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If you are now, or even have been, an employee and can’t remember ever choosing a superannuation fund, chances are you have retirement savings sitting in one or more MySuper accounts.
As we’re talking about 9.5% of your income and possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars by the time you retire, it’s worth following the money trail to see how your MySuper fund works and how it compares with other funds in the market.
Being in an underperforming MySuper product can leave a typical new workforce entrant $375,000 or 36% worse off by retirement, according to the Productivity Commission, and that’s not the outcome you want.
If you are a member of a MySuper fund, you’re not alone. As at September 2018, around 25% of all super assets, or $695 billion, was invested across 103 MySuper accounts.
Note: At the bottom of this article we list all MySuper funds
What are MySuper funds?
MySuper funds act as a default account for people who don’t choose their own super fund when they start a new job. They are designed to be:
- Simple. You will be put into either a single diversified investment option or a lifecycle option, depending on the fund. Your fund’s features and investment returns are explained in plain English and easy to read graphs on a ‘dashboard’ that is readily available online or in print form with your annual statement.
- Low cost. A bit like a basic home loan, you don’t pay for features you don’t need. There are restrictions on the type of fees you can be charged, and fees are restricted to the cost of providing a service.
- Easy to compare. MySuper fund dashboards follow a standard format so they can be easily compared.
Retail, industry and corporate funds can all offer MySuper accounts to members in accumulation phase (pre-retirement). However, MySuper funds can’t be defined benefit funds and they are not available as super pension accounts for retirees.
A little history
MySuper is relatively new to the super landscape. It began as part of the Stronger Super reforms introduced in 2011 by the Gillard Government to replace existing default super products.
Legislation was enacted in 2012 and since 1 January 2014 only funds offering a MySuper product have been eligible to receive default super contributions for new employees. These days, if you start a new job and don’t choose a super fund, your employer will put 9.5% of your salary into a MySuper account in your name. The account may be chosen by your employer or be part of an industry agreement.
One shortcoming of the new and old systems is that some people who have changed jobs may have ended up with money in two or more super accounts. They could have their original default account from their first job and other default accounts for subsequent jobs prior to January 2014. Since that date, any new employer Super Guarantee contributions must be paid into a MySuper product. Some big funds changed their original default option to a new MySuper option so you may have just the one fund but do check.
You can check and manage your super by creating a MyGov account if you don’t already have one, at my.gov.au, and link to the ATO. Go to the ‘Super’ tab and you can see all your super accounts, including any you may have lost track of. You can also consolidate them into an account of your choice.
One in three super accounts are unintended multiples, because the super system continues to attach member accounts to the employer, not the employee. This is an issue raised by both the Productivity Commission and the Financial Services Royal Commission.
The other big issue for MySuper is defaulting members into poorly performing funds. The Productivity Commission tracked MySuper products and their default predecessors over 10 years to 2018. The top 10, representing 55% of all default member accounts, did well, with a median annual return of 5.7%. But 26 funds, or one third of the total accounts, underperformed the benchmark median return of 3.9% a year.
One suggestion put forward by the Productivity Commission is for employers to choose MySuper funds from a list of the 10 ‘best in show’, rated by performance, and get rid of poorly performing funds.
Another suggestion is to allow members to take their original MySuper fund from job to job, so they stay with the fund they are put into when they first start working unless they decide to switch to a fund of their choice.
How do they work?
If you have a MySuper account and want to get better acquainted, the first thing to check is whether you are in a single diversified investment product or a lifecycle product. The two approaches can result in very different risk and return profiles, especially early and late in your working life.
The majority (roughly two thirds) of MySuper funds offer a single diversifed product. This is usually a ‘balanced’ approach with around 70% invested in higher risk growth assets (shares and property) and 30% in lower risk defensive assets (cash and fixed interest). The risk/return profile remains at medium-high throughout your working life.
You can learn more about investment options in the SuperGuide articles Super investing: Should you change your investment option? and Super investing: How to change your investment option.
The remaining one third of MySuper accounts use a lifecycle or lifestage approach and automatically move your savings from growth investments when you are young to more defensive investments as you get closer to retirement. Most retail sector MySuper funds are lifecycle, but some industry funds also use this approach.
The mix of growth and defensive investments in lifecycle accounts is usually based on your age and the decade of your birth. For example, a typical investment mix might be the following:
- 85/15 (growth investments/defensive investments) for under 45s
- 75/25 for members aged 45-54
- 55/45 for those aged 55-64
- 40/60 for those 65 and older.
This results in a progressive reduction in risk and returns, from high for younger members to medium-high for those in mid-career and low for older members.
However, some big funds are beginning to refine their MySuper lifecycle approach on concerns that lumping people into decade cohorts is too broad. For example, super ratings group Chant West says QSuper takes account of a member’s account balance as well as their age. SunSuper transfers small amounts from growth to defensive investments every month from age 55. And Australian Catholic Super changes its investment mix every year from age 40 to 70, beginning with a 90/10 split and ending with a 40/60 split.
The returns earned by MySuper products in the relatively short time they have been around indicate that simple does not mean you have to compromise on performance.
Although Chant West doesn’t report returns for MySuper funds separately, its Growth fund category (61-80% growth assets) is made up mostly of MySuper funds where members are in a single diversified investment mix.
The median return for Growth funds since January 2014 (when MySuper was introduced) to January 2019 was 7.3% per year after investment fees and tax. This is well above the average MyFund target return of CPI (a measure of inflation) plus 3.5% over rolling 5-year periods. Inflation has averaged below 2% for much of that period.
MySuper dashboards are required to display in graph form, and explain in plain English, the fund’s target return, actual returns and level of investment risk.
Chant West now reports Lifecycle fund returns separately from diversified funds to make it easier to compare like with like. In the period from January 2014 to January 2019, median returns have been best for younger Lifecycle fund members with a higher exposure to growth investments, as you would expect during a period of strong share and property markets.
The median return for young members born in the 2000s over that period was 6.9% per year, compared with 4.9% per year for members born in the 1940s, who had more exposure to lower risk cash and fixed interest. However, it should be remembered that the lower risk weighting of older members will protect them if the market falls in the years leading into their retirement when there may not be time to make up for lost ground.
Fees and insurance
One of the guiding principles behind MySuper was the need for greater transparency, and this is particularly so where fees are involved.
MySuper funds are required to disclose all fees and those fees must be limited to the cost of providing a service. Fees are charged for administration, investment and other services such as switching funds or contribution splitting.
One of the main features of MySuper dashboards is that fees are added up and reported as a single dollar figure for a member with a $50,000 balance. This allows for an easy comparison of total fees across MySuper funds.
MySuper funds are also required to offer a basic level of cover for life and TPD (Total and Permanent Disability) insurance.
How to compare MySuper funds
If you know which superannuation providers you are interested in, you can go directly to their websites and check their MySuper dashboard.
But if you are not sure where to look ASIC’s MoneySmart website now allows you to search for and compare MySuper funds.
When you compare MySuper funds, make sure you are checking like for like. For example, don’t compare the performance of a lifecycle fund with a single diversified investment one. And when you check fees, drill down to see if services you need are covered.
You can learn more in our article How to compare super funds in 7 easy steps.
List of all MySuper funds
|Current MySuper Product Name||Fund Name||Fund ABN||Registration Number||Fund Type||Product Unique Identifier|
|AMP MySuper No.1||AMP Retirement Trust||73310248809||R1075274||POF||73310248809211|
|Brookfield Australia MySuper||AMP Superannuation Savings Trust||76514770399||R1001648||POF||76514770399288|
|Anglican National MySuper||AMP Superannuation Savings Trust||76514770399||R1001648||POF||76514770399065|
|Australia Post MySuper||AMP Superannuation Savings Trust||76514770399||R1001648||POF||76514770399425|
|AFLPA & AFL Industry MySuper||AMP Superannuation Savings Trust||76514770399||R1001648||POF||76514770399263|
|Water Corporation MySuper||AMP Superannuation Savings Trust||76514770399||R1001648||POF||76514770399204|
|CCA MySuper||AMP Superannuation Savings Trust||76514770399||R1001648||POF||76514770399923|
|Woolworths Group MySuper||AMP Superannuation Savings Trust||76514770399||R1001648||POF||76514770399264|
|Macquarie Group MySuper||AMP Superannuation Savings Trust||76514770399||R1001648||POF||76514770399830|
|AMP MySuper No.2||AMP Superannuation Savings Trust||76514770399||R1001648||POF||76514770399177|
|ANZ Staff MySuper||ANZ Australian Staff Superannuation Scheme||83810127567||R1000863||NPOF||83810127567770|
|Default Lifecycle||Mine Superannuation Fund||16457520308||R1056563||POF||16457520308485|
|Balanced (accumulation)||Australian Ethical Retail Superannuation Fund||49633667743||R1004731||POF||49633667743656|
|AMIST MySuper||Australian Meat Industry Superannuation Trust||28342064803||R1001778||POF||28342064803589|
|MySuper (Balanced)||Austsafe Superannuation Fund||92398191503||R1005509||POF||92398191503985|
|AvSuper Growth (MySuper)||AvSuper Fund||84421446069||R1000153||POF||84421446069940|
|Goldman Sachs & JBWere Superannuation Fund_MySuper Product||Goldman Sachs & JBWere Superannuation Fund||55697537183||R1005271||NPOF||55697537183245|
|BOC MySuper||Boc Gases Superannuation Fund||49620344668||R1000832||NPOF||49620344668116|
|Asgard Employee MySuper||ASGARD Independence Plan Division Two||90194410365||R1055580||POF||90194410365092|
|Westpac Group Plan MySuper||Retirement Wrap||39827542991||R1001327||POF||39827542991329|
|BT Super for Life MySuper; BT Lifetime Employer MySuper||Retirement Wrap||39827542991||R1001327||POF||39827542991267|
|BUSSQ MySuper||Building Unions Superannuation Scheme (Queensland)||85571332201||R1055870||POF||85571332201413|
|Growth MySuper||CBH Superannuation Fund||84433159328||R1005165||NPOF||84433159328338|
|My Ethical Super||Christian Super||66628776348||R1004137||POF||66628776348908|
|Club MySuper||Club Super||12737334298||R1000771||NPOF||12737334298988|
|Club Plus Super _ MySuper||Club Plus Superannuation Scheme||95275115088||R1000757||POF||95275115088045|
|Colonial First State FirstChoice Superannuation Trust||Colonial First State FirstChoice Superannuation Trust||26458298557||R1056150||POF||26458298557923|
|Commonwealth Essential Super||Commonwealth Essential Super||56601925435||R1075199||POF||56601925435909|
|Combined Fund MySuper||Combined Super Fund||46921400504||R1000405||NPOF||46921400504992|
|Accumulate Plus Balanced||Commonwealth Bank Group Super||24248426878||R1056877||NPOF||24248426878648|
|ADF MySuper||Australian Defence Force Superannuation Scheme||90302247344||R1077063||NPOF||90302247344958|
|PSSap MySuper Balanced||Public Sector Superannuation Accumulation Plan||65127917725||R1004601||NPOF||65127917725842|
|MySuper Balanced||Concept One The Industry Superannuation Fund||21059451252||R1056808||NPOF||21059451252728|
|MyCatholicSuper||MyLifeMyMoney Superannuation Fund||50237896957||R1000597||POF||50237896957373|
|LESF MySuper||LESF Super||13704288646||R1005448||POF||13704288646380|
|SmartSave MySuper Balanced||Smartsave ‘Member’s Choice’ Superannuation Master Plan||43905581638||R1001341||POF||43905581638357|
|Balanced||Elphinstone Group Superannuation Fund||77408077215||R1005318||NPOF||77408077215271|
|MySuper Balanced||Energy Industries Superannuation Scheme-Pool A||22277243559||R1004861||POF||22277243559311|
|RT Growth (MySuper)||equipsuper||33813823017||R1000177||POF||33813823017518|
|AMG MySuper||AMG Super||30099320583||R1001006||POF||30099320583624|
|Aon MySuper||AON Master Trust||68964712340||R1000566||POF||68964712340051|
|EmPlus MySuper||EmPlus Superannuation Fund||18838658991||R1067880||POF||18838658991091|
|MySuper MyLife||The Executive Superannuation Fund||60998717367||R1001419||POF||60998717367959|
|First Super MySuper||First Super||56286625181||R1067385||POF||56286625181006|
|First State Super MySuper Lifecycle||First State Superannuation Scheme||53226460365||R1005134||POF||53226460365073|
|Guild Retirement Fund (MySuper)||Guild Retirement Fund||22599554834||R1000030||POF||22599554834526|
|Core Pool||Health Employees Superannuation Trust Australia||64971749321||R1004489||POF||64971749321585|
|Balanced option||HOSTPLUS Superannuation Fund||68657495890||R1000054||POF||68657495890198|
|IOOF MySuper||IOOF Portfolio Service Superannuation Fund||70815369818||R1000627||POF||70815369818036|
|MySuper||IAG & NRMA Superannuation Plan||58244115920||R1004687||NPOF||58244115920022|
|Intrust MySuper||Intrust Super Fund||65704511371||R1004397||POF||65704511371601|
|Kinetic Super _ Growth (MySuper)||Kinetic Superannuation Fund||78984178687||R1000429||POF||78984178687643|
|MySuper Balanced||Labour Union Co-Operative Retirement Fund||26382680883||R1067521||POF||26382680883067|
|Balanced Option_MySuper Compliant||Lutheran Super||93371348387||R1005707||NPOF||93371348387621|
|LGIASuper MySuper Lifecycle||LGIAsuper||23053121564||R1000160||POF||23053121564638|
|MySuper Age Based Investment Strategy||Local Government Super||28901371321||R1004663||POF||28901371321258|
|Moderate investment option||Maritime Super||77455663441||R1001747||POF||77455663441220|
|MIESF MySuper||Meat Industry Employees Superannuation Fund||17317520544||R1004946||NPOF||17317520544110|
|Balanced investment option (accumulation)||Media Super||42574421650||R1000399||POF||42574421650098|
|Mercer WGSP MySuper||Mercer Super Trust||19905422981||R1067088||POF||19905422981588|
|Virgin Money MySuper||Mercer Super Trust||19905422981||R1067088||POF||19905422981031|
|Mercer SmartPath||Mercer Super Trust||19905422981||R1067088||POF||19905422981252|
|Mercer Santos MySuper||Mercer Super Trust||19905422981||R1067088||POF||19905422981977|
|MySuper Balanced||Mercy Super||11789425178||R1004311||NPOF||11789425178832|
|My AutoSuper||MTAA Superannuation Fund||74559365913||R1004373||POF||74559365913178|
|AMP MySuper No.3||Super Directions Fund||78421957449||R1056433||POF||78421957449538|
|NESS MySuper||NESS Super||72229227691||R1000115||POF||72229227691044|
|Diversified (MySuper)||NGS Super||73549180515||R1000818||POF||73549180515789|
|Nationwide MySuper||Nationwide Superannuation Fund||15201768813||R1001761||POF||15201768813143|
|MySuper||MLC Super Fund||70732426024||R1077223||POF||70732426024883|
|NAB Staff MySuper||MLC Super Fund||70732426024||R1077223||POF||70732426024770|
|ANZ Smart Choice Super_For QBE Management Services PTY LTD and their employees||OnePath Masterfund||53789980697||R1001525||POF||53789980697147|
|ANZ Smart Choice Super||OnePath Masterfund||53789980697||R1001525||POF||53789980697928|
|Perpetual MySuper||Perpetual’s Select Superannuation Fund||51068260563||R1057034||POF||51068260563643|
|Pitcher Retirement Plan MySuper||Pitcher Retirement Plan||15828677472||R1001792||NPOF||15828677472277|
|BALANCED||Australia Post Superannuation Scheme||42045077895||R1056549||NPOF||42045077895987|
|Glidepath||Qantas Superannuation Plan||41272198829||R1005486||NPOF||41272198829376|
|QIEC MySuper||Queensland Independent Education & Care Superannuation Trust||15549636673||R1000849||NPOF||15549636673397|
|REST Super||Retail Employees Superannuation Trust||62653671394||R1000016||POF||62653671394831|
|Bendigo MySuper||The Bendigo Superannuation Plan||57526653420||R1000139||POF||57526653420532|
|LifetimeOne||Australian Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund||24680629023||R1055436||POF||24680629023451|
|Statewide MySuper||Statewide Superannuation Trust||54145196298||R1000610||POF||54145196298820|
|Suncorp Lifestage Funds||Suncorp Master Trust||98350952022||R1056655||POF||98350952022938|
|Sunsuper for Life||Sunsuper Superannuation Fund||98503137921||R1000337||POF||98503137921996|
|Balanced (MySuper)||TWU Superannuation Fund||77343563307||R1000283||POF||77343563307717|
|Tasplan MySuper||Tasplan Superannuation Fund||14602032302||R1000924||POF||14602032302734|
|Telstra Super MySuper||Telstra Superannuation Scheme||85502108833||R1004441||POF||85502108833326|
|Max Super Fund MySuper Plan||Max Super Fund||22508720840||R1067897||POF||22508720840514|
|General Division||Russell Investments Master Trust||89384753567||R1000351||POF||89384753567742|
|Active Balanced||DuluxGroup Employees Superannuation Fund||91132102426||R1074079||NPOF||91132102426461|
|Active Balanced||Incitec Pivot Employees Superannuation Fund||68569795856||R1069631||NPOF||68569795856660|
|Balanced||United Technologies Corporation Retirement Plan||33227241196||R1056952||NPOF||33227241196186|
|MySuper Growth||Toyota Super||58208377062||R1004274||NPOF||58208377062238|
|Growth (Cbus MySuper)||Construction & Building Unions Superannuation||75493363262||R1000979||POF||75493363262473|
|VISSF Balanced Option (MySuper Product)||The Victorian Independent Schools Superannuation Fund||37024873660||R1000436||NPOF||37024873660599|
|Growth (MySuper)||Victorian Superannuation Fund||85977964496||R1000580||POF||85977964496198|
|Vision MySuper||Local Authorities Superannuation Fund||24496637884||R1000603||POF||24496637884417|
|My WA Super||WA Local Government Superannuation Plan||18159499614||R1004380||POF||18159499614451|
|BT Business MySuper||Westpac Mastertrust – Superannuation Division||81236903448||R1003970||POF||81236903448174|
*POF means Public Offer Fund, and NPOF means Non-Public Offer Fund.