Showing superannuation funds based on investment performance of
and a super balance of
Past 5-year return
7.71% p.a
Admin fee

$78

Company
MLC
Calc fees on 50k

$928

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
MyChoice Platinum
Go to site
More details
Past 5-year return
8.10% p.a
Admin fee

$92

Company
smartMonday
Calc fees on 50k

$622

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
MyChoice Platinum
Go to site
More details
Past 5-year return
7.57% p.a
Admin fee

$180

Company
IOOF
Calc fees on 50k

$1k

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
MyChoice Gold
Go to site
More details
Past 5-year return
6.69% p.a
Admin fee

$0

Company
Netwealth
Calc fees on 50k

$563

Features
Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
SuperRatings awards
MyChoice Gold
Go to site
More details
Past 5-year return
6.93% p.a
Admin fee

$50

Company
OnePath
Calc fees on 50k

$330

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

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Learn more about superannuation

What is a corporate super fund?

There are two main types of super funds in Australia: defined benefit funds and accumulation funds, with the latter being the most common. Within these are various super categories (explained further in guide). One of which is corporate super.

Corporate superannuation is a category of super funds offered by corporations, like Telstra, and are available to employees of said corporation. If the corporate super fund has great returns and offers even more benefits to its employees, it can help a corporation stay competitive for employees in the industry.

Corporate super funds are generally available to ex-employees and even relatives of current employees. Super Guide notes that funds run by the employer, or an industry fund, are generally “not-for-profit” and “low to medium cost, especially for large corporates”. Further, most are “accumulation funds, but some older funds may be defined benefit”.

What superannuation types are available?

As mentioned above, the two main types of superannuation are accumulation funds and defined benefit funds.

According to ASIC’s MoneySmart, here are the fundamental differences:

Accumulation funds

"In an accumulation fund, your money grows or 'accumulates' over time. The value of your super depends on the money that you and your employers put in (known as super contributions), and on the investment return generated by the fund.”

Defined benefit funds

“In a defined benefit fund, your retirement benefit is determined by a formula instead of being based on investment return. Most defined benefit funds are corporate or public sector funds. Many are now closed to new members. Typically, your benefit is calculated using:

  • the money put in by you and your employer
  • your average salary over the last few years before you retire
  • the number of years you worked for your employer”

What superannuation categories are there?

Within these two main super fund types, there are a few categories your fund may fall into: corporate, retail, industry or public sector.

  • Retail super funds. Retail funds are run by banks and other financial institutions, such as Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac, and more. They help to generate profits for shareholders. They tend to come with a wide range of investment options but may be recommended by financial advisors being paid commissions or fees.
  • Industry super funds. Industry super funds were first established in the 1980s to protect Australian workers within certain industries from the types of fees and commission products found in retail super funds. In fact, industry super funds do not pay commissions or incentives to financial advisers. Anyone can join the larger industry funds, with smaller industry funds typically operating only for those working with in certain industries.
  • Public sector super funds. Also called government super funds, as the name suggests public sector funds are for government employees. They are not available for non-government employees. They are a competitive fund type due to their perceived benefits, including some employers contributing more than the 9.5 per cent super guarantee minimum, long term members have defined benefits, lower fees on average and a modest range of investment choices.
  • Corporate super funds. As noted above, corporate super funds are organised by employers for their employees and can be a competitive draw for the organisation when trying to bring in talent. The corporate fund is generally kept available for ex-employees and current employee family members. Some corporate super funds may be managed by larger funds and come with a wider range of investment options.

You may also choose to instead opt for a self-managed super fund (SMSF). This is a personal superannuation account that gives the individual complete control over the investment strategy of the funds. SMSFs have similar benefits to the professionally managed funds listed above, such as concessional tax rates.

What are the benefits of corporate super funds?

As an employer, having a corporate super fund can help you to remain competitive within your industry as a highly recommended corporate super fund can be a draw for talented employees.

For employees, you can choose to be more selective about who you work for if you factor in the rate of return, fees and benefits associated with a corporation’s super fund into your job search.

A corporate super fund may also offer automatic life insurance and total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance. According to Atlus Financial, some funds even include “income protection without medical underwriting, and this benefit usually stays with employees as long as they’re employed by you”.

Employees in corporate super funds may also take advantage of additional benefits, such as discounted gym memberships, health insurance and travel insurance discounts and more. Be sure to read the product disclosure statement of a corporate super fund for a full break down of any fees and perks before applying.

Much like any super fund, it’s crucial that you compare the investment options, fees and insurance offered before you commit. Just because a company is up-selling its corporate super fund, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your own research.

What are the disadvantages of corporate super funds?

While the exclusivity of a corporate super fund can be a huge draw for employees, it can also be a disadvantage. Some corporations will not allow ex-employees to participate in the funds. By being forced to switch funds, you may be hit with an exit fee from the corporate super fund. 

Further, if you’re not planning on sticking around with the company for a few years as a minimum, this type of fund may not suit your financial situation. You may miss out on high returns by switching funds so frequently. By making yourself an ex-employee, you're potentially losing out on the employee benefits associated with your corporate super account, as well as any fee discounts. 

Further, employees who leave a corporate super fund will need to double check their insurance policies and insurance cover through the fund. By switching to a new fund, you may not receive the same cover – especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are aged 60 or over.

If you’re unsure whether switching super funds or choosing a corporate super fund is the right financial decision for you and your family, consider seeking independent financial advice from a financial adviser.

Frequently asked questions

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.

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.

What is the difference between accumulation and defined benefit funds?

A majority of Australians are in accumulation funds. These funds grow according to the amount of money invested and the return on that money.

A minority of Australians are in defined benefit funds – many of which are now closed to new members. These funds give payouts according to specific rules, such as how long the worker has been with their employer and their final salary before they retired.

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.

How do you create a superannuation account?

Before you create a superannuation account, you’ll need to check if you’re allowed to choose your own fund. Most Australians can, but this option doesn’t apply to some workers who are covered by industrial agreements or who are members of defined benefits funds.

Assuming you are able to choose your own fund, the next step should be research, because there are more than 200 different superannuation funds in Australia.

Once you’ve decided on your preferred superannuation fund, head to that provider’s website, where you should be able to fill in an online application or download the appropriate forms. You’ll need your tax file number (assuming you don’t want to be charged a higher tax rate), your contact details and your employer’s details (if you’re employed).

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.

Is superannuation paid on unused annual leave?

If your employment is terminated, superannuation will not be paid on unused annual leave.

When can I access my superannuation?

You can withdraw your superannuation when you meet the ‘conditions of release’. The conditions of release say you can claim your super when you reach:

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

The preservation age – which is different to the pension age – is based on date of birth. Here are the six different categories:

Date of birth Preservation age
Before 1 July 1960 55
1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963 58
1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964 59
From 1 July 1964 60

A transition to retirement allows you to continue working while accessing up to 10 per cent of the money in your superannuation account at the start of each financial year.

There are also seven special circumstances under which you can claim your superannuation:

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

 

How do you calculate superannuation from a total package?

Superannuation is calculated at the rate of 9.5 per cent of your ‘ordinary-time earnings’. (For most people, ordinary-time earnings are their gross annual salary or 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.

As the Australian Taxation Office explains, some items are excluded from ordinary-time earnings. They include:

  • Overtime work paid at overtime rates
  • Expense allowances that are fully expended
  • Expenses that are reimbursed
  • Unfair dismissal payments
  • Workers’ compensation payments
  • Parental leave
  • Jury duty
  • Defence reserve service
  • Unused annual leave when employment is terminated
  • Unused long service leave when employment is terminated
  • Unused sick leave when employment is terminated

Although the superannuation guarantee is currently at 9.5 per cent, 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 can I keep track of my superannuation?

Most funds will allow you to access your superannuation account online. Another option is to manage your superannuation through myGov, which is a government portal through which you can access a range of services, including Medicare, Centrelink, aged care and child support.

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.

Can my employer use money from my superannuation account?

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

What are reportable employer superannuation contributions?

Reportable employer superannuation contributions are special contributions that an employer makes on top of the regular compulsory contributions. One example would be contributions made as part of a salary sacrifice arrangement.

How does superannuation work?

Superannuation is paid by employers to employees, at least once every three months. The ‘superannuation guarantee’ 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 guarantee 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.

Superannuation is generally taxed at 15 per cent. However, if you earn less than $37,000, you will be automatically reimbursed up to $500 of the tax you paid. Also, if your income plus concessional superannuation contributions exceed $250,000, you will also be charged Division 293 tax. This is an extra 15 per cent tax on your concessional contributions or the amount above $250,000 – whichever is lesser.

You can withdraw your superannuation when you meet the ‘conditions of release’. The conditions of release say you can claim your super when you reach:

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

 

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.

What are reportable superannuation contributions?

For employees, there are two types of reportable superannuation contributions:

  • Reportable employer super contributions your employer makes for you
  • Personal deductible contributions you make for yourself

What is MySuper?

MySuper accounts are basic, low-fee accounts. If you don’t nominate a superannuation fund, your employer must choose one for you that offers a MySuper account.

MySuper accounts offer two investment options:

  1. Single diversified investment strategy

Your fund assigns you a risk strategy and investment profile, which remain unchanged throughout your working life.

  1. Lifecycle investment strategy

Your fund assigns you an investment strategy based on your age, and then changes it as you get older. Younger workers are given strategies that emphasise growth assets

What are personal contributions?

A personal contribution is when you make an extra payment into your superannuation account. The difference between personal contributions and salary sacrifices is that the former comes out of your after-tax income, while the latter comes out of your pre-tax income.

How many superannuation funds are there?

There are more than 200 different superannuation funds.

How does superannuation affect the age pension?

Most Australians who are of retirement age can qualify for the age pension. However, depending on the size of your assets and post-retirement income, you might be entitled to only a reduced pension. In some instances, you might not be entitled to any pension payments.