Industry superannuation funds are funds that are owned by members rather than shareholders.
That differentiates them from retail superannuation funds, which are owned by shareholders rather than members.
Initially, industry funds were restricted to members of a specific industry or profession. Now, though, they’re available to all Australian workers.
Industry funds are not-for-profit entities, so they tend to have lower fees than retail funds, which are often run by banks.
Who offers the highest returns?
As a general rule, the more money a superannuation fund earns for the account holder, the better the fund.
Returns are easy to calculate – they’re just investment earnings minus fees and other charges.
Retail funds often argue that they deliver higher returns because they have superior knowledge and systems. But industry funds claim they actually do better because they charge lower fees.
That’s why it’s important to do your research before signing up for a fund, whether that’s an industry fund or a retail fund.
One place to research returns is the SuperRatings website, which ranks the top 10 funds over one year, three years, five years or the financial year to date.
Australia’s industry superannuation funds
There are 15 industry superannuation funds:
- AustSafe Super
- Energy Super
- First Super
- Legal Super
- LUCRF Super
- Media Super
- MTAA Super
- NGS Super
- REI Super
Industry superannuation funds are represented by a trade association called Industry Super Australia.