Australian Ethical Super

Australian Ethical Retail Superannuation Fund - Personal Balanced

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No. of members: 53691
Fund size: $3b
Public offer:
Product type: Master Trust-Personal
Target market: All Industries
Year started: 1998

RateCity Says: A competitive superannuation fund for those Aussies who choose to put their nest egg towards ethical investments. Enjoy added features like income protection and insurances.

Past 5-year return
8.41% p.a
Admin fee

$97

Calc fees on 50k

$622

SuperRatings awards
MyChoice GoldSR50 Australian Shares IndexInfinity Recognised
Go to site
Past 5-year return
8.41% p.a
Admin fee

$97

Calc fees on 50k

$622

SuperRatings awards
MyChoice GoldSR50 Australian Shares IndexInfinity Recognised
Go to site
Go to site

Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons

  • A full menu of Ethical investments with positive and negative screening
  • Free educational roadshows and seminars
  • Binding, Non-Binding or Reversionary beneficiary nominations
  • Variable insurance options (Death, Death & Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD) and IP).

Summary

Australian Ethical was established in 1986 to promote ethical investments that adhere to the Australian Ethical Charter. Australian Ethical Super is Infinity Recognised, which is a result of its strong commitment to environmental and social principles.Members have access to 7 Diversified and Single Sector investment options across a range of asset classes that align with the Australian Ethical Charter. The fund's Balanced option underperformed the SuperRatings Index over the 10 years to 30 June 2020; however, outperformed over the shorter term. Fees for the Balanced option are lower than the industry average across all assessed account balances. Further discounts may also apply to account balances over $250,000 which are invested in all investment options other than the Balanced option. No switching fees are applicable, although buy-sell spreads may be charged when changing investment options. A full suite of insurance is offered to members, with Default Death & TPD automatically provided to eligible members upon joining the fund. Members can apply for unlimited Death Only cover and up to $5 million of TPD cover. Income Protection (IP) insurance is also available, covering up to 85% of salary, or a maximum of $30,000 per month, with benefit payment periods of 2 years, 5 years or to age 65 and a choice of 30, 60- or 90-day waiting periods.Australian Ethical Super provides members with access to advice services, the free education tool Money101, interactive tools and calculators, as well as the Good Money blog including a range of ethical investing newsletters. The fund’s member online further allows members to view and update their account details and perform transactions.

Features and Fees

Australian Ethical Super Fees and Features

Features

Variety of options

Binding nominations

Account size discount

Online Access

Home loans

Financial planning service

Non-lapsing binding nominations

Employer size discount

Anti-detriment payments

Credit cards

Insurance Cover

Health insurance

Insurance life event increases

Total and permanent disability cover

Long term income protection

Fees

Admin fee

$97

Administration fee (%)

0.29%

Switching fee

$0

Investment fee

0.64%

Indirect cost ratio (%)

0.12%

Exit fee

$0

Pros and Cons

  • A full menu of Ethical investments with positive and negative screening
  • Free educational roadshows and seminars
  • Binding, Non-Binding or Reversionary beneficiary nominations
  • Variable insurance options (Death, Death & Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD) and IP).

Australian Ethical was established in 1986 to promote ethical investments that adhere to the Australian Ethical Charter. Australian Ethical Super is Infinity Recognised, which is a result of its strong commitment to environmental and social principles.Members have access to 7 Diversified and Single Sector investment options across a range of asset classes that align with the Australian Ethical Charter. The fund's Balanced option underperformed the SuperRatings Index over the 10 years to 30 June 2020; however, outperformed over the shorter term. Fees for the Balanced option are lower than the industry average across all assessed account balances. Further discounts may also apply to account balances over $250,000 which are invested in all investment options other than the Balanced option. No switching fees are applicable, although buy-sell spreads may be charged when changing investment options. A full suite of insurance is offered to members, with Default Death & TPD automatically provided to eligible members upon joining the fund. Members can apply for unlimited Death Only cover and up to $5 million of TPD cover. Income Protection (IP) insurance is also available, covering up to 85% of salary, or a maximum of $30,000 per month, with benefit payment periods of 2 years, 5 years or to age 65 and a choice of 30, 60- or 90-day waiting periods.Australian Ethical Super provides members with access to advice services, the free education tool Money101, interactive tools and calculators, as well as the Good Money blog including a range of ethical investing newsletters. The fund’s member online further allows members to view and update their account details and perform transactions.

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Australian Ethical Super Fees and Features

Features

Variety of options

Binding nominations

Account size discount

Online Access

Home loans

Financial planning service

Non-lapsing binding nominations

Employer size discount

Anti-detriment payments

Credit cards

Insurance Cover

Health insurance

Insurance life event increases

Total and permanent disability cover

Long term income protection

Fees

Admin fee

$97

Administration fee (%)

0.29%

Switching fee

$0

Investment fee

0.64%

Indirect cost ratio (%)

0.12%

Exit fee

$0
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Fund fees vs. Industry average
THIS FUND
INDUSTRY AVERAGE
Fund past-5-year return vs. Industry average
THIS FUND
INDUSTRY AVERAGE
Investment allocation
INTERNATIONAL SHARES
AUSTRALIAN SHARES
PROPERTY
ALTERNATIVES
FIXED INTEREST
CASH
OTHER
Investment option performance
BALANCED
HIGH GROWTH
GROWTH
AUSTRALIAN SHARES
INTERNATIONAL SHARES
CAPITAL STABLE
CASH
+ View additional option performance information
Past 5-year return
8.41% p.a
Admin fee

$97

Company
Australian Ethical Super
Calc fees on 50k

$622

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
MyChoice GoldSR50 Australian Shares IndexInfinity Recognised
Go to site
More details
Past 5-year return
8.41% p.a
Admin fee

$97

Company
Australian Ethical Super
Calc fees on 50k

$622

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
MySuper GoldInfinity Recognised
Go to site
More details

FAQs

How do you find lost superannuation funds?

Lost superannuation refers to savings in an account that you’ve forgotten about. This can happen if you’ve opened several different accounts over the years while moving from job to job.

You can use your MyGov account to see details of all your superannuation accounts, including any you might have forgotten. Alternatively, you can fill in a ‘Searching for lost super’ form and send it to the Australian Taxation Office, which will then search on your behalf.

What happens if my employer falls behind on my superannuation payments?

The Australian Taxation Office will investigate if your employer falls behind on your superannuation payments or doesn’t pay at all. You can report your employer with this online tool.

How much superannuation should I have?

The amount of superannuation you need to have at retirement is based on how much money you would expect to spend each week during your retirement. That, in turn, depends on whether you expect to lead a modest retirement or a comfortable retirement.

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) estimates you would need the following amount per week:

Lifestyle Singles Couples
Modest $465 $668
Comfortable $837 $1,150

Here is the superannuation balance you would need to fund that level of spending:

Lifestyle Singles Couples
Modest $50,000 $35,000
Comfortable $545,000 $640,000

These figures come from the March 2017 edition of the ASFA Retirement Standard.

The reason people on modest lifestyles need so much less money is because they qualify for a far bigger age pension.

Here is how ASFA defines retirement lifestyles:

Category Comfortable Modest Age pension
Holidays One annual holiday in Australia One or two short breaks in Australia near where you live Shorter breaks or day trips in your own city
Eating out Regularly eat out at restaurants. Good range and quality of food Infrequently eat out at restaurants. Cheaper and less food Only club special meals or inexpensive takeaway
Car Owning a reasonable car Owning an older, less reliable car No car – or, if you do, a struggle to afford the upkeep
Alcohol Bottled wine Casked wine Homebrew beer or no alcohol
Clothing Good clothes Reasonable clothes Basic clothes
Hair Regular haircuts at a good hairdresser Regular haircuts at a basic salon Less frequent haircuts or getting a friend to do it
Leisure A range of regular leisure activities One paid leisure activity, infrequently Free or low-cost leisure activities
Electronics A range of electronic equipment Not much scope to run an air conditioner Less heating in winter
Maintenance Replace kitchen and bathroom over 20 years No budget for home improvements. Can do repairs, but can’t replace kitchen or bathroom No budget to fix home problems like a leaky roof
Insurance Private health insurance Private health insurance No private health insurance

How do I choose the right superannuation fund?

Different superannuation funds charge different fees, offer different insurances, offer different investment options and have different performance histories.

So you need to ask yourself these four questions when comparing superannuation funds:

  • How many fees would I have to pay and what would they cost?
  • What insurances are available and how much would they cost?
  • What investment options does it offer? How would they match my risk profile and financial needs?
  • How have these investment options performed historically?

What are ethical investment superannuation funds?

Ethical investment funds limit themselves to making ‘ethical’ investments (which each fund defines according to its own principles). For example, ethical funds might avoid investing in companies or industries that are linked to human suffering or environmental damage.

Am I entitled to superannuation if I'm not an Australian citizen?

Yes, permanent and temporary residents are entitled to superannuation.

How long after divorce can you claim superannuation?

You or your partner could be forced to surrender part of your superannuation if you divorce, just like with other assets.

You can file a claim for division of property – including superannuation – as soon as you divorce. However, the claim has to be filed within one year of the divorce.

Your superannuation could be affected even if you’re in a de facto relationship – that is, living together as a couple without being officially married.

In that case, the claim has to be filed within two years of the date of separation.

Either way, the first thing to consider is whether you’re a member of a standard, APRA-regulated superannuation fund or if you’re a member of a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF), because different rules apply.

Standard superannuation funds

If your relationship breaks down, your superannuation savings might be divided by court order or by agreement.

The rules of the superannuation fund will dictate whether this transfer happens immediately, or in the future when the person who has to make the transfer is allowed to access the rest of their superannuation (i.e. at or near retirement).

Click here for more information.

SMSFs

If your relationship breaks down, you must continue to observe the trust deed of your SMSF.

So if you and your partner are both members of the same SMSF, neither party is allowed to use the fund to inflict ‘punishment’ – such as by excluding the other party from the decision-making process or refusing their request to roll their money into another superannuation fund.

This no-punishment rule applies even if the two parties are involved in legal proceedings.

Click here for more information.

Financial consequences

Superannuation funds often charge a fee for splitting accounts after a relationship breakdown.

Splitting superannuation can also impact the size of your total super balance and how your super is taxed.

Click here for more information.

Is superannuation paid on overtime?

As the Australian Taxation Office explains, there are times when superannuation is paid on overtime and times when it isn’t.

Here is the ATO’s summary:

Payment type Is superannuation paid?
Overtime hours – award stipulates ordinary hours to be worked and employee works additional hours for which they are paid overtime rates No
Overtime hours – agreement prevails over award No
Agreement supplanting award removes distinction between ordinary hours and other hours Yes – all hours worked
No ordinary hours of work stipulated Yes – all hours worked
Casual employee: shift loadings Yes
Casual employee: overtime payments No
Casual employee whose hours are paid at overtime rates due to a ‘bandwidth’ clause No
Piece-rates – no ordinary hours of work stipulated Yes
Overtime component of earnings based on hourly-driving-rate method stipulated in award No

Can I choose a superannuation fund or does my employer choose one for me?

Most people can choose their own superannuation fund. However, you might not have this option if you are a member of certain defined benefit funds or covered by certain industrial agreements. If you don’t choose a superannuation fund, your employer will choose one for you.

What are concessional contributions?

Concessional contributions are pre-tax payments into your superannuation account. The payments made by your employer are concessional payments. You can also make concessional contributions with a salary sacrifice.

Who can open a superannuation account?

Superannuation accounts can be opened by Australians, permanent residents and temporary residents. You’re automatically entitled to superannuation if:

  • You’re over 18 and earn more than $450 before tax in a calendar month
  • You’re under 18, you work more than 30 hours per week and you earn more than $450 before tax in a calendar month

How many superannuation funds are there?

There are more than 200 different superannuation funds.

What fees do superannuation funds charge?

Superannuation funds can charge a range of fees, including:

  • Activity-based fees – for specific, irregular services, such as splitting an account after a divorce
  • Administration fees – to cover the cost of managing your account
  • Advice fees – for personal investment advice
  • Buy/sell spread fees – when you make contributions, switches and withdrawals
  • Exit fees – when you close your account
  • Investment fees – to cover the cost of managing your investments
  • Switching fees – when you choose a new investment option within the same fund

When did superannuation start?

Australia’s modern superannuation system – in which employers make compulsory contributions to their employees – started in 1992. However, before that, there were various restricted superannuation schemes applying to certain employees in certain industries. The very first superannuation scheme was introduced in the 19th century.

Can my employer use money from my superannuation account?

No, your employer can’t touch the money that is paid into your superannuation account.

Can I buy a house with my superannuation?

First home buyers are the only people who can use their superannuation to buy a property. The federal government has created the First Home Super Saver Scheme to help first home buyers save for a deposit. First home buyers can make voluntary contributions of up to $15,000 per year, and $30,000 in total, to their superannuation account. These contributions are taxed at 15 per cent, along with deemed earnings. Withdrawals are taxed at marginal tax rates minus a tax offset of 30 percentage points.

Voluntary contributions to the First Home Super Saver Scheme are not exempt from the $25,000 annual limit on concessional contributions. So if you pay $15,000 per year into the First Home Super Saver Scheme, you have to make sure that you don’t receive more than $10,000 in superannuation payments from your employer and any salary sacrificing.

Is superannuation compulsory?

Superannuation is compulsory. Generally speaking, it can’t be touched until you’re at least 55 years old.

What happens to my superannuation when I change jobs?

You can keep your superannuation fund for as long as you like, so nothing happens when you change jobs. Please note that some superannuation funds have special features for people who work with certain employers, so these features may no longer be available if you change jobs.

Is superannuation included in taxable income?

Superannuation is not included when calculating your income tax. So if you have a salary of $50,000, your assessable income would be $50,000, not $50,000 plus superannuation.

That said, superannuation itself is taxed. It is generally taxed at 15 per cent, although if you earn less than $37,000, you will be reimbursed up to $500 of the tax you paid.

What superannuation details do I give to my employer?

When you start a job, your employer will give you what’s called a ‘superannuation standard choice form’. Here’s what you need to complete the form:

  • The name of your preferred superannuation fund
  • The fund’s address
  • The fund’s Australian business number (ABN)
  • The fund’s superannuation product identification number (SPIN)
  • The fund’s phone number
  • A letter from the fund trustee confirming that the fund is a complying fund; or written evidence from the fund stating it will accept contributions from your new employer; or details about how your employer can make contributions to the fund

You should also provide your tax file number – while it’s not a legal obligation, it will ensure your contributions will be taxed at the (lower) superannuation rate.