How to compare superannuation fees

Super funds charge different admin fees, investment fees and indirect fees so it pays to compare.

Each super fund charges different fees, so you could save yourself a fair bit of cash by comparing your options. In a nutshell, the less you pay your super fund in fees, the more you'll be left with in your account at retirement.

We'll go through the different fees that super funds charge in this guide, and you can compare the fees charged by super funds in the table below. The right column shows you the calculated fees on a $50,000 balance. You might have more or less than this in your super, but it's a great way to compare the funds side by side to give you an idea of which charge the lowest fees.

AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed Balanced Super Fund Offer

AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced Super Fund

AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed Balanced Super Fund Offer

  • 2019 Finder Awards Winner: Best Super Fund - Balanced
  • Join and consolidate your super with the easy-to-use mobile app
  • Australia's best performing growth fund over 10 years*
*To June 2019, according to Chant West. Investment returns are not guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.
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Compare super fund fees below

Name Product Past Performance - 1 Year Past Performance - 3 Years Past performance - 5 Years Calculated fees p.a. on $50,000 balance
AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced option
8.67%
10.72%
9.48%
$437.65
The Balanced option is a pre-mixed, MySuper fund that invests in a diversified range of asset classes.
AustralianSuper is an award-winning industry super fund and is the largest super fund in Australia.
Sunsuper Lifecycle Balanced
8.52%
10.48%
8.9%
$523
The Lifecycle Balanced option is a MySuper product that invests your super in a balanced fund until you’re near retirement.
Earn a Retirement Bonus of up to $4,800 when you open a new Income account. T&Cs apply.
QSuper Lifetime - Aspire 1
11.03%
9%
9.74%
$395
The Lifetime option is a MySuper product that adjusts your investment mix each 7-10 years as you get older.
QSuper is a member-owned super fund and is one of the largest super funds in Australia.
Virgin Money Super - Lifestage Tracker
-1.36%
N/A
N/A
$358
The Lifestage Tracker is a MySuper product that invests in a range of asset classes in line with your age.
Earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points for making contributions to your super. T&Cs apply.
LGIAsuper MySuper Lifecycle - Under 75
7.27%
9.06%
7.79%
$598
The LGIA MySuper Lifecycle option aims for higher returns while you’re under 75.
LGIA is a medium-sized, member-owned super fund open to all Australians.
Australian Catholic Super Lifetime - Grow
6.03%
N/A
N/A
$573
The LifetimeOne investment option is a MySuper product that changes your investment mix as you get older.
A Catholic super fund open to all Australians and designed for people working in Catholic education, healthcare or aged care.
Superestate Balanced Essentials
New Fund
New Fund
New Fund
$291.50
The Balanced Essentials fund invests in a range of shares, residential property and other assets and has a medium level of risk.
Superestate focuses on investing your super in physical residential properties and charges some of the lowest annual fees in the market.
First State MySuper Life Cycle Growth
7.71%
10.09%
8.3%
$549.42
This MySuper product will invest your super in a pre-mixed Growth fund until you’re 60, then it’ll switch to Balanced.
First State Super is a not-for-profit super fund with more than 750,000 members around Australia.
HESTA - Core Pool
7.25%
9.58%
8.32%
$548.53
The Core Pool invests in a mix of asset classes and is an authorised MySuper product.
HESTA is an industry super fund open to all Australians and designed for employees in the health and community services sector.
BT Super for Life - MySuper Lifestage Fund
-2.16%
5.03%
5.41%
$643
The MySuper Lifestage fund invests your super in a mix of asset classes depending on how old you are.
Westpac Group customers can manage their super alongside their day-to-day bank accounts.
Cbus Growth
6.99%
9.9%
9.03%
$565
The Growth fund is a pre-mixed investment portfolio and an approved MySuper product.
Cbus is a leading industry super fund for the building and construction industry, that’s open to all Australians.
BUSSQ MySuper Balanced Growth
4.88%
7.79%
8.03%
$682.65
The MySuper Balanced Growth option is a ready-made, diversified fund with a medium level of risk.
BUSSQ is an industry fund designed for the building and construction industry and open for all Australians.
Suncorp Lifestage Fund
-1.04%
4%
5.27%
$581.80
The Lifestage Fund readjusts your investment mix every few years to reduce your level of risk as you get older.
A retail super fund that offers access to personalised financial planning and advice.
HostPlus Balanced
6.8%
10.8%
9.65%
$546.76
The Balanced fund invests your super in a range of assets and is designed for high long-term growth.
An industry super fund open to all Australians with a focus on the hospitality and retail sector.
MTAA My AutoSuper (Balanced)
7.66%
9.33%
9.03%
$469.76
The Balanced option is a MySuper product that invests in a range of asset classes aiming for medium to high long-term returns.
MTAA is a national super fund available to all Australians with a focus on the motor trades and automotive sector.
MLC MySuper Growth Portfolio
N/A
N/A
N/A
$728
The Growth option is a diversified portfolio that aims for high growth over the medium to long term.
MLC is a large retail fund open to all Australians. MLC is the wealth management arm of National Australia Bank.
REST Super - Core Strategy
5.94%
8.57%
7.36%
$497.60
The Core Strategy is a diversified investment portfolio that balances risk and return, and is an authorised MySuper product.
REST is an industry super fund tailored towards the retail sector and open to all Australians with almost two million members.
UniSuper Balanced
9.88%
9.97%
9.35%
$361
The Balanced option is a MySuper product that invests in a mix of growth and defensive assets.
A flexible industry super fund for people who work in Australia’s higher education and research sector.

Compare up to 4 providers

The information in the table is based on data provided by Chant West Pty Ltd (AFSL 255320) which is itself supplied by third parties. While such information is believed to be accurate, Chant West does not accept responsibility for any inaccuracy in such information. Chant West’s Financial Services Guide is available at https://www.chantwest.com.au/financial-services-guide . Finder offers no guarantees or warranties about the data and we recommend that users make their own enquiries before relying on this information. Performance, fees and insurance data is based on each fund's default MySuper product. Where the performance, fees and insurance data for the MySuper fund vary according to the member's age, results for individuals between 40-49 years of age have been shown. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

*Past performance data is for the period ending December 2018.

Different types of super fees that you may have to pay

There are a number of different superannuation fees that you may be charged, although not all fees will apply to all funds. Some of the fees that your fund charges might not be charged by other funds and vice versa.

The main fees charged by super funds:

  • The establishment fee. Some funds charge an initial fee for setting up your superannuation fund.
  • Admin fees. Most funds will charge an annual admin fee in a dollar amount, plus an additional admin fee as a percentage of your balance.
  • Investment fees. Standard MySuper funds and balanced funds will charge an annual investment fee as a percentage of your balance. This will vary depending on the type of investments you've selected.
  • Indirect fees. A lot of funds have a fee called the indirect cost ratio (ICR), which is charged as a percentage of your balance annually. This fee is for all the indirect costs associated with managing your fund.
  • Contribution fees. You could be charged a fee each time you make a contribution or payment into your fund.
  • Termination or exit fee. These are becoming rare, but some funds do still charge a set fee when you decide to leave the fund.
  • Switching fees. These are charged if you change the investment options in your superannuation fund, or switch between different investment options.
  • Advisory fees. This might be charged by any adviser who offers you assistance and personal advice in relation to your super fund.

There are additional costs and fees that may apply with your super fund, depending on how your money is invested which could include:

  • Insurance premium costs
  • Transaction costs relating to the selling, buying or switching of investments
  • Maintenance fees relating to real property and direct investments

How to know what fees you're paying

If you're not sure what you're looking for, it can be tough figuring out what fees your super fund is charging you. But now that you know what to look out for using the list above, it should be easier.

Here are a few ways to find out what fees your super fund is charging you.

  • Call your fund. Give your fund a call, quote your membership number and ask what your annual fees were for the last financial year. You can also ask them for a breakdown of the admin fees, investment fees and the indirect costs.
  • Read the PDS. All super funds have their PDS available online on their website. If you're in the default MySuper or balanced options (which most people are), these fees need to be clearly listed in the PDS by law. The PDS will include an example of how the fees are applied based on a balance of $50,000.
  • Search the website. Head to your fund's website and navigate to the fees section. You'll find a list of each investment option and the different fees charged.
  • Check your statement. Log into your account online and take a look at your past few statements.

Fees charged by some of the biggest super funds

Here are the annual fees charged by some of the biggest super funds in Australia.

AustralianSuper fees

AustralianSuper's Balanced option, which is the default MySuper fund, has annual fees of $437.65 based on a $50,000 balance. This includes annual admin fees of $137.65 and annual investment and indirect fees of 0.6%.

REST Super fees

REST Super's Core Strategy, which is the default MySuper option, has annual fees of $497.60 based on a $50,000 balance. This includes annual admin fees of $67.60 plus 0.1% and annual investment and indirect fees of 0.76%.

HostPlus Super fees

HostPlus's Balanced option, the default MySuper option, has annual fees of $546.76 based on a $50,000 balance. This includes annual admin fees of $91.76, plus annual investment and indirect costs of 0.91% a year.

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