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How do we rank super funds to get our top picks?

We’ve developed a ranking methodology that compares super fund fees, performance and investments to help you find the right super fund for you. Here’s how it works.

We rely on our proprietary algorithm to get our top super fund picks, as seen on our best super funds guide. Developed by Finder's data scientists and superannuation experts, our algorithm calculates hundreds of different data points to rank Australian super funds against a set of criteria.

The algorithm we've developed works behind the scenes to do the hard work for you when comparing super funds.

The super fund products we compare

Our algorithm compares the default product offered by more than 50 superannuation funds including retail, member-owned and industry super funds. Most of these are MySuper products and can be either a pre-mixed balanced/growth portfolio option or a lifestage/lifecycle investment option (more on how we treat lifestage options below).

Our algorithm does not look at every superannuation product available in the market. We have excluded the additional super investment products offered by funds outside of their default product. For example, we didn't look at the high growth, conservative, indexed or ethical investment option offered by the funds (unless it was the default option). We also didn't look at individual asset class options.

The reason we've narrowed down our comparison to the default super products is because these are where the majority of Australians have their super invested. Sticking with these funds means our algorithm can compare 'apples with apples', and offer a more accurate, useful and fair side-by-side comparison for you.

The performance, fees and investment data for these products is supplied to Finder by leading super research group Chant West.

How do we choose our super fund 'top picks'?

Our superannuation experts select a range of criteria that should be considered for each category. Not only do we select which features should be considered for each category, but we also decide how much weight each different feature should be given towards the super product's overall rank for each category. This is because, depending on the category, some features are more important than others.

Our data scientists then created an algorithm to calculate each super product's rank for each different category, taking into account the various data points and the weighting of those data points. The super product that ranks number one in a certain category is our top pick for that category.

Here's how we treat lifestage investment products.

Some super funds offer one pre-mixed portfolio as the default MySuper product to all members, regardless of their age. Other super funds offer a lifestage investment option as the default MySuper product, which means the investment product will be different depending on your age.

To calculate one single rank for a lifestage product that might have 10+ different life stages within it, we split the product up into three key age groups. We recorded the data points (for example the fees and performance) for members aged 20, 43 and 66. Then, the algorithm takes an average score of these three life stages, and arrives at one final rank for the lifestage super product.

Our superannuation specialists selected these three ages, 20, 43 and 66, so we can get an accurate average rank of the lifestage product for the largest variety of members. Each key age group is considered; young members just joining the workforce, middle-age members with established super balances who are still building their retirement wealth and, lastly, pre-retirees who are protecting their super balance.

By splitting the lifestage product into key age groups, the algorithm can more accurately compare these products against the single balanced or growth products offered by other funds.

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Alison Banney is the money editorial manager at Finder. She covers all areas of personal finance, and her areas of expertise are superannuation, banking and saving. She has written about finance for 10 years, having previously worked at Westpac and written for several other major banks and super funds. See full bio

Alison's expertise
Alison has written 656 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Superannuation
  • Savings accounts, bank accounts and term deposits
  • Budgeting and money-saving hacks
  • Managing the cost of living
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