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Not all super funds are the same

If you’d switched to an Industry SuperFund 15 years ago, on average you’d be around $36,000 better off than in a retail super fund. And even if you’d only switched 10 ($12,764) or 5 years ago ($5,319), you’d still be better off….* 

But that’s not where the differences end.

Industry SuperFunds have never paid commissions or incentives to staff or any financial planners or advisers. Despite recent rule changes banning commissions, some types of commissions are still allowed; meaning some financial planners may continue to receive ongoing commissions from clients, even under the changes. If a financial planner has ever recommended a retail or bank owned super fund to you, you should ask them if they are still earning commissions from you and whether you would be better off shifting into a commission free arrangement.

Not sure what the difference between an Industry SuperFund and a retail super fund is? Click here.

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See the 15 Industry SuperFunds here

Another important difference is that Industry SuperFunds are run only to profit members, while banks and insurance companies use their super funds to generate corporate profits, which are returned as dividends to shareholders, not members. Think about that next time you hear that a bank has made record profits.

Some retail or bank owned super funds are promoting “low fee” or “no fee” super products these days. While it is important to avoid paying unnecessarily high fees on your super, it is even more important to look at net benefit. Net benefit is a fancy term for investment performance minus fees and taxes, so better net benefit means you will have more money in your super account. And that’s what’s really important.

Compare the net benefit of the average Industry SuperFund against the average retail super fund over the past 5, 10 and 15 years here to see the difference for yourself.


*Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance and should never be the sole factor considered when selecting a fund. Comparisons modelled by SuperRatings, commissioned by ISA and shows average differences in net benefit of the main balanced options of 15 Industry SuperFunds and retail funds tracked by SuperRatings, with a 5 (133 funds), 10 (67 funds) and 15 (44 funds) year performance history, taking into account historical earnings and fees – excluding contribution, entry, exit and additional advisor fees – of main balanced options. Outcomes may vary between individual funds. Modelling as at 30 June 2019. See for more details about modelling calculations and assumptions. Consider a fund’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and your personal financial situation, needs or objectives, which are not accounted for in this information, before making an investment decision. ISA Pty Ltd ABN 72 158 563 270 Corporate Authorised Representative No. 426006 of Industry Fund Services Ltd ABN 54 007 016 195 AFSL 232514.

Assumes initial starting balance of $50,000 and initial salary of $50,000.

To learn more about one of the Industry SuperFunds below click on their logo.