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.

Virgin Money Super

Virgin Money Super - Lifestage Tracker (1969 - 1973)

  • MySuper fund available
  • Manage your account online 24/7
  • Automatic Death and TPD cover

Virgin Money Super

Boasting competitive fees and a choice of eight investment options, Virgin Money allows you to tailor a superannuation investment plan that meets your needs. Earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points on eligible contributions (T&Cs; apply) and receive personal advice through Virgin’s Helpline Advice Service.

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Compare super fund fees below

Name Product Past Performance - 1 Year Past Performance - 3 Years Past 5 year performance Calculated fees on $50,000 balance
New fund
New fund
Earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points for making contributions to your super. T&Cs apply.
Earn a Retirement Bonus of up to $4,800 when you open a new Income account. T&Cs apply.
Pay no entry, exit or switching fees and enjoy a range of different investment options with QSuper.
Enjoy discounted rates on banking products with ME Bank and health cover with GMHBA health insurance.
Socially responsible and ethical investment options available.
Choose between 14 different investment options, including a socially responsible option.
New Fund
New Fund
New Fund
Superestate focuses on investing your super in residential properties and charges some of the lowest annual fees in the market.
Get access to one-on-one professional advice at no additional cost.
Access offers, deals and discounts through the BT Super Benefits Now program.
Enjoy discounted health insurance with HCF.
Get fee-free advice on your superannuation as a BUSSQ member. T&Cs apply.
Receive a complimentary financial planning session with a Suncorp financial planner.
Enjoy discounted rates on banking products with ME Bank.
Access simple personal advice at no cost.
Gain access to lifestyle offers and benefits on NAB financial products and services.
Earn rewards and vouchers through the AIA Vitality program.
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 . 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 $467.65 based on a $50,000 balance. This includes annual admin fees of $137.65 and annual investment and indirect fees of 0.66%.

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 $621.76 based on a $50,000 balance. This includes annual admin fees of $91.76, plus annual investment and indirect costs of 1.06% a year.

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