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Hostplus vs HESTA: Which super fund is right for you?

Hostplus and HESTA are two popular industry super funds, but which is right for you? We've compared their fees, investment options and performance side by side to help you choose.

Our verdict

Hostplus and HESTA are key industry super funds, each serving distinct sectors. Hostplus is tailored towards the hospitality, travel, and tourism industries, while HESTA focuses on the healthcare sector. When we look at their Balanced options, Hostplus has delivered higher returns over the past decade, with an annual rate of 8.35%, compared to HESTA's Balanced Growth option at 7.61% per annum, though Hostplus does charge a bit more in fees.

Both funds offer a variety of investment choices, including options for those interested in socially responsible investing.

Hostplus stands out for its transparency and the breadth of ethical investment opportunities it presents. If you're keen on having a wide range of investment options, Hostplus might be more appealing with its diverse and single asset class investments. On the other hand, HESTA focuses on sustainable growth and has shown slightly better long-term performance in its ethical investment choices.


Hostplus vs HESTA

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

HostplusHESTA
Type of fundIndustry super fund with a focus on the hospitality, travel and tourism sectorIndustry super fund with a focus on the healthcare sector
Number of members1.7 million members>1 million members
Funds under management$103.2 billion$77 billion
Default investment optionHostplus Balanced

Hostplus Balanced is the default investment option offered by Hostplus, and it's the one that the majority of members are in. This is a diversified investment portfolio with a strong focus on Australian and international shares, private equity and infrastructure among other assets. Investment allocation is the same for all members in the Balanced fund, regardless of age. It's an authorised MySuper product.

HESTA Balanced Growth

Similar to Hostplus Balanced, this is a ready-made investment portfolio with a strong focus on shares, private equity and infrastructure. Investment allocation is the same for all members in the Balanced fund, regardless of age. It's an authorised MySuper product.

PerformancePast performance of Hostplus Balanced:
  • 10 years: 8.35% p.a.
  • 5 years: 7.75% p.a.
  • 3 years: 7.63% p.a.
Past performance of HESTA Balanced Growth:
  • 10 years: 7.61% p.a.
  • 5 years: 7.39% p.a.
  • 3 years: 6.99% p.a.
FeesHere's how much you'd pay in fees for one year if you had the following amounts invested in Hostplus Balanced:
  • $5,000 balance: $157.87 in fees
  • $50,000 balance: $606.29in fees
  • $100,000 balance: $1,104.54 in fees
Here's how much you'd pay in fees for one year if you had the following amounts invested in HESTA Balanced Growth:
  • $5,000 balance: $94.50 in fees
  • $50,000 balance: $477 in fees
  • $100,000 balance: $902 in fees
Additional diversified investment optionsIf you don't want to invest in the default option (Hostplus Balanced), you can choose to invest your super in one of the following pre-made investment options instead:
  • Hostplus Life
  • Shares Plus
  • Indexed Balanced
  • Socially Responsible Investment Balanced
  • Conservative Balanced
  • Capital Stable
  • High Growth
  • Defensive
  • Indexed High Growth
  • Indexed Defensive
  • Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) High Growth
  • Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Defensive
If you don't want to invest in the default option (HESTA Balanced Growth), you can choose to invest your super in one of the following pre-made investment options instead:
  • High Growth
  • Sustainable Growth
  • Indexed Balanced Growth
  • Conservative
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
  • Australian Shares - Indexed
  • International Shares
  • International Shares - Indexed
  • International Shares (Hedged) - Indexed
  • International Shares - Emerging Markets
  • Diversified Fixed Interest
  • Diversified Fixed Interest - Indexed
  • 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
  • Property and Infrastructure
  • Diversified Bonds
  • Cash and Term Deposits
Ethical investmentThe Hostplus Socially Responsible Investment Balanced option invests in companies that "contribute to a socially and environmentally sustainable world". Hostplus lists all the holdings in this investment option on its website, and also lists the companies that it actively excludes (these are largely controversial weapon manufacturers and tobacco companies).

Over the past 3 years, this investment option has returned 10.38%, and 7.33% over the past 5 years.

If you had $50,000 invested in Hostplus Socially Responsible Investment Balanced you'd pay annual fees of $310.00.

The HESTA Sustainable Growth option invests in companies "with above average environmental, social and governance performance". It lists its top 20 holdings on its website.

Over the past 10 years, this investment option has returned 8.77% p.a.

If you had $50,000 invested in HESTA Sustainable Growth you'd pay annual fees of $642.

Mobile appThe Hostplus mobile app has a 3.9 star rating from users in the Google Play store, and a 4.5 star rating in the Apple store.The HESTA mobile app has a 4-star rating from users in the Google Play Store and a 4.6-star rating in the Apple App Store.
Learn moreHostplusHESTA

How do the default MySuper products compare?

Both funds are popular industry super funds, though Hostplus has more members than HESTA.

The two default MySuper options are Hostplus Balanced and HESTA Balanced Growth. These two products are very similar; both are authorised MySuper products, both are pre-mixed, diversified funds and both have a similar risk level.

Looking at their investment allocation, they both have the same level of exposure to Australian shares, international shares, property and infrastructure.


Alison Banney

🔥 Quick tip when considering your super investment options

Alison Banney, superannuation editor

"You don't need to choose an investment option when you join a new fund if you don't want to. The default options are designed to suit most people, and many are among the top-performing funds each year. IF you do want to change your super investment option later, you can do this easily by logging in to your account online or via the fund's mobile app. "


How do their fees and performance figures compare?

Looking at the default options, their fees are very similar. HESTA Balanced Growth has slightly lower fees than Hostplus Balanced, however the difference is very minor. However Hostplus Balanced has delivered higher returns than HESTA Balanced Growth over the short, medium and long term.

To give a better perspective, the HESTA Balanced Growth option, the default MySuper product, has shown:

  • a 1-year performance of 9.59%
  • a 3-year performance of 8.61%
  • a 5-year performance of 6.56%
  • a 10-year performance of 8.02%

The fees for a $50,000 balance in this option are $477 annually.

In terms of asset allocation, the HESTA Balanced Growth fund, serving as the default MySuper option, is structured for medium to long-term growth, allocating about 70% in growth assets like local and international shares, private equity, and property, with the remaining 30% in defensive assets.

This balance aims to offer a mix of stability and growth potential, making it suitable for a broad range of investors who seek a balanced approach to risk and return in their superannuation investments.

HESTA's investment approach is designed for medium to long-term growth with a focus on a diversified portfolio that includes a significant allocation to growth assets such as shares and property.

On the other hand, the Hostplus Balanced option, the default MySuper product, has shown:

  • 1-year return of approximately 8%
  • a 3-year return of about 10%
  • a 5-year return of 6.89%
  • a 10-year return of 8.93%

The annual fees for a $50,000 balance in this fund are around $606.

In terms of asset allocation, the default MySuper option, strategically targets long-term, consistent high returns through a significant allocation in growth assets. With a 76% investment in growth assets, such as stocks and real estate, it leans towards more aggressive growth strategies.

The remaining 24% is allocated to defensive assets, providing a balance of risk management and stability. This composition reflects an investment philosophy geared towards maximising growth potential while maintaining a certain level of security, suitable for investors with a medium to high-risk appetite.

How do the ethical investment options compare?

Both Hostplus Socially Responsible Investment Balanced and HESTA Sustainable Growth avoid investments in fossil fuels, tobacco and gambling among many other harmful industries. However, Hostplus is more transparent with its investments; it has a full list of its fund holdings on its website for you to see exactly which companies it invests in and which ones it excludes, while HESTA only lists its top holdings.

Both options have similar fees, however HESTA Sustainable Growth has achieved better returns than Hostplus Socially Responsible Investment Balanced.

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

How do the additional investment options compare?

Hostplus offers six additional pre-mixed portfolio options while HESTA only offers four, so you've got more choice with Hostplus. Both funds offer an indexed fund option, so if you're looking to invest your super in an indexed fund you can do this with either fund. Hostplus does offer a dedicated Shares Plus portfolio option for members looking for high exposure to shares, which HESTA does not.

For the individual sector asset class options, again you've got more choice with Hostplus at eight versus five. The main difference here is Hostplus offers two indexed shares options as individual asset class options, while HESTA doesn't offer an indexed option in its single sector options.

If you're unsure how these different options work with your super fund, here's a guide on superannuation investment options and how to choose between them.

Want to keep comparing?

If you're not yet convinced that either Hostplus or HESTA 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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