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Which is the best super fund?

Whether you’re a young Aussie starting up in the workforce or nearing the end of your career, choosing the best fund for your financial goals and lifestyle can be crucial in building retirement savings.

Generally speaking, the best superannuation fund may be one that:

  • Helps you achieve your financial goals;
  • Charges you a comfortable amount in fees;
  • Is with your ideal fund type (retail, industry, public sector, corporate or self-managed);
  • Has competitive investment performance;
  • Has comfortable investment options for risk and asset classes; and
  • Offers appropriate insurance coverage (if this is important to you).

Does the best super fund have the best performance?

Your best superannuation fund may not necessarily be the best performing super fund overall, generally speaking. This is because there are several other factors that determine customer satisfaction for a superannuation fund, other than which is the top performing, and your best option may vary.

It is worth looking at a superannuation fund’s fees, investment options, insurance options and customer service, as well as its past performance, to get a greater understanding of the superannuation account overall. You may also want to ensure the superannuation fund aligns with your values and focuses its investments on industries you view as important, such as ethical superannuation funds.

To help compare your options, consider using SuperRatings to view superannuation fund ratings and research. If you’re looking for a performance test on superannuation funds, you may also want to hop on the ATO’s website and use its YourSuper comparison tool.

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How much superannuation do you need to retire?

The amount of superannuation you may need to retire comfortably will depend on your lifestyle and goals.

A modest lifestyle typically means having an annual income greater than the Age Pension, but still limiting you to afford only basic activities.

A comfortable lifestyle should afford you the ability to have a good standard of living, meaning you can afford groceries, utilities bills and insurance comfortably, while still enjoying recreation activities and even domestic and international travel.

According to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), an ideal superannuation budget for those aged 65 as well as 85 will differ depending on the type of lifestyle your final superannuation balance may offer. Note: both budgets assume that the retirees own their own home outright and are relatively healthy.

Budgets for various households and living standards for those aged around 65

Modest lifestyle Comfortable lifestyle
Total per year$28,514$41,170$44,818$63,352

Source: ASFA Retirement Standard, June quarter 2021

Budgets for various households and living standards for those aged around 85

Modest lifestyle Comfortable lifestyle
Total per year$27,011$38,640$42,713$59,286

Source: ASFA Retirement Standard, June quarter 2021

The best performing super funds for 2021

There is no one best superannuation fund, but to help you compare your options, here are how some of the most popular institutions have performed. Figures are based on a balanced super investment with an account balance of $0-$50,000.

How do you find the best superannuation fund?

As there is no one “best” superannuation fund in the market, you’ll have to do a little research of your own to find the best super fund for your specific goals and needs. There are several factors you can take into consideration when comparing funds to find your best superannuation option.


While past performance may not be an indicator of future performance, it’s still important to compare the performance of super funds to get an indication of how successfully said fund has invested in the past.

Try to compare apples with apples by viewing similar superannuation fund types against different performance lengths, such as the long-term performance of two retail super funds over 10 years, or industry super fund returns over the last financial year.


As no one can predict future returns, keeping super fees low is one way you may help to protect your overall superannuation balance. Some super fees you may be charged include:

  • Administration fees
  • Investment fees
  • Annual fees

However, some funds with higher fees may still provide good value through their investment options, insurances and customer service compared to one with lower fees. So, keep in mind that the fund with the lowest fees may not suit your retirement goals and financial needs.

Investment options

There are different investment options offered by superannuation funds, and your best super fund should provide ones that you are comfortable with. This includes:

  • Amount of risk you take (low, medium, or high-risk investments)
  • Asset classes you’re investing in (high growth options, balanced options, conservative options, cash options and ethical options)
  • Percentage of super account balance in each asset class

One of the more common superannuation accounts are MySuper accounts, which typically have a balanced, single diversified option. A single diversified option means the fund puts your super balance into a standard assortment of investments and keeps the investment approach for your life.

Alternatively, you may find your MySuper product has a lifecycle investment strategy, meaning the balance starts investing in growth options when you are younger to conservative investments when you are older.


Super funds offer three main types of insurance: life insurance, total and permanent disability insurance, and income protection insurance. If these factors are important to you, it’s worth comparing the coverage offered and insurance premiums charged by various funds.

Customer service

There’s more to a superannuation fund than the actual financial product. It’s worth also comparing the financial institution’s customer service levels before you sign up. For example, if you prefer a more hands-on approach with your superannuation investment options, it may be worth comparing the levels of financial advice you may be offered with or without charge is crucial.

What type of super funds can you find?

There are five main types of superannuation funds suited to different Australian workers and with varying eligibility criteria.

Fund Description Availability
Retail super fundsRun by for-profit institutions such as banks and financial services companiesEveryone
Industry super fundsRun by not-for-profit institutions to benefit membersMany larger industry funds are available to everyone, while some restrict membership to certain industries
Public sector super fundsCreated for federal and state government departmentsPublic servants
Corporate super fundsRun by companiesEmployees of those companies
Self-managed super fundsSMSFs are for Australians who want to manage their own investmentsEveryone

How do you change super funds?

You’ve done your research and compared your options and now you know your ideal superannuation fund. If you’re already with an existing fund, changing your super fund across is a relatively simple process.

You may either hop online to your MyGov account and request to change your super through its platform, or you may fill in a rollover form and send it to either your new chosen fund or your existing fund.

Finally, you must ensure you notify your employer that you are changing super funds and complete a standard choice form. Be sure to check on your next income statement that your pre-tax superannuation has been paid into the new fund and not your old one.