Find and compare Australian investment super funds

Sort By
Product
Past 5-year return
Admin fee
Company
Calc fees on 50k
Features
SuperRatings awards
Go to site
6.14%

$78

MTAA Super

$443

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MySuper Platinum
More details
5.40%

$92

smartMonday

$622

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Platinum
More details
5.65%

$68

Legalsuper

$628

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Platinum
More details
4.87%

$78

MLC

$913

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Platinum
More details
4.16%

$0

Netwealth

$563

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Gold
More details
5.16%

$78

Twusuper

$758

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MySuper Gold
More details
5.39%

$180

IOOF

$1.1k

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Gold
More details
4.67%

$50

OnePath

$325

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Gold
More details
4.16%

$78

Australian Catholic Superannuation & Retirement Fund

$583

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

$60

AvSuper

$630

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Gold
More details
4.49%

$91

AMP Bank

$701

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Gold
More details
5.13%

$0

Qantas Super

$660

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Gold
More details
4.39%

$86

REI Super

$601

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Gold
More details
4.43%

$78

Russell Investments

$606

Advisory services
Death insurance
Income protection
Online access
Term deposits
Variety of options
MyChoice Gold
More details
4.80%

$92

Suncorp Bank

$587

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

Learn more about superannuation

While you work towards your golden years, your super is working hard too, thanks to investments that aim to grow your nest egg over time.

How you invest your superannuation impacts the amount of money you have at retirement. For this reason, it’s worth taking the time to understand the different super investment options available in Australia. Here’s a guide to get you started.

What assets can I invest superannuation in?

Investment assets fall into four classes: shares, property, fixed interest and cash.

One difference between each asset class is how much financial risk they come with. Shares and property are considered ‘growth assets’: they come with a higher risk of loss compared to fixed interest and cash, but generally offer better returns over time. Cash and fixed interest offer stable returns with less risk. Super funds often call them ‘defensive assets’, as they aim to protect your super from loss.

Who chooses which assets my super is invested in?

Super fund trustees invest your money into different assets, based on the investment strategy you choose.

Most funds offer different investment ‘options’ you can select from. Based on a combination of assets, each option offers a certain level of risk and expected growth. For example, a ‘growth option’ may invest 85 per cent of your super in shares and property to produce higher-than-average returns; a ‘conservative option’ may invest most of your super in fixed interest and cash to reduce the risk of loss; a ‘moderate’ option may aim for a balance between the two.

I want more control over my investments. What about an SMSF?

As the name suggests, a self-managed super fund (SMSF) is a fund where you are a trustee with complete control over how your super is invested.

Along with ensuring the SMSF meets Australian regulatory requirements, trustees develop and implement their fund’s personal investment strategy. This makes an SMSF an appealing option for those who want more control over how their super is invested.

Investing your super in Australian shares

One common option people take with superannuation investments is Australian shares. Often driven by the big banks and mining companies, Australian shares are historically strong performers with a good track record.

It’s worth keeping in mind that some periods of negative returns are expected if you invest in Australian shares over a long period of time. Pros and cons of investing your super in Australian shares include:

Pros of investment in Australian shares

  • A familiar market makes it easier to monitor share performance
  • Shares are a liquid asset, easy to sell when needed
  • Although negative returns are expected over the short term, shares can offer substantial growth over an investment time-frame of more than 10 years

Cons of investment in Australian shares

  • Increased risk compared to fixed income assets, as share prices can fall
  • Some prefer to invest in global shares for potentially higher returns
  • Share values fluctuate, so your dividend may vary month to month

Can I change my investment allocation?

It is common to adjust your investment strategy as your life stage changes, whether it’s to take on more risk for higher returns, or to protect your capital as you approach retirement.

Most super funds in Australia let you reallocate some, or all, of your super into a different investment option over the phone or online. Before you switch, check if your fund charges a switching fee, or limits the number of times you can change options over a certain period.

Frequently asked questions

What is an SMSF investment strategy?

All SMSFs are required to have an investment strategy, which should explain what assets the fund will buy and what objectives it will pursue. This strategy must be reviewed regularly.

Issues to consider include how much risk the SMSF will take, how easily its assets can be converted into cash and how it will pay out benefits.

What will the superannuation fund do with my money?

Your money will be invested in an investment option of your choosing.

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 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 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 should I know before getting an SMSF?

Four questions to ask yourself before taking out an SMSF include:

  1. Do I have enough superannuation to justify the higher set-up and running costs?
  2. Am I able to handle complicated compliance obligations?
  3. Am I willing to spend lots of time researching investment options?
  4. Do I have the skill to make big financial decisions?

It’s also worth remembering that ordinary superannuation funds usually offer discounted life insurance and disability insurance. These discounts would no longer be available if you decided to manage your own super.

How do I set up an SMSF?

Setting up an SMSF takes more work than registering with an ordinary superannuation fund. 

An SMSF is a type of trust, so if you want to create an SMSF, you first have to create a trust.

To create a trust, you will need trustees, who must sign a trustee declaration. You will also need identifiable beneficiaries and assets for the fund – although these can be as little as a few dollars.

You will also need to create a trust deed, which is a document that lays out the rules of your SMSF. The trust deed must be prepared by a qualified professional and signed by all trustees.

To qualify as an Australian superannuation fund, the SMSF must meet these three criteria:

  • The fund must be established in Australia – or at least one of its assets must be located in Australia
  • The central management and control of the fund must ordinarily be in Australia
  • The fund must have active members who are Australian residents and who hold at least 50 per cent of the fund’s assets – or it must have no active members

Once your SMSF is established and all trustees have signed a trustee declaration, you have 60 days to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN).

When completing the ABN application, you should ask for a tax file number for your fund. You should also ask for the fund to be regulated by the Australian Taxation Office – otherwise it won’t receive tax concessions.

Your next step is to open a bank account in your fund’s name. This account must be kept separated from the accounts held by the trustees and any related employers.

Your SMSF will also need an electronic service address, so it can receive contributions.

Finally, you will need to create an investment strategy, which explains how your fund will invest its money, and an exit strategy, which explains how and why it would ever close.

Please note that you can pay an adviser to set up your SMSF. You might also want to take the Self-Managed Superannuation Fund Trustee Education Program, which is a free program that has been created by CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand.

How are SMSFs allowed to invest their funds?

SMSFs can invest in conventional assets such as shares, term deposits, managed funds and property.

SMSFs can also buy ‘collectibles’ such as artwork, jewellery, antiques, coins, stamps, vintage cars and wine – although there are special rules that apply to collectibles.

Investments must be made on an arm’s length basis, which means that assets must be bought and sold at market prices, while income must reflect the market rate of return.

As a general rule, SMSFs can’t buy assets from members or related parties.

What compliance obligations does an SMSF have?

SMSFs must maintain comprehensive records and submit to annual audits.

How do I wind up an SMSF?

There are five things you must do if you want to close your SMSF:

  1. Fulfil any obligations listed in the trust deed
  2. Pay out or roll over all the superannuation
  3. Conduct a final audit
  4. Lodge a final annual return
  5. Close the fund’s bank account

What is an SMSF?

An SMSF is a self-managed superannuation fund. SMSFs have to follow the same rules and restrictions as ordinary superannuation funds.

SMSFs allow Australians to directly invest their superannuation, rather than let ordinary funds manage their money for them.

SMSFs are regulated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). They can have up to four members. All members must be trustees (or directors if there is a corporate trustee).

Unlike with ordinary funds, SMSF members are responsible for meeting compliance obligations.

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

What contributions can SMSFs accept?

SMSFs can accept mandated employer contributions from an employer at any time (Funds need an electronic service address to receive the contributions).

However, SMSFs can’t accept contributions from members who don’t have tax file numbers.

Also, they generally can’t accept assets as contributions from members and they generally can’t accept non-mandated contributions for members who are 75 or older.

How are SMSFs taxed?

Funds that follow the rules are taxed at the concessional rate of 15 per cent. Funds that don’t follow the rules are taxed at the highest marginal tax rate.

Can I carry on a business in an SMSF?

SMSFs are allowed to carry on a business under two conditions.

First, this must be permitted under the trust deed.

Second, the sole purpose of the business must be to earn retirement benefits.

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.

How is superannuation calculated?

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.

Am I entitled to superannuation if I'm a casual employee?

As a casual 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

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.

Can I transfer money from overseas into my superannuation account?

Yes, you can transfer money from overseas into your superannuation account – under certain conditions. First, you must provide your tax file number to your fund. Second, if you are aged between 65 and 74, you must have worked at least 40 hours within 30 consecutive days in a financial year. (Australians under 65 aren’t subject to a work test; Australians aged 75 and over cannot receive contributions to their superannuation account.)

Money transferred from overseas will generally count to both your concessional contributions limit and your non-concessional contributions limit. You will have to pay income tax on the applicable fund earnings component of any money transferred from overseas. You might also be liable for excess contributions tax.