Being in a consistently high performing super fund is one of the key factors in growing your super balance over time. Members of consistently poor performers are at risk of having substantially lower super balances at retirement.
The Productivity Commission review of superannuation produced an example of a 21-year-old on a $50,000 starting salary. If they joined a super fund that is consistently in the top quarter of funds rated by performance, they could expect to retire at 67 with a super balance of $1.1 million. If instead they joined one of the super funds that is consistently in the bottom quarter of funds, they would retire with $610,000 – 45% ($502,000) less.
Returns are not the only measure of a good fund – fees, insurance offerings, member services and investment choice are also important. However, if your fund has a long track record of underperformance it could be time to switch to a product with a history of superior returns.
Important: When super performance tables are published in the media, generally only they only compare super investment options in a single risk category – ‘balanced’ or ‘growth’ – which generally means they have 60-80% invested in growth assets.
SuperGuide publishes performance tables for super funds for 5 risk categories (All Growth (96-100% growth assets), High Growth (81-95% growth assets), Growth (61-80% growth assets), Balanced (41-60% growth assets) and Conservative (21-40% growth assets)), which make it easy to compare super funds that are invested with a similar risk profile.
The table below shows the top 10 Balanced super options (60-76% growth assets) ranked by 10 year return (up to 30 June 2023).
|Super fund||Investment option||10 yr return (% per yr)|
|Australian Retirement Trust – Super Savings||Retirement||6.4%|
|Aware Super||Conservative Balanced||6.3%|
|Legal Super||Conservative Balanced||6.1%|
Note: Returns are net of investment fees, tax and implicit asset-based administration fees. Fees are based on a $50,000 balance as at 30 June 2023. Fees include percentage-based administration fees, member fees, investment management fees (including performance-based fees), indirect cost ratios (ICRs) and taxes, but exclude any applicable employer size rebates.
Important: Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. The returns that super funds achieve will change over time and readers should continue to monitor their super’s performance.
SuperGuide is Australia’s leading superannuation and retirement planning website.
Superguide Pty Ltd ATF Superguide Unit Trust as a Corporate Authorised Representative (CAR) is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Independent Financial Advisers Australia, AFSL 464629.
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