021, which is great news.
However, APRA data also shows that 800,000 people still have their super invested with an underperforming fund. If you haven't checked your fund in a few years, you could be one of them.
You can use Finder's superannuation calculator to see an estimate of your retirement balance based on your current fund, versus if you switched to a different fund with better returns or lower fees.
How to pick the best super fund
Choosing the right super fund is crucial for your financial future. While the top-performing funds are a great start, they may not always align with your specific needs. If you're looking elsewhere, consider these key factors from our comparison table below:
High long-term returns. Look for funds with a consistent track record of strong returns over the long term (funds with 10-year returns above 7% p.a. are among the top performers).
Low fees. Higher fees can significantly eat into your retirement savings. Opt for funds with lower fees without compromising on performance (aim for annual fees less than 1.5% of your super balance).
Investment strategy aligns with your age. Your age and retirement goals should dictate your investment strategy. Younger investors might prefer high-growth options, whereas those nearing retirement may prioritise stability.
Methodology: How we choose our top super fund picks
We regularly look at the super funds in our database to determine which are the best offers for a range of different purposes. Specifically, here's how we determine each of our top pick recommendations:
Frequently asked questions about picking a super fund
Why you can trust Finder's super fund experts
Our comparison tables are completely free to use. We link you directly to the super fund's secure application page. Plus, you can access all of our research in our media room.
We've researched and rated hundreds of super funds as part of our Finder Awards. We've published 50+ guides and our in-house experts regularly appear on Sunrise, 7News and SBS News.
Unlike other comparison sites, we're not owned by a super fund company. That means our opinions are our own and you can compare nearly every super fund in Australia on Finder.
Since 2017, we've helped over 200,000 people find a super fund by comprehensively comparing funds. We'll never ask for your personal information. We're here to help you make a decision.
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