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What is the best super fund?

There are a few ways to approach this, but ultimately, the best super fund is one that fits your needs now and into the future - and some superannuation funds will be better at this than others, depending on what you are looking for, and where you're at in life right now.

When considering which super fund is best for you it is important to note that the following is general advice only and does not take into account your own objectives, financial circumstances or needs. You should also read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any financial decisions.

Five tips when choosing a super fund

1. Net benefit

Net benefit in super is one of the most important factors to look at. Many Australian super funds will claim to be a top performing fund with excellent returns, but if those above-average returns are being eaten away by high fees and charges, then the net benefit might not actually be so great. It's also important to look at net benefit over time, since this can change as your super balance increases. You might find that a low-fee fund with a good performance record is actually better for you than a top performing fund whose high fees erode those returns.

2. Use our comparison tool

Our detailed, independent super fund comparison tool lets you compare the 8 Industry SuperFunds against more than 60 Australian retail funds and products. In addition to weighing up investment performance and fees, the tool also provides a comparison of insurance products, member services, admin and governance. The data is all provided by the independent company, SuperRatings.

3. Doing your own comparison?

When comparing data from funds, it's important to ensure that:

  • Performance data is for the same time period across all funds, for example 2023 data varies significantly depending on which month in 2023 the data ends.
  • Fees and charges include indirect costs such as some investment management costs. As your balance rises these can become the main costs.
  • The investment options fit with your risk appetite and investment preferences (e.g. environmental/social sustainability, direct choice investing, pre-selected mix, high growth etc)
  • The funds' member services, products and administration meet your needs.
  • Our Compare the Pair tool helps you to compare Industry SuperFunds' performance against retail funds.

4. Looking for a retirement fund?

If you're nearing retirement, then the best super fund for you may be very different from someone mid-career. You'll need to look at the pension side of the fund (also known as income stream), and see if it offers the options and products you want, for example do you want to leap into retirement or just transition gradually?

Insurance isn't normally offered as part of retirement accounts, and different funds offer insurance up to different ages in their super accounts. If you still want insurance as you retire, be sure to make that comparison as well.

Once you've found the right retirement fund for you, remember to make any final contributions before you retire.

You can compare Industry SuperFunds retirement account performance against retail funds using our Compare the Retirements tool, or find links to more information about retirement accounts for each of the Industry SuperFunds here.

5. Seek advice

Seek out expert superannuation advice at each stage in life. Getting professional guidance is always the best start to any superannuation strategy, and should help you get a better pension income in retirement. See our tips for choosing an advisor, or contact one of the Industry SuperFunds and request a callback.

How do you open a super account?

Opening a super account with an Industry SuperFund is very simple. Just head to the website of your preferred fund and click 'Join'.

Each fund is slightly different in its joining procedures, but generally, you should have your Tax File Number (TFN) and your employer's details (including their ABN) handy.

What super details do I give to my employer?

Once you've signed up to a super fund, you'll need to advise your employer where to pay your superannuation. If your fund is an Industry SuperFund you can use our easy four step form which already contains the fund information so you don't have to look it up.

Otherwise, you will need to fill out part of ATO's Superannuation standard choice form (your employer will probably already have some of these on hand). You'll need to fill out Section A of the form, including some personal details such as name, address and member number as well as information about your fund which is shown on the fund's website - often under Fund Details.

Alternatively, a simple Google search will usually bring up the necessary information, such as ABN, unique identifier number (USI) and address.

What's your question?

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