How do I choose a super fund?

Key Points

  •  Choosing and using your superfund well can make a big difference to your retirement as all the small things add up over time
  • Performance and fees are important considerations however insurance is another benefit you can take advantage of
  • Understanding what is important to you will help you find and set up a superfund that is right for you

Most employers allow choice of superannuation fund so this is something you should take advantage of. When choosing a superannuation fund it is helpful to remember what the purpose of superannuation is — a way to save up for retirement and manage how these savings are paid out once your retire. Therefore you are looking for the funds that will give you the best chance of growing your savings (after taking into account fees) and that has the flexibility you require after you retire.

Things to consider when choosing a fund:

How involved do you want to be with how your money is invested?
Almost all funds offer some choices around how your money is invested, but some funds offer more options for customisation or a wider choice of investments. Generally the greater the flexibility the greater the cost.

What options are you looking for when you retire?
What options does that fund have to manage your superannuation once you have retired and are able to withdraw money from superannuation. How will your money be invested once you retire and how flexible will the account be with access?

What is the insurance coverage like?
Does the fund offer the type of insurance that you are after, most offer life and TPD but some also offer income protection insurance. What does the insurance cover, what does it pay out (usually a multiple of your salary (or leaving salary), what options do you have to increase cover if you want?

How expensive is the fund?
It is important to understand all of the fees and charges of the superfund. Remember that there may be several different types of fees. For example a fee charged to manage your investments (usually a percentage of the total value of the fund), premiums for any insurance, transaction fees etc.

How does the fund compare?
There is some great information for comparing superannuation funds on the ASIC Moneysmart website
There are also several comparison sites such as or that can be used. Disclaimer that Fempowered has not verified these websites

The most important thing when comparing superannuation funds is that you are comparing apples with apples. You need to compare funds that have similar features and when looking at investment performance you need to ensure you are matching the type of investments. No point comparing the performance of one superfund’s Australian shares portfolio with another superfund’s Property portfolio.

Also remember that historical performance does not guarantee future performance. That being said, investment managers that have a good track record say over 5 to 10 years are a safer bet than funds that have only performed well in the last year. You are looking for a fund that makes good investment decisions and charges a reasonable fee for doing so.