Protecting your superannuation

This guide answers the most common questions around the protection and safety of your super.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

Your superannuation is likely to be your biggest asset when you retire, and it's the main way of saving for retirement. Given the importance of your super, it's important to make sure it's protected and be sure that it's in good hands. Luckily, the Australian superannuation sector is heavily regulated.

In this guide we've answered some key concerns you may have regarding the safety of your super, plus listed some tips to help you keep it safe.

Promoted
Spaceship's investment portfolio has a strong focus on technology stocks.

Spaceship's GrowthX fund is a high-growth option that invests heavily in Australian and international shares, aiming for strong long-term returns.

Common questions regarding the safety of superannuation

Q: Can money from your superannuation fund be used by your employer?

A: If you are concerned about your employer being able to use money from your superannuation fund, don't be. The money that is accumulated in these funds is held in trust, which means that it is not available for your employer to use.

Q: What if your employer goes out of business?

A: There is no need to worry about losing your superannuation in the event that your employer goes out of business. Your super fund will be protected even if your employer has to cease operations.

Q: Do the trustees of your super fund have specific responsibilities?

A: Yes, they do. The trustees of any superannuation fund have to make a lot of important decisions and choices concerning the day-to-day running of the fund. But they also need to follow the requirement and responsibilities as set out by the Superannuation Industry Act. These responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring that they always act honestly
  • Investing money carefully and properly, taking professional advice if they wish to
  • Ensuring that there are enough reserves in the fund to pay the benefits of the member when the time comes
  • Keeping the assets of the fund separate from the employer
  • Providing statistics, documentation, statements, etc to enable consumers to see how their funds are performing
  • Maintaining accurate records and accounts of the superannuation fund

Q: What are the record keeping responsibilities of trustees relating to superannuation funds?

A: There are a number of record keeping responsibilities that trustees of superannuation funds need to adhere to in accordance with the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act. This includes the following:

  • The maintenance of accurate records in relation to the superannuation fund
  • Ensuring that all accounts relating to the superannuation fund are kept up to date and accurate
  • Keeping copies of certain reports and maintaining records of trustee meetings
  • Ensure that the accounts are audited on an annual basis
  • File an annual return with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority

Q: What do trustees have to take into consideration when choosing superannuation funds?

A: Under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act, trustees are asked to take into consideration a number of different things with regards to superannuation funds. This includes:

  • Risks and returns. Trustees are asked to take into consideration the risks and the likely returns that can stem from investments taking into account the fund objectives and the investment strategy
  • Diversity of investments. The Act asks trustees to consider the variation and diversity of the investments in the fund's portfolio e.g. looking at spreading investments across different asset classes to reduce risk rather than having all of their eggs in one basket
  • Liquidity. Under the Act, trustees are also asked to take into consideration the liquidity of the investments in the funds based on its cash flow requirements
  • Meeting liabilities. Trustees are also required to take into consideration the needs of the superannuation fund in regards to being able to meet its current, as well as its possible future, liabilities

Tips for protecting your super

  • Keep your account log in details secret and don't share these publicly
  • Check your payslips regularly to ensure your employer is paying the correct amount of super into your fund
  • Check your superannuation statements regularly to ensure you're not being overcharged any incorrect fees
  • Lastly, compare super funds to make sure you're not paying more in fees than you need to be.

Compare your super options today

Name Product Last 1 year performance Last 3 years performance Last 5 year performance Last 10 year performance Annual fees on $50k balance
AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced option
5.55%
7.73%
8.98%
8.98%
$411.18
AustralianSuper is an award-winning industry super fund and the largest super fund in Australia. The Balanced fund invests in a mix of different assets like shares, property and cash.
Spaceship GrowthX
18.88%
15.52%
N/A
N/A
$536
This is a high-risk investment option that aims to deliver high returns over the long term.
Spaceship's Growth X fund invests heavily in Australian and international shares, with a focus on technology stocks. Performance figures and fees supplied by Spaceship, not Chant West.
Sunsuper Lifecycle Balanced
3.18%
6.64%
8.14%
8.2%
$463
Sunsuper is an award-winning super fund with more than 1.4 million members. Its Lifecycle Balanced option invests your super in a mix of growth assets, and reduces your risk when you're near retirement.
Australian Ethical Super Balanced
8.28%
8.62%
8.28%
8.2%
$622
Certified by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia.
Australian Ethical seeks to invest in companies that have a positive impact on the planet, people and animals, such as renewable energy and healthcare while avoiding investments in coal, oil, tobacco and gambling.
Virgin Money Super - Lifestage Tracker
3.59%
7.34%
N/A
N/A
$358
Virgin Money Super Lifestage Tracker has some of the lowest fees in the market. It invests in a range of different assets in line with your age, reducing your risk as you get older. Plus, you can earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points when you rollover your super, and on the contributions you make (T&Cs apply).
Aware MySuper Life Cycle Growth
5.49%
7.31%
8.37%
8.38%
$519.42
Aware Super is a not-for-profit fund with more than 750,000 members. The MySuper product invests your super in a pre-mixed Growth fund until you’re 60, then it’ll switch to Balanced.
QSuper Lifetime - Aspire 1
4.08%
7.03%
8.21%
N/A
$315
QSuper is one of the largest and oldest member-owned funds in Australia. The QSuper Lifetime fund automatically personalises a your investment strategy based your age and account balance.
LUCRF MySuper Balanced
3.15%
5.44%
6.77%
7.3%
$497.64
LUCRF Super is an industry super fund open to all Australians with 11 different investment options available. Its default MySuper Balanced option is a simple, diversified portfolio designed to suit most members.
Australian Catholic Super Lifetime - Grow
2.97%
N/A
N/A
N/A
$563
A Catholic super fund open to all Australians and designed for people working in Catholic education, healthcare or aged care.The Lifetime One fund option changes your investment mix as you get older.
Verve Super Balanced
6.2%
N/A
N/A
N/A
$691.10
Verve Super is an ethical super fund tailored for women. It seeks to invest in companies making a positive impact, such as renewable energy and women in leadership, while avoiding those that cause harm, such as fossil fuels, tobacco and guns.
UniSuper Balanced
5.89%
8.16%
8.7%
8.97%
$326
UniSuper is an industry super fund and one of Australia's largest super funds with more than 450,000 members. Its Balanced option invests in a mix of different asset classes and has achieved consistently high returns for members.
AustralianSuper - Socially Aware
-2.07%
4.83%
6.1%
N/A
$472
The AustralianSuper Socially Aware option doesn't invest in Australian or international companies that directly own coal and fossil fuel reserves, produce tobacco or those which have single-gender boards. Investment performance as of 30 June 2020.
Aware Super - Diversified Socially Responsible Investment
0.55%
5.47%
5.4%
N/A
$406.18
The Aware Super Diversified Socially Responsible Investment is a pre-mixed investment option that excludes companies operating in the tobacco, ammunition, gambling, alcohol, forest logging and pornography industries, as well as companies that attribute 20% or more of their revenue to coal, oil and gas.
Sunsuper - Socially Conscious Balanced
0.19%
5.54%
5.97%
N/A
$528
Certified by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia.
The Sunsuper Socially Conscious Balanced option avoids investment in companies that have significant exposure (more than 5% of revenue) to alcohol, tobacco, gambling, pornography, coal and nuclear power manufacturing. Investment performance as of 30 June 2020.
loading

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 2020.
Disclaimer: 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. This article is general advice. You should consider your own personal circumstances before deciding if a superannuation product is right for you. Superannuation is a long term investment and past performance is not indicative of future performance.

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site