Find and compare cheapest super funds

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$0

Tidswell Master Superannuation Plan

$445

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Other
More details
-

$0

HUB24 Limited

$452

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Gold
More details
7.97%

$104

Cbus

$524

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice PlatinumCareer Fund of the Year FinalistMomentumNet Benefit Finalist Smooth Ride FinalistInfinity RecognisedChoice Super of the Year Finalist
More details
New

$0

Mercer

$335

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice GoldBest New Innovation Finalist
More details
New

$0

Yellow Brick Road

$395

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Silver
More details
6.99%

$78

MTAA Super

$513

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MySuper Platinum
More details
5.32%

$65

AMG Super

$520

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MySuper Other
More details
New

$88

AMIST Super

$403

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Silver
More details
6.32%

$52

Energy Super

$487

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Platinum10 Year Platinum Performance
More details
7.46%

$52

Equip Super

$482

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Platinum15 Year Platinum Performance
More details
5.51%

$152

AMP Bank

$512

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice GoldInfinity Recognised
More details
6.98%

$65

NGS Super

$460

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Platinum15 Year Platinum PerformanceInfinity Recognised
More details

Learn more about superannuation

A cheap superannuation fund does not charge as much in fees as the average superannuation fund. 

Superannuation fees are deducted from your super fund, typically at the end of each month. 

Types of fees and costs charged to a superannuation fund

In order to get a cheap superannuation fund, you have to be aware of the general fees and costs that are usually charged to a super fund. This can help you determine which fees you would like to avoid or minimise. 

The fees charged by superannuation funds include:

Administration fees

This a general fee that is charged by most superannuation funds. It covers the cost of operating and maintaining the super fund. 

Indirect costs

Indirect costs are the costs that your super fund pays to other providers such as investment managers. How much these fees cost you depend on the value of your investment. 

Switching fees

Switching fees may be charged when you make certain changes with, say, your investment option in your super fund. 

Investment fees

Investment fees vary depending on which super fund you have. This fee may be charged because of the cost it takes to manage your investments in the super fund. 

Advice fees

If you seek advice about your super, your investment options or other super products, a fee is usually charged for this. Sometimes, the adviser receives fees for whatever products they recommend to you. 

Exit fees

An exit fee may be charged if you decide to switch superannuation funds.

Activity-based fees

This may be charged when a particular service is provided by your super fund. However, it only applies to a few scenarios, such as the need to split a super balance in the event of, say, a divorce or another legal-related matter.

Insurance premiums

This is the insurance cost that your super fund usually provides. Please note that you have the option of changing the insurance cover in your super. 

Buy/sell spread

This fee may be charged when you make transactions through your super, including contributions, switches, and withdrawals. 

What are the cheapest superannuation funds in Australia?

The generic answer would be, of course, that it depends. The market changes all the time, so there’s no definite answer on which providers offer the cheapest superannuation funds in the country. Aside from this, various superannuation funds might charge different fees depending on your account balance, so what would be considered the “cheapest” super fund will be different for many people. 

It also depends on various factors, such as whether you arrange your super fund independently or if you arrange it with your employer. It also depends on how much insurance cover you have in your super fund, your investment option, or whether you’re also taking a pension into consideration. 

How you can find cheap superannuation funds in Australia

RateCity offers an online comparison search tool that allows you to quickly compare several hundred different superannuation options. All you have to do is put in your age and your current super balance and it’ll filter recommended options for you. 

How to switch to a cheap superannuation fund

So, let’s say you already have a superannuation fund in another bank but you’ve found a cheaper option you want to switch to. 

To do the switch between supers, you have to fill out a rollover form and then send it to your new super provider. You’ll need to provide proof of identity in order to do this.

However, be reminded that exit fees usually apply when you do decide to make this switch.

Pros and cons of a cheap superannuation fund

The main benefit of a cheap superannuation fund is that less fees and costs are involved. 

However, the downside is that a cheap super fund may not deliver the same level of service or investment options as a fund with higher fees.

To determine the quality of a super fund, know exactly what the fees are in your super and how the overall returns compare to others.

Frequently asked questions

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

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.

How do I change my superannuation fund?

Changing superannuation funds is a common and straightforward process. You can do it through your MyGov account or by filling out a rollover form and sending it to your new fund. You’ll also have to provide proof of identity.

Can I take money out of my superannuation fund?

Superannuation is designed to provide Australians with money in their retirement. The government has strict rules around when people can take that money out of their fund because it wants to prevent people eroding their savings before they reach retirement.

As a general rule, you can only take money out of your superannuation fund when you reach:

  • Age 65
  • Your ‘preservation age’ and retire
  • Your preservation age and begin a ‘transition to retirement’ while still working

That said, you can take money out of your superannuation fund early based on one of these seven special conditions:

  • Compassionate grounds
  • Severe financial hardship
  • Temporary incapacity
  • Permanent incapacity
  • Superannuation inheritance
  • Superannuation balance under $200
  • Temporary resident departing Australia

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?

How do you open a superannuation account?

Opening a superannuation account is simple. 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 might want to provide your tax file number as well – while it’s not a legal obligation, it will ensure your contributions will be taxed at the (lower) superannuation rate.

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.

How much is superannuation?

Superannuation is currently 9.5 per cent – which means that your employer must pay you superannuation equivalent to 9.5 per cent of your salary.

The ‘superannuation guarantee’, as it is known, has been at 9.5 per cent since the 2014-15 financial year. It is scheduled to rise to 10.0 per cent in 2021-22, 10.5 per cent in 2022-23, 11.0 per cent in 2023-24, 11.5 per cent in 2024-25 and 12.0 per cent in 2025-26.

What is a superannuation fund?

A superannuation fund is an institution that is legally allowed to hold and invest your superannuation. There are more than 200 different superannuation funds in Australia. They come in five different types:

  • Retail funds
  • Industry funds
  • Public sector funds
  • Corporate funds
  • Self-managed super funds

Retail funds are usually run by banks or investment companies.

Industry funds were originally designed for workers from a particular industry, but are now open to anyone.

Public sector funds were originally designed for people working for federal or state government departments. Most are still reserved for government employees.

Corporate funds are arranged by employers for their employees.

Self-managed super funds are private superannuation funds that allow people to directly invest their money.

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 is lost superannuation?

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.

How do you claim superannuation?

There are three different ways you can claim your superannuation:

  • Lump sum
  • Account-based pension
  • Part lump sum and part account-based pension

Two rules apply if you choose to receive an account-based pension, or income stream:

  • You must receive payments at least once per year
  • You must withdraw a minimum amount per year
    • Age 55-64 = 4%
    • Age 65-74 = 5%
    • Age 75-79 = 6%
    • Age 80-84 = 7%
    • Age 85-89 = 9%
    • Age 90-94 = 11%
    • Age 95+ = 14%

If you want to work out how long your account-based pension might last, click here to access ASIC’s account-based pension calculator.

Do I have to pay myself superannuation if I'm self-employed?

No, self-employed workers don’t have to pay themselves superannuation. However, if you do pay yourself superannuation, you will probably be able to claim a tax deduction.

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.

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

What are the risks and challenges of an SMSF?

  • SMSFs have high set-up and running costs
  • They come with complicated compliance obligations
  • It takes a lot of time to research investment options
  • It can be difficult to make such big financial decisions

How do you calculate superannuation?

Superannuation is calculated at the rate of 9.5 per cent of your gross salary and wages. So if you had a salary of $50,000, your superannuation would be 9.5 per cent of that, or $4,750. This would be paid on top of your salary.

The ‘superannuation guarantee’, as it is known, has been at 9.5 per cent since the 2014-15 financial year. It is scheduled to rise to 10.0 per cent in 2021-22, 10.5 per cent in 2022-23, 11.0 per cent in 2023-24, 11.5 per cent in 2024-25 and 12.0 per cent in 2025-26.

How is superannuation regulated?

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) regulates ordinary superannuation accounts. Self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) are regulated by the Australian Taxation Office.

Is superannuation compulsory?

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

Am I entitled to superannuation if I'm a part-time employee?

As a part-time employee, you’re 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