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Assumptions AustralianSuper

Accumulation Net Benefit model 

Industry Super Australia have commissioned SuperRatings to undertake the research and modelling used in AustralianSuper advertisements and communications. SuperRatings is a ratings, research and consultancy company that specialises in analysing superannuation funds, their investment returns, their fees and the relative benefits they offer to their members. The Accumulation Net Benefit model, prepared by SuperRatings, calculates the variance in earnings and fees between AustralianSuper and retail super funds (also known as retail master trusts) over different time periods, with the default comparison being the 3, 10 and 15 years to 30 June 2018.

Background to the Accumulation Net Benefit model

Sample Set: The sample set used in the modelling contains AustralianSuper's MySuper balanced investment option and the retail super funds which are actively tracked by SuperRatings, including superannuation investment products that are open and those that are closed to new members but continue to hold assets.

As at 30 June 2018, the number of retail super products included in the sample set for each comparison period is:

Timeframe 1 Yr 3 Yr 5 Yr 7 Yr 10 Yr 15 Yr
Retail super products 166 144 117 84 73 45

Information about the Accumulation Net Benefit model

  • The model uses the main balanced investment option (being the balanced investment option with the highest level of assets) offered by each product provider in the sample set.
  • The model uses return and fee data that is submitted by funds to SuperRatings, made publicly available by funds or contained within formal fund disclosures as at 30 June each year.
  • Using the starting account balance and salary, the contributions, earnings and fees are calculated using 30 June data each year to derive the closing account balance at the end of each year.
  • The closing account balance for the previous year is then used to calculate earnings and fees on the account in the following years with the process being repeated for each year of the comparison.
  • The net benefit for each product refers to the cumulative earnings less fees for the relevant comparison period.
  • The average net benefit of retail super funds is calculated by taking an average of all net benefit outcomes at the end of the comparison period for the retail products actively tracked by SuperRatings.
  • The net benefit is calculated for each product which has sufficient return and performance history information available over the entire comparison period. Where this information is not available, those products are excluded from the calculation. 
  • The model assumes no additional contributions or withdrawals over the relevant comparison period.
  • The model will be updated annually with 30 June figures (available in approximately October each year), and the outcomes will be reviewed quarterly.

Other assumptions for the Accumulation Net Benefit model

Salary increase

2% per annum.

Investment Returns

Performance (Net Benefit) modelling is based on actual reported returns over the stated period.

When are investment returns credited to members’ accounts?


Superannuation Guarantee Contribution

The Superannuation Guarantee rate used for each year's calculation is in accordance with the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act. The modelling assumes no salary sacrifice or voluntary contributions.

Contribution tax


When are contributions assumed to be made?

Quarterly in arrears (i.e. the first contribution is made 3 months after joining the fund)

When are fees assumed to be deducted?


Tax rebate

A tax rebate of 15% is assumed on fees deducted from members’ accumulation accounts


2.5% per annum


All fee information is taken from the sample funds’ product disclosure statements or other formal disclosures at the end of each year in the calculation. Contribution fees, entry fees, exit fees, additional adviser fees or any other fees charged are excluded from this model.


No deductions are made for insurance premiums. 

Starting salary $50k, starting balance $50k

Timeframe AustralianSuper net benefit Retail super fund net benefit AustralianSuper account balance today Retail super fund account balance today Net benefit difference
Last year $5,640 $4,107 $59,677 $58,145 $1,533
Last 3 years $17,014 $10,936 $79,555 $73,478 $6,077
Last 5 years $37,665 $26,190 $109,209 $97,735 $11,475
Last 7 years $58,088 $41,539 $138,951 $122,402 $16,548
Last 10 years $77,566 $53,346 $173,666 $149,446 $24,220
Last 15 years  $182,833 $109,136 $308,096 $234,399 $73,697

As at 30 June 2018