You can find many articles on SuperGuide about the top performing or cheapest super funds (see the list at the end of this article). While these factors are very important when you are comparing super funds, they aren’t the be-all and end-all.
The major super research houses (Chant West, Rainmaker and SuperRatings) have long recognised this, and sought to draw attention to the super and pension funds that deliver on performance and fees, but also go further in some of the other services they deliver.
This may be due to the education services the super fund provides, or some new or innovative investment options. It could be cost-effective insurance or simply top-notch customer support. What’s certain is it won’t be one thing, but a combination of many factors that make one super fund stand out from the pack.
Despite the bad press that super funds sometimes get, ultimately they are legally obliged to act in the best interests of their members, and the best super funds use that principle to continually improve their service.
In this article we report the Funds of the Year as chosen by Chant West, Rainmaker and SuperRatings going back to 2013. For the latest year we’ll also list all the winners from other categories.
Funds of the Year – 2019/2020
This year UniSuper, AustralianSuper and Sunsuper are the big winners.
|Chant West (2019)||UniSuper|
|Rainmaker / SelectingSuper (2019)||AustralianSuper|
Rainmaker announced the SelectingSuper award winners on November 21st 2019. Speaking to Financial Standard, Rainmaker executive Director of Research, Alex Dunnin said “What makes AustralianSuper stand out from the crowd to be this year’s winner is not its size but that as it gets bigger it gets better. It does this by not losing sight of its primary mission: delivering solid reliable investment returns after fees year after year and providing just the right type of extra features and services its growing number of members need.”
SuperRatings announced the 2020 Fund of the Year award winners on October 31st 2019. Executive Director Kirby Rappell said “More than ever before, super funds are focused on delivering value for money and quality outcomes for their members throughout their working life and into retirement. It’s fitting to recognise those funds that have done the most to help make our retirement system the envy of the world.”
“Congratulations to the team at Sunsuper on being awarded Fund of the Year for 2020. It was certainly a tough decision, but Sunsuper has clearly demonstrated their commitment to member value across a range of criteria, including investment performance and fees, member services, financial advice and insurance, and fund governance.”
Chant West held their awards in May 2019. Chant West’s Head of Research Ian Fryer said the impression that came out of the Royal Commission and Productivity Commission was that the super industry had not been doing a good job for members, but on the investment side “the numbers suggest otherwise”.
“Looking at the past 20 years, we have had two full market cycles and two significant downturns, and the numbers still look great,” Mr Fryer said. “The super industry as a whole has provided strong returns for its members. The strategy of using a well-diversified balanced fund to deliver investment returns that are meaningfully ahead of inflation has worked. The investment model seems to be working well, but in other areas we know we can, and indeed must, do better. This industry, and we as individuals in that industry, will only succeed if we fulfil our mandate to do what is best for members, and to direct our energies to that goal.”
Funds of the Year – 2013 to 2020
In the table below you can find the Funds of the Year for the last seven years.
Unisuper and Sunsuper are again the big winners with five awards each in total. Hostplus is close behind having won four times, and AustralianSuper have won three times.
REST and QSuper have both won twice, and HESTA and Telstra Super have both won once.
It’s notable that all funds are Industry funds, except for Telstra Super which is a Corporate fund and QSuper which is a Public Sector fund (although now available to the general public).
|Year||Chant West||Rainmaker / Selecting Super||SuperRatings|
|2020||Not announced yet||Not announced yet||Sunsuper|
Sources: Chant West, Rainmaker and SuperRatings
Other award winners for 2019/2020
Besides the Fund of the Year, each research house also awards funds for excelling in more specialist areas, such as pensions, investments and innovation.
|Pension Fund of the Year||QSuper|
|Advised Product of the Year||Netwealth|
|Corporate Solutions Fund of the Year||Sunsuper|
|Specialist Fund of the year||HESTA|
|Best Fund: Investments||UniSuper|
|Best Fund: Member Services||Sunsuper|
|Best Fund: Insurance||NGS Super|
|Best Fund: Advice Services||UniSuper|
|Best Fund: Innovation||GuildSuper|
|Best Fund: Integrity||First State Super and VicSuper|
|Best Fund: Longevity Product||Colonial First State FirstChoice Wholesale|
Source: Chant West
Rainmaker / Selecting Super
|Best Long Term Performance||Hostplus|
|Best in Show – MySuper Product||AustralianSuper|
|Best in Show – MySuper Lifecycle||Sunsuper for life|
|Best in Show – Workplace||Unisuper|
|Best in Show – Personal||AustralianSuper|
|Best in Show – Pension||Cbus Super Income Stream|
|Best Risk-Adjusted Performance||HESTA Core Pool|
|Best Performance – Australian Equities||AMG Corporate Super|
|Best Performance – International Equities||WA Super|
|Best Performance – ESG||HESTA Eco Pool|
|Best Performance – Cash||AMG Corporate Super|
|Best Performance – Fixed Income||Hostplus|
|Best Performance – Property||Sunsuper Super-savings|
|Best Super Fund for Young Members||ANZ Smart Choice Super|
|Best Value Insurance||Equip MyFuture & Hannover Life Re of Australasia|
|Best Insurance – High Risk||Equip MyFuture & Hannover Life Re of Australasia|
|Best Asset Consultant||Frontier Advisors|
|Outstanding Mental Health and Wellbeing Initiative Award, presented with SuperFriend||TAL|
|Industry Service Award||Robert Fowler|
Source: Rainmaker / SelectingSuper
|Pension of the Year||QSuper|
|MyChoice Super of the Year||Sunsuper|
|MySuper of the Year||UniSuper|
|Career Fund of the Year||HESTA|
|Best New Innovation||Hostplus Self Managed Invest|
|Infinity||Australian Ethical Super|
Discover the best performing super funds in the following SuperGuide articles:
- Best performing super funds over 10 calendar years (to December 2019)
- Best performing super funds over the last calendar year (to December 2019)
- Best performing pension funds over 5 years (to September 2019)
- Best performing super funds over 5 years (to September 2019)
- Best performing super funds over the last financial year (to June 2019)
- Best performing super funds over 10 financial years (to June 2019)
- Looking good? New beauty parade for super funds with ‘best in show’ proposal